I *love* hosting big meals. Yes, it's a lot of work BUT if you let your guests pitch in and bring some of the food and if you don't set your house cleaning standards too high, it can be totally manageable and enjoyable.
Another thing that simplified things immensely this year is that we roasted our turkey the day before. My mother-in-law gave me excellent instructions and even lent me her oven roaster (which is now on my wish list). We roasted the turkey on Wednesday afternoon and Jamey carved it Wednesday evening. He commented on how well it went. We realized it went well for a few reasons. One, we let it sit for over an hour so it wasn't so very hot to handle. Two, it was less stressful because there weren't a zillion things going on in the kitchen at the same time. And, three, the kids were already in bed and there were no conversations/visiting that he was missing out on while he was carving.
He placed the carved turkey pieces right in the insert of the roaster and we filled it halfway with the juices from the bird (reserving the rest for gravy). We roasted a 20 pound turkey and all but a small bowl of it fit inside the 6 quart roaster (there were two layers). Once the turkey had cooled, we placed it in the fridge.
The next day, I set the insert back in the roaster (with the lid on) two hours before we were planning to eat and set the temperature for 250 degrees. Once I could tell it was heated through, I turned it back a bit. The turkey was so nice and moist. We are definitely going to do it this way again. A big bonus is that it frees up oven space on the big day as well...and boy did we use it! Here's what we had (please remember this wasn't all me)!
streuseled sweet potatoes (recipe to come)
green bean casserole
mashed potatoes (made by my cousin's 12-year-old son- they were awesome!)
brie and cranberries with crackers
chocolate swirl cheesecake
chocolate pecan pie (recipe to come)
vanilla ice cream
sugared cranberries (recipe to come)
To God be the glory, great things He has done. Pin It