TIP: Getting Organized: Several days before the big meal, Sara Moulton says to pull out all the platters and plates that you will need for the dinner and label them. The last thing you need to do when you are trying to get dinner on the table is to be thinking about what dish goes on what plate!
TIP: Secret to Great Gravy! As you plan for Thanksgiving cooking, Sara Moulton says to pre-make your pan gravy two to three days ahead to cross one more thing off your check list. The basic formula for gravy is:
For every cup of chicken broth, melt 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter in a saucepan, add 1 1/2 tablespoons flour and cook, whisking, for 3 minutes. Whisk in the chicken broth, bring to a boil and simmer for 1 minute for every tablespoon of flour. Cool and refrigerate.
On Thanksgiving day, transfer the turkey from the roasting pan to a platter and let it rest, covered loosely with foil. Pour off the drippings from the pan into a fat separator. Deglaze the roasting pan with the liquid (not the fat) from the fat separator, scraping up the brown bits. Add the pre-made gravy, bring to a boil and simmer until the desired consistency is reached.
TIP: Best Brussels Sprouts Recipe! If you love brussels sprouts but you have guests or family coming who hate them, Sara Moulton suggests cooking them this way: trim the sprouts and then put them through the slicing disk of your food processor. Heat up a large skillet with either olive, vegetable oil or half butter and oil until hot. Add the shredded sprouts in one layer and cook them over moderately high heat, stirring frequently, until they are just tender. Flavor with toasted walnuts, pine nuts or pecans, a squeeze of lemon or lime and salt and pepper to taste.
CLICK HERE for Sara's recips for Brussels Sprouts With Pancetta!
TIP: Start Your Food Prep Early! Sara Moulton says that even though it is several weeks before the big day, start preparing Thanksgiving food now. There are many items that you can make ahead and freeze, such as pie dough, vegetable purees, chicken stock for the gravy, and cranberry sauce. The less you have to do on the day of Thanksgiving, the better. CLICK HERE for more great Thanksgiving cooking tips from Sara!
TIP: Choose Airport and Flights Wisely The Air Transport Association estimates that 24 million people will travel on U.S. airlines over Thanksgiving period, a 3.5 percent increase from last year. To save on your holiday air travel, Rick Seaney, the CEO of FareCompare.com says to choose a cheaper airport -- typically a hub or one at a larger city near you. Also consider connecting flights and compare prices with nonstops. You can also carry-on your bags to avoid bag fees or fly JetBlue or Southwest for free checked-bags.
TIP: Be Flexible About Travel Plans Around Thanksgiving and throughout the holiday season, Seaney also says to be as flexible in your travel plans as possible. Fly during the cheapest time of day. An overnight flight will typically cost less than a 9 a.m. flight, and it's also generally cheaper to catch a plane at dawn.CLICK HERE for more holiday travel tips from Rick Seaney, and check back everyday for more Thanksgiving tips!