I had lots of Thanksgiving blogging planned but unfortunately life happened and I didn't manage to do very much of it. I shall just sum up my strategy here--start a couple of weeks in advance and have a plan! I bake rolls, I use a make-ahead gravy recipe, I cube and toast bread for stuffing, I make a vat of chicken stock, and it all goes in the freezer in anticipation of the big day. I break down the tasks I need to do and figure out which I can do in advance and do as much as possible ahead of time. This includes things like washing infrequently used cooking and serving items (like the roasting pan and gravy boat) and putting them aside.
This year was the first time in many years that we have had Thanksgiving dinner at home by ourselves with no guests. For various reasons my family couldn't come down this year like they usually do, and some invited guests had to cancel at the last minute. I decided that I was going to go ahead and cook the 9 lb turkey anyway. So we had a Thanksgiving feast for just the four of us. It was nice--rather low-stress (as low-stress as five hours spent cooking multiple dishes can be!) It all came out tasty. Possibly the most fun for me was actually watching the baby eat--we gave her a bit of everything and she ate it all and loved it. Given that her big sister mostly played with her food and made sculptural masterpieces involving rolls, mashed potatoes and corn, it was gratifying to see somebody enjoying the meal so much!
Last night I finally tackled the remainder of the 9 lb beast in our fridge--lots of turkey chili and turkey stock in the freezer now! We'll enjoy them later--MUCH later!