Living in St Andrews, it’s hard to imagine a world without Americans, and no less difficult to imagine life without Thanksgiving. If you’re looking to celebrate with our friends from across the pond this Thursday, here’s what not to do.

1.  Don’t start without making a plan
This sounds lame, but if you manage to plan in advance on who is coming, and who will bring what, it’s much easier to configure everything on the night. Besides, if anything goes wrong, you’re not entirely to blame. Think about what can be made in advance, apart from the turkey, a good majority of the dishes will survive a day in the fridge.

2.  Don’t do everything yourself!
Pot-luck style Thanksgiving is great; it reduces costs for everyone and is less stressful and time-consuming for you!

3. Don’t end up with too many dishes that all need to be in the oven at the last minute
This is probably the biggest mistake, and the easiest one to make. Be aware that the turkey will probably be taking up most of the oven space; so make other dishes in advance and make use of the stove and microwave. While the turkey is resting prior to carving, there’ll be time to put completely oven-needy dishes into the oven!

4. Under-cook the turkey!
Nobody likes the thought of underdone poultry. This one is easy to solve: buy a thermometer. They’re not expensive and you can pick one up in the cook shop. The thickest part of the meat should be at 165F before you consider it done.

5. Over-cook the turkey!
Breast meat and leg meat will cook at different speeds, so be sure to cover the breast with some tin foil to slow down cooking and keep moisture in. And if you use a thermometer, you shouldn’t encounter any overcooking.

6. Forgetting to use the pan juices in the gravy
Skim the fat off the top and use the pan juices… they’re full of flavour!

So get planning and inviting, it’s nearly Thanksgiving…

 

Photo credit: Wiki commons

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