I don’t really believe it, but Thanksgiving is next week. This holiday has completely snuck up on me. Thankfully I don’t have any major responsibilities for the day. In years past my sister Molly and I have volunteered to make macaroni and cheese, which my mother said, “we don’t need this year.” Probably because we double the recipe and take up valuable real estate in the oven. This stresses my mom out.
There’s only so much space in the oven and sooooo many things that need to be warm and ready all at the same time. Plus a giant bird. To actually get everything at the optimal temperate at once, and then to get everyone to sit down for dinner simultaneously is really a tremendous feat.
For all those facing a similar task next week, here are a few ways to get a head start on the day – 101 dishes that you can make in advance and even serve cold.
Mom, sign me up for one of these….
28. Toss cooked Israeli couscous with toasted pecans, orange zest and juice, chopped mint, cider vinegar and honey. Bake in an oiled dish or use as stuffing.
41. Toss chunks of sweet potato and 2-inch lengths of scallion with neutral or peanut oil. (Again, a little sesame oil helps.) Roast, turning as necessary, until nicely caramelized; drizzle with soy.
43. Toss chunks of butternut squash with butter and curry powder. Roast until half-tender, then stir in chunks of apple and some maple syrup. Cook, shaking the pan occasionally, until everything is nicely browned and tender.
50. Cook chopped onions in olive oil until soft. Add chopped spinach and a handful of raisins — maybe a little port, too — and cook until wilted and almost dry. Roasted pine nuts are good on top.