Preparing for a Feast

We're going to be home, just the four of us, for Thanksgiving. I bought a smallish turkey (11 lbs), the smallest I could find anyway. And I got ingredients to make deviled eggs, cranberry salad, green bean casserole, cornbread dressing, pumpkin pie, sweet potato casserole (at Jane's request) and mashed potatoes & gravy.

On Monday we got an invitation to come to Thanksgiving at a church friend's house. Regular Mari's knee-jerk reaction was NO. I've planned, I'm cooking and I want to have the leftovers. But after talking to Shawn and then Jane, and finding out they both definitely wanted to go I decided "OK."

Look at me being flexible! (HAHAHAHAHAHAHA)

When I told our host that yes, we'd like to come, but I that already bought a turkey, she said to bring it and she would be glad to not have to make one! (She will have ham, sides and desserts.) In my reply I said OK, and that I would also have to bring the dressing and cranberry salad (can't eat turkey without dressing, and the cranberries are fresh so they wouldn't keep -- although can you freeze berries? Maybe so). Then I told her the other things (minus the deviled eggs!) I'd been planning to make and she said to bring all those too.

My little sous chefs!
SO, now I am halfway through my Thanksgiving feast preparations, AND I have to figure out how to transport them all. Today I did the deviled eggs and pumpkin pies (both with help from Jane, who is 7 and able to actually be helpful -- although our kitchen is much to small for more than one cook), sweet potato casserole, cranberry salad and cornbread dressing. I took zero pictures of the food -- before, during or after. Hrm. Looking back looks like the last time I took pictures of food was 2015. Can't imagine why...

At first I thought I would use one of the many delivery boxes we've got and stack the casseroles with cardboard between. I may still use a carton for the turkey (which I'm debating carving here for ease of transport and I've NEVER made a beautiful bird), but I pulled out my casserole carriers and I happen to have 3, one of which is a double, so I think I can carry the sweet potato casserole, dressing, green bean casserole and mashed potatoes (I guess I'll put them in a casserole dish too). I'm mostly using my disposable pans, although my cranberry salad is in Shawn's grandma's bowl as usual. I can probably put the sliced up turkey into another disposable casserole pan, but I'd have to put it in a box/carton to carry it. The pie and cranberry salad will have to be separate. Oh, and I plan to whip cream so I'll need a way to carry it. I wish I had a thermos to carry the gravy (either making it or warming from a jar -- although maybe if I do the jar I can just do that at the hosts' house).

The meal will be at 3, which is a weird time for us with kids. Usually I make my meal about noon, just as the parade is ending. So I plan to serve deviled eggs and pigs-in-a-blanket (both Shawn's faves) around 11 to tide us over to the big meal at 3. Livia will be able to take her nap while I finish up everything.

After the turkey roasts I need at least an hour to bake the other things (dressing, sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole), so the turkey needs to come out by 1:45 at the latest. (Our hosts' house is about 15 minutes away and we should probably get there a little before the meal starts since we're bringing a lot of food!) If it takes 3 hours to cook that means it needs to go in at 10:45, so I'll probably try to put it in at 10:15. That's much better than waking up to put it in at 7! My oven can hold the three casseroles at once so they can bake together. The disposable pans mean they need cookie sheets under them, so I should probably double check that I can fit that many in. I'll have to use the toaster oven for the pigs-in-a-blanket, so I'm glad I have that as an option.

Wish me luck - GOBBLE GOBBLE.

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