This year we are hosting Thanksgiving for both sides of our family. There will be 18 people here for lunch (Counting the 6 in my own house.). I decided that I wanted to make as much food ahead of time as possible. I am not cooking all of the food, but I am cooking enough that I knew I didn’t want to do it all on Thanksgiving Day or even the day before when I will be tidying up the house.
I thought I would share a few recipes with you today of the foods I was able to make ahead and freeze. There are still a few things I will make in the next two days, but I think doing this much ahead will be a blessing.
1 tsp. Vanilla
½ Cup Sugar
1/3 Cup Melted Butter
1 Cup Brown Sugar
1/3 Cup Melted Butter
1 Cup Pecans
1/3 Cup Flour
1 Cup Coconut
Mix the first 5 ingredients. Pour into bottom of a greased 9”x13” casserole dish. Mix topping ingredients. Crumble over top of sweet potato mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes.
I froze the casserole uncooked. I made two of these a couple of weeks ago-one for our church dinner yesterday and one for Thanksgiving. It took a day to thaw the casserole in the refrigerator and then I cooked it as normal. I think it worked well.
Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes
10 Large Potatoes (peeled and quartered)
1 Cup (8 oz.) Sour Cream
1 Package (8 oz.) Cream Cheese
4 Tbsp. Butter plus 2 additional Tbsp. Melted Butter
2 Tbsp. Dried Minced Onion
1 tsp. Salt
Cook potatoes for 20-25 minutes or until tender. Drain and place in a mixing bowl. Mash potatoes. Add sour cream, cream cheese, butter, onion and salt. Beat until smooth. Spread into a greased 9″ x 13″ baking dish.
Melt 2 Tbsp. butter and drizzle over potatoes. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes covered. Remove cover and bake 20 more minutes.
This recipe is one that my mom has used for years, but this is the first time I have tried it. To make the batch for Thanksgiving I doubled the recipe, used 10 pounds of potatoes, and put everything in a 5 quart baking dish. I froze the potatoes and am hopeful that they will be as good as they are when my mom makes them. I think I will enjoy not mashing potatoes Thursday and instead be able to visit with everyone.
I don’t really have a recipe for making turkey ahead, but I have a procedure. Basically, I cook and debone my turkey. Then I place the turkey in a baking dish and cover the meat with broth. I put it in the freezer and thaw it in the refrigerator. The turkey stays moist because of the broth.
Green Bean Casserole
3 Cans Green Beans (Approximately 6 Cups)
1 Can Cream of Mushroom Soup
3/4 Cup Milk
Dash of Pepper
3 oz. French Fried Onions (Approximately 1 1/2 Cups)
Combine all ingredients, except onions, in a casserole dish. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove from oven and stir. Top with onions and bake 5 more minutes.
I made a double batch of this and froze it without the onions on top. I am hopeful that it will turn out well since I have never frozen green bean casserole before.
In addition to the recipes I have posted above I will be making corn, persimmon pudding, an allergy-free pumpkin cake, whole wheat butterhorns, sweet tea, and lemonade.
What will you be making for Thanksgiving? Do you like to cook things ahead of time or do all of the cooking that day?