Its our last weekend day, so let’s make it count! Day 3 is prep day.
Now that your pantry and fridge are stocked with everything you need, including your tools, linens, and decor, it’s time to get started on the preparations. I have found that the element of cooking that takes the longest is the cleaning, chopping and prep of vegetables. About 3-4 days away from the holiday is free and clear of any potential mold or damaged goods, so go ahead and get most of the work out of the way.
Here’s what’s on my chopping block:
- The brine. Since I’ve decided to brine the turkey this year, prepping all of the vegetables and dry ingredients now will save me tons of time. I’ll be soaking the bird on Wednesday after work to sit overnight. After prepping today, my hands on work this week will only include putting the bird in a pot, adding the brine ingredients and covering with water. All of 5-10 minutes.
- The vegetable side(s). Remember, this one we decided as a group to outsource, so I am simply filling in the areas that are must haves. This leaves making a potato dish and a caramelized carrots & peas dish. The potatoes will have to be prepped the day of, that’s one veggie that won’t maintain freshness for multiple days, even if you keep them soaking in water. The carrots, on the other hand, can be cleaned and chopped up with a few onions, herbs and minced garlic in a ziplock bag. On the day of, simply prep your pan, pour in the veggies, and you’re good to go!
- The pie. While I advocate purchasing pie as much as possible to save you time, I can’t help myself when it comes to Pecan Pie. I have to make this myself and justify that with the fact that it’s a super easy recipe. I know many of you out there might feel the same, so help yourself out this week by prepping ahead. I’ll save myself time this week by prepping my dough today and chopping pecans. Come Wednesday, all that’s left is rolling the dough, popping the filling ingredients in the mixer, pouring it in and prepping for the oven. Baking it the day before will allow the ingredients to settle after the pie cools.
- Appetizers. For my menu, my homemade onion dip requires onions to be sautéed ahead of time and completely cooled. Knowing this during my menu and recipe planning stage helps me to know that I can prep those onions today and seal them in an airtight container in the refrigerator until its time to assemble the dip. That’s a lot of time I’ve eliminated after work one night this week, plus makes whipping up this super yum dip a sinch last minute! Check out the recipe here.
If you prep it all right, the items above should take you no more than about 2-4 hours today, depending on how much more you have to make on your menu. If you’re taking on more than just a couple sides, make sure to get those veggies prepped as much as possible, sealed in an airtight bag in the refrigerator. When the day of hits, you’ll literally be pouring bags into pans to sauté or roast. That’s more time for you this week!
Send me your questions! If you have a specific recipe that you’re not sure how much you can prep ahead, post a comment below! I’ll be here all week to help you with those last minute questions and tips. Happy prepping!
A votre santé!