Simply Thanksgiving part three

All right, you've got some tunes, you prepped your veggies, made your stock - what next? Last minute decoration ideas, check out my past Thanksgiving posts. My favorite decoration - I threaded fake leaves from the dollar store onto thread and taped it to the wall. Iit moves gently sometimes, it looks pretty, I just love it. Just imagine it on the wall behind the head of your Thanksgiving table.

And now it's time to roll up your sleeves and get to work. If you've prepped all your veggies, this will be a cinch. Just sauteing and watching things cook. *you might want to reference real recipes besides my vague descriptions following, just in case. But the idea of cooking and timing the dishes should work out the same.

Essentially: we're making the cream of mushroom soup, sauteing the stuffing veggies, boiling/mashing/seasoning our mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes like so:

1. (preheat oven for roasted sweet potatoes if not, go on to) Saute mushrooms/onions/garlic for soup

2. Saute stuffing veggies

3. Put pots of water on to boil for potatoes and sweet potatoes, if room and/or willing to do all that. (I suggest at least boiling the tubers tonight) if roasting sweet potatoes, get them seasoned and prepped according to recipe. Start peeling the potatoes.

4. Season the veggies.

5. Water might be boiling by now, if you're mushrooms are soft, let the water boil and continue with the soup. If the mushrooms are still cooking, keep working on getting your potatoes peeled and cut so you can boil them.

6. Veggies probably done, turn off and let cool. Make your cream of mushroom soup.

7. If anything, finish up your potato prep while cream of mushroom soup is simmering.

8. Turn off soup once it's simmered enough and finish up your mashes.

9. See you tomorrow for the final countdown.

Now for the detailed instructions:

if you're roasting sweet potatoes instead of making mashed marshmallow yumminess

preheat your oven to 425 or whatever your recipe says. During down time of mushrooms and veggies, get your sweet potatoes  tossed and ready to go in so you can just pop them in the oven it's ready.

Now get your cream of mushroom soup going

First, grab a pot big enough for your cream of mushroom soup. Melt 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat, adding the equivalent of olive oil. When it's heated, add the mushrooms and begin sauteing. Add that onion and garlic you chopped yesterday.

Time to saute the stuffing veggies

If possible, heat up a skillet big enough for your stuffing veggies. I do about the same butter/olive oil for my stuffing veggies, once heated, add the veggies and saute. You can check between the two sautes, making sure it's not browning or sticking, stirring occasionally. By the way, I say stuffing, but I never stuff my turkey because you have to be so careful with that - it's technically dressing but that just sounds weird. So I say stuffing, even though I just stuff it into a 9x13 or slow cooker.

Stuffing and green beans continued

As the stuffing veggies are cooking, add the herbs. 2 T. sage, 1 T. parsley, 1/2 t savory, 1 t. rosemary, 1 t. thyme, 1 t. oregano and 2 t. salt. Once the veggies are soft, you are good until tomorrow. Cool and refrigerate.

 Once the mushrooms are soft and cooked turn to a little under medium heat, grab your flour and measure out 2 cups milk - DON'T ADD YET. Stir in 1 T. flour to your mushrooms, it'll get all clumpy and keep stirring until you don't see any powdery flour. Gradually stir in milk, then add 2 cups broth. Toss in a bay leaf and bring to simmer. Season with salt and pepper. Let simmer 15-20 minutes. Cool and refrigerate.

Meanwhile back on the range...

While veggies are cooking, and you're willing to keep cooking, get a pot of water big enough to hold however many potatoes you're cooking and bring to a boil. While it's getting to boiling, and you're watching your other veggies, peel, rinse and quarter your potatoes. The smaller potato pieces you boil, the quicker it cooks, but you don't want to go crazy either. 2-3 inch pieces are about 15 minutes of boiling I think. I always lose track of time. Drain potatoes, turn heat to medium low, add a couple tablespoons butter and add potatoes back to pan, add a bit of milk, and start mashing. Add milk until they reach a good consistency. Immersion blenders not recommended for mashed potatoes because it will get all gummy and you want a little texture to potatoes.

If you're making marshmallow yummy potatoes

and you have enough room, you can put another pot large enough to hold the water covering the amount of sweet potatoes you are boiling on another burner and get the water boiling. Dump in the sweet potatoes and boil until tender. (again depends on how big the chunks you cut are) Once soft, drain, and bring back to pan. Add a little molasses, maple syrup, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, a pinch of clove, a pinch of salt and use orange juice to give it that smooth texture instead of milk. Or a combo of the two. A fun twist, coconut milk and/or orange juice would be fun too. Anyway, now spread in a casserole, cool a bit, cover and refrigerate.

There. You have prepped for Thanksgiving. Do you have your serving dishes and ware picked out and washed yet? Make sure you take the time to at least get a game plan! I'll write another post this evening about what to do tomorrow, and you'll be all set. Just assembly, put together your veggie tray and shabam! Oh, wait, go ahead and whip together that veggie dip tonight if you have the energy, otherwise, it'll take two shakes tomorrow. Let's all go relax and have some tea or wine and watch Home for the Holidays, shall we?