Monday, November 15, 2010

Tips for Thanksgiving

The chefs of Xanterra, the outfit that manages the resorts and lodges at many of our nation's favorite parks, have offered their tips and even better, recipes for cooking and enjoying this holiday for grateful gluttons.

I'll start with the tips today and follow later with some not so traditional recipes.

Chef tips

"Soup always tastes better on the second day so go ahead and make it the day before Thanksgiving," says Mat McTigue, executive chef at the Grand Canyon.

"Pull out and wash your china and silver several days before Thanksgiving." Kenneth Diederich, regional executive chef, Salt Fork State Park Lodge, Ohio.

If using a frozen turkey, take it out of the freezer at least a week in advance [note: keep it in the fridge]. If you are into all things natural and organic, choose a fresh Heritage turkey, advises Chef Peter Pahk, senior executive chef at Kingsmill Resort. This is not for procrastinators: you must have your Thanksgiving orders in by June.

Chef Michelle "Mike" Hanson at Furnace Creek Resort, Death Valley National Park makes her family a breakfast casserole "so the family has something to eat for breakfast and isn't picking at all the stuff I'm making for dinner."

Have plenty of food storage containers on hand before the feast and clean out your refrigerator before shopping.

Consider asking guests to bring a dish. "I am a big fan of potluck," said Chef Pahk. "It makes it easier on the host and guests get to show off their own Thanksgiving specialties."

Chef Mike sets out the food buffet style.

If you are still daunted by feeding friends and family, consider the advice from Chef Diederich. "Go to someone else's house so you don't have a mess to clean up. And be sure to take along plenty of good storage containers."

Whether you'd rather do it yourself or are lucky enough to have a generous hostess [Thank you, cousin Gloria],  the next post will have some recipes for the gobbling day.

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