Tomorrow begins an epic day of cooking. Each year I take up the challenge to cook an entire meal from scratch. This might not sound like much – but consider that I bake all the desserts and the dinner rolls while simultaneously smoking a turkey on our charcoal grill. I do use canned pumpkin, but the pie crusts, apples, cranberries, veggies, etc. are fresh. Below I outline my game plan for tomorow (Thanksgiving Day, or as we call it at the Cooley-Sekula house, Turkenfunken),
Soak the hickory chips for the smoker.
First thing started will be the pumpkin cheesecake with praline topping. It needs to set for 8 hours before serving. I opted for cheesecake this year rather than pie. I am not a of pumpkin pie and every other year I opt for an alternate pumpkin .
Start the charcoal.
Next I will start the dinner rolls, bringing them to the point of their first rise.. This year I am trying a variation on my potato roll recipe. It will contain both whole wheat flour and sweet potato. We’ll see how that goes.
While the dough is rising I will work on the pies. I haven’t decided which will go first — pecan or apple. The apple will talent more work – I need to reduce the cider glaze, peel the apples and make a double crust. Maybe I will start there.
At this point the dough for the rolls will likely be ready. If that is the case I will finish the rolls, else I will make the bread crumbs for the dressing.
Lunch break and time to break out the chef’s wine glass (and of course fill it).
Next up – the awesome cranberry sauce. It will be made on the stovetop and then moved to the fridge.
While everything is baking there will be time to peel the carrots and trim the Brussel sprouts. This year I got new potatoes – so, they will not need peeling.
Once the turkey finishes, the mashed potato casserole and Brussel sprouts will go into the oven. I will finish the glazed carrots on the stove and also make the gravy.
Finally, I will stir the pecans into the cranberry sauce.
Hopefully my helpers have pressed the linen and set the table by this point, because I will start bringing out the food. God willing it will be dinner time and all crises will have been averted.
Most importantly, I will have conquered that once a year fest known as Turkenfunken once again. Next crisis – Christmas cookies ( I will crush you!)