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November 6, 2012

Countdown to Thanksgiving and Cranberry Chutney two ways

I find this guide helpful in remembering the many details during this busy time of preparing for Thanksgiving.

For me, it means fewer “To Do” lists taped to my refrigerator. And it might give you some ideas as well.

Six-Day Countdown

(Helpful if cooking for a crowd)

6. Clean china, silverware, tablecloth to ready for use. Clean out refrigerator and freezer, you will need the space. Make place cards; decide on centerpiece

5. Write shopping list; purchase non-perishables, wines. Arrange for rented or borrowed chairs if needed.

4. Make pie dough. Form into discs, tightly wrap in plastic and refrigerate in covered container. If cooking a frozen turkey, pick it up now as defrosting can take up to 3 days in refrigerator depending upon size.

3. If possible, set table now. This frees up time on Thanksgiving Day and helps you to have it just the way you would like it. Assemble serving pieces; gravy bowl, vegetable bowls, platters, spoons, etc. Buy any remaining ingredients. If making, prepare cranberry sauce or chutney. Prepare cheese ball. Considering your menu and recipes, save time by chopping ahead onions, celery, nuts, and the like, and keeping in tightly covered containers in a cool place.

2. Finish anything not done from above. Last-minute cleaning.

1. Day before: early in day make pies. Peel vegetables such as sweet potatoes, butternut squash, turnip, and keep in cold water in a cool place. Prepare any dishes that can be cooked today and reheated tomorrow (such as stuffed acorn squash). Prepare stuffing for turkey and keep refrigerated.

Thanksgiving: Stuff turkey and get into oven at decided time. Peel and cut potatoes; keep in a pot of cold water. Prepare appetizers and side vegetables. Make gravy.

Finally, relax and enjoy the day!

This chutney was in my Thanksgiving column several years ago. According to the many emails I received, it is one of the most well-liked recipes. Several readers have let me know that it is now an annual tradition and included in their holiday menus.

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