Thanksgiving is my husband’s favorite holiday. He loves to sit with the menfolk and eat and drink and eat some more and maybe have a glass of scotch and share a cigar with the boys. It’s their “Man Tradition”. Sounds lovely right? While us women in the family are busily prepping and chopping and dicing and cooking and plating and refilling everything THE ENTIRE DAY. And then we get to clean while the husband hurriedly packs the car and always forget something. It’s my least favorite holiday.
Okay, okay maybe not least, but definitely not on the top of my list… amirite ladies?
Well this year for Thanksgiving, we’re skipping pretty much of all the hullabaloo and going to Disneyland, because I am on strike and a big fat smoked turkey leg and a Matterhorn Macaroon sounds A-MAH-ZING.
But I know that even though we’re getting home super late Wednesday night, my husband is going to expect some sort of foodie thing on Thursday and I need to be ready. So I need to prep everything on Monday to make my Thursday go as smoothly as possible. Sound familiar?
And I know even though my Thanksgiving is going to be pretty low key, maybe yours won’t be… so I wanted to share some Thanksgiving prep ideas so you can find time to sit and enjoy Thanksgiving too! Enjoy!
Prep Veggies Days Before
You can wash, peel, chop and dice everything a few days before! You can place them all in Hefty Slider Bags to keep them fresh in the fridge and save yourself A TON of time on the big day. Use a different bag for each dish – apples, celery and onions for stuffing, potatoes for mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes for my amazing Sweet Potato Casserole. You might feel crazy prepping it days before, but you’ll save hours the day of.
Roast Your Turkey the Night Before
You can free up a lot of oven space by roasting your turkey the night before and reheating it after slicing it and before serving. Simmering in turkey stock will help reheat it without drying out the meat.
Freeze Pies and Bake the Day Of
Fruit pies do insanely well being frozen and thawed an hour before baking. Try my apple crumb pie (recipe below) and I promise you’ll have everyone begging for the recipe! It freezes beautifully, or cook it the day before and pop it into a warm oven for 15 minutes before serving for a warmed up pie!
Prep Dishes the Day Before
Both Stuffing and Casseroles can be made the day before and cooked in the oven prior to dinner being served. If you’re going to party, bringing these dishes can eliminate unneeded prep in an unfamiliar kitchen and save lots of cramped kitchen counter space.
Plan for Leftovers
Grab some Hefty Storage Bags to have on hand to send people home with leftovers! If you’re having a HUGE party, there is not going to be much space in your fridge to keep it all in there after it’s over. Similarly, if you’re going to a party and never get to have leftovers, bring a few bags with you to take some leftovers home in!
The BEST Apple Crumb Pie You’ll EVER Eat!
We recently went Apple Picking and got a TON of apples. Clearly making a pie was in the works and my pie is seriously the best thing ever. It freezes well and is a great addition to any Thanksgiving dessert table – y’all know how much I prefer apples over pumpkin in the fall!
- 1 Pie Crust (Store bought or your favorite recipe)
- 8 Medium Sized Apples (We used Pippin and Honey Crisp)
- ¼ cup Brown Sugar
- ¼ cup White Sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- ***For the Crumb Topping***
- 4 tbsp butter
- ½ cup flour
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup white sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- Start by prepping your apples. (I like to leave the skins on for extra color and fiber, but peel if you'd like.)
- Core the apples and thinly slice them and place them all in a large bowl.
- In a large, deep pan on the stove, add the butter and melt. Add all of your apples to the melted butter.
- Add sugars, salt and cinnamon to the apples and with a spatula, toss everything gently over medium heat.
- After about 5 minutes the apples will begin to release their juices. Continue stirring occasionally, another 5-10 minutes until most of the juices have been extracted from the apples.
- Set a colander over a large heat safe bowl and pour the apples and sugar juice mixture into it. Let the apples completely drain.
- Pour the sugar juice mixture back into the pan and continue to cook over medium heat until it reduces and thickens slightly.
- Place the apples into the prepared pie crust, spreading out evenly.
- Once the juice mixture has reduced a bit, add vanilla and a cornstarch slurry (mixing it with a bit of water so it doesn't clump) and cook until very thick. (Should be the same consistency as caramel)
- Pour the thickened "caramel" mixture over the apples in the pie crust and top with crumb topping.
- Cook in a 350* oven about 20-30 minutes. When the top is golden brown remove from oven and let cool.
- ***For the Crumb Topping***
- Cut the butter into small cubes and place in a bowl with remaining ingredients.
- Using your hands mix everything together until it resembles coarse meal.
- Sprinkle over the top of the filled pie.
Check out this great Infographic from Hefty to help you navigate the Thanksgiving timeline and save you precious time!
Here are some fun activities for the kid’s table this year!
Have Hefty help you this Thanksgiving with their entire line of helpful home solution products.