Okay, the subject is misleading. I didn’t actually create a Gantt chart in order to make the Feast happen today. But Sandra and I came pretty close.
A few days ago we asked ourselves what we wanted to eat, and answered the question in writing with lots of detail. Right down to the candied walnuts, the fudge, and the little trimmings. Then we looked at which of those items could be (or HAD to be) prepared in advance of The Big Day, and put together a schedule.
Then we looked at our counter-depth fridge (counter-depth = less room inside) and came up with a plan for eating what was already there, so there’d be room for pies, martinelli’s, and other advance purchase or advance preparation items.
Cut to the chase…
Today’s schedule was TIGHT. Between 8:00am and 9:00am we had to cook breakfast (Raisin-bread french toast with bacon). At 9:00am we had to get going on the turkey, which meant prepping and stuffing the bird, loading it into the roasting pan, and starting the nigh-on-four-hours timer. By the time we finished that, there was a load of dishes to be run, and the bread machine had to be loaded up and set on “bread dough” mode so we could have dinner rolls. From there I prepped the mashed potatos, the whipped cream (two kinds: plain sweet, and cinnamon), and the sweet potatos.
That took until roughly 11:30. I got a break then. Nice. Just in time to unload and reload the dishwasher.
By the time the bird came out of the oven, there were loads of little, order-dependent things that had to be done. The extra stuffing and the sweet potatos had to go into the oven. The bread dough had to be laid out like dinner rolls. The lettuce needed to be rendered into a salad. The mashed potatos needed to be reheated… all this while a 10 pound turkey carcass was dominating the counter. THAT had to be plattered and covered, and then the drippings turned into gravy.
Right about the time the gravy was done the rolls went into the oven. The rolls were the last thing to cook, and when they came back OUT of the oven the spread looked pretty impressive.
In order to make room for it, I was already doing dishes. Sandra had to retake the picture I haven’t posted yet because I was standing on a counter in the background putting the turkey roasting pan back on top of the cupboards where it can languish for another year or so.
Looking back on the whole operation it was loads of fun. It may have been tightly scheduled, but it really wasn’t all that HECTIC, because we knew what needed to start when. There was no guesswork, there were no holes through which one meal item or another could fall through (unless you count the gap in the middle of the makeshift table for the kids through which Sandra cleverly poured Gleek’s glass of Tang).
Then we ate.
Then I got right on the leftovers project, and started loading up the fridge again. Our planning paid off nicely. Not only did everything fit, there’s room for us to put in some more milk when we run out during the middle of the day on Friday.
I like Thanksgiving. The food is great, having family around is wonderful, and there’s this massively complicated PROJECT I can bring my mad cooxxorz skillz to bear on.