Holiday Cooking Tips and a Fruity Tradition
Can you believe the holidays are sneaking up on us so fast this year?! I love this time of year because it means fun with family and really good food. In my husband's family, we each bring at least two things. It's a big family, so the more the better. Every year my sister-in-law sends an email asking what we are bringing. I remember the first year she did this. I believe she said she was bringing fruit salad. The next year, it was fruit salad and green bean casserole. What's funny is that this girl couldn't cook to save her life in her early years so I'm quite proud of how far she's come. She did it with plenty of help from family and all the cooking tips she could find.
I thought it would be fun to share some cooking tips to prepare you for the holiday cooking season. I know they've helped me and my sister-in-law and I know they'll help you! And if you have any of your own to share, please do so in the comments.
* Put the ham in the oven on a pretty low temp prior to going to bed the night before Thanksgiving. Then roast your turkey in the morning. The ham is always juicy and never dry because it cooked slow and low.
* Cover a turkey with cheesecloth soaked in melted butter or olive oil, and it will baste itself! Remove it during the last 30 minutes of baking to let the skin get brown.
* Green Bean Casserole tip…I cook the green bean casserole in my crock pot. I mix in some French onions for flavor. I brown some of the onions in the toaster oven for a crispy garnish on the top; or place the crispy onions in a bowl for each person to sprinkle on their own serving.
* Have little ones help decorate the table. (Not-so-little-ones may enjoy it, too.) Purchase a plain, light-colored tablecloth of the paper variety. Avoid the type which has plastic coating - cheap paper works best. Then, set out markers and crayons (be sure the markers won't run through the tablecloth) for everyone to decorate the table before dinner. It’ll make a pleasing sight while eating. Try adding some order to the decoration. Have each person decorate his/her place setting. Draw placemats at the seats and have each person sign his/her name and decorate the “placemat.” If you’re brave, purchase a plain cloth tablecloth and Sharpie markers. Then, ask each guest to sign the tablecloth and write what he/she is thankful for, or a message to the hostess. It’ll make a nice keepsake for each year, and it can be washed without losing the signatures. (If only the same could be said about the gravy stain!)
* Invite someone to your feast that would have otherwise spent the Holiday alone! This can be a very depressing time of year for SO many people.
* When carving pumpkins for pie, don’t throw out the seeds! Wash off the gooey stuff, spread on a cookie sheet, sprinkle with Lawry’s (seasoning) salt and bake at 375 for about 10 minutes. Makes a great snack.
And one fun fruity family tradition I do welcome is the basket full of fruit, courtesy of my parents. They bring one every year and it’s refreshing to have something healthy around to eat and a good distraction for my toddler’s craving of more sugar cookies! They also bring an assortment of nuts so it’s all good! OH, and they always bring it in such a lovely basket, for a beautiful presentation. Of course, I didn’t get the basket in the picture, but I assure you it’s lovely. Would love to hear your traditions!
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