6 Last-Minute Hacks for a Stress-Free Thanksgiving
When Thanksgiving is just days away, all those "how am I going to get this all done?" anxieties inevitably start to kick in. But before you start agonizing over a dozen things at once, we might have a few solutions right here for you:
1. No rack? No problem.
Use large carrots and celery sticks as a makeshift rack on which to cook your turkey. This is especially helpful if you're using one of those aluminum disposable pans, which don't come with a rack. Fun fact: We discovered this tip in our November 1986 issue while researching fun tidbits for our 130th birthday issue!
2. Get a head start on those spuds.
Peel potatoes for mashed potatoes hours ahead of time (or even the night before) and leave them in a mixture of lemon slices and water in a salad spinner with the cover on. When it's time to boil the potatoes, just pull up on the inner basket and they drain themselves. Toss the lemon, add the potatoes to a pot of water and you're good to go.
3. Kitchen shears are your secret weapon.
Use them for more than cutting butchers' twine and opening bags of pecans. You can quickly cut green beans, snip herbs, and trim excess fat off of the raw turkey.
4. You don't need a food processor to make pie dough.
Place flour in a pie plate and, using a box grater, grate frozen butter into the flour. You get the perfect little "pea-sized" crumbs that every recipe is talking about, no pastry cutter, butter knives, food processor, or sweating necessary.
5. Put your melon baller to work on apples.
Yep, you can use a melon baller to core apples for pie. You won't mangle the fruit and even little kids could help. It also works for pears, which are often too soft to core with a corer.
6. Salt is the key to chilling wine faster.
Put a handful of salt in a bucket of water and ice to chill wine in a fraction of the time. The salt allows the mixture of ice and water to be colder than just ice and water alone, plus the water is a more efficient conductor of cold than just ice.