Monday, October 22, 2012

Susan's Simple Turkey Dinner Menu

 
The older I get, the more I rely on lists and the written word. While I was preparing dinner for friends on Saturday, I got the idea that I should start a section on this blog dedicated just for menus. As I put together dinner parties, I can record what worked well and then rely on this blog to jog my memory the next time I have a party. So here is my first installment.
THE BASICS:
Turkey, fruit salad, pies, mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, corn, whole wheat rolls, cranberry sauce, green olives, cheese & crackers. 
 
Turkey:   Putting together a turkey dinner isn't hard but it is time consuming. And so worth it.
 
First, find the turkey you want. I like to thaw mine in a sink full of water. You can thaw a turkey in the fridge but it takes about 3 days.  I go in for the cheap birds. Turkey is turkey, to me. What I do with it after the party is make it into different dishes and believe me, nobody knows it's not a Butterball when I get done with it.
 
Next, think about what time you are going to serve dinner and count backwards to figure out what time you gotta stick that bird in the oven. I add an extra 30 minutes to that because sometimes the bird doesn't cook as fast as I think it should plus you gotta let it "rest" when it comes out of the oven before you can carve it. I really like to serve meals when I say I'm gonna serve them. 
 
Pies:  Pecan pie and a berry pie. Pumpkin, if you must.
 
Fruit Salad: Pineapple, grapes (red & green), kiwi fruit, oranges, and one lime just for fun.  No whip cream. Just fruit. It's refreshing!
 
Deviled Eggs:  They are so easy to make that it would be a crying shame to leave them out.
 
Mashed Potatoes:  Make the real ones. They are so easy to make.  And be sure to make extra so you have enough leftovers for a day or two.
 
Stuffing: I'm terrible at making stuffing so I use Stove Top right out of the box. Perhaps this is something I'll work on this year.
 
Other Stuff:  Green olives, cute little cut-up pieces of cheddar cheese and Triscuits. Whole wheat rolls. Real butter.
 
Optional:  If I have time, I like to make ham roll-ups for an appetizer.
 
Drinks:  I try to find out what kind of beverages my guests like and have that on-hand. If nothing else, Cranberry Cocktail Juice is nice. Don't forget to buy ice if you don't have an ice-maker.
 
Coffee:  It's nice to have a pot coffee ready to brew to go with the pie.
 
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Notes: 10/20/12 Dinner went well. I used my big 3-pot crock pot to keep the potatoes, stuffing and gravy hot and a small crock for the corn. Worked very well.

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