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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone...

I know this may be a bit early, but I'd like some suggestions on
simplifying Christmas dinner for 2011.

I host dinner for 14+ people each year, and we eat at approximately
5:30-6:00. By the time dinner is finished, and all is put away, and
dishes are done, it is almost 8:30. I am bushed. We then move to
the living room where we play board games, but I can hardly keep
my eyes open, and I never get time to visit with anyone. And, of
course preparations start 3 or 4 days before Christmas.

Tell me what you think of this for simplifying...what if I cook my
turkey 2 days before Christmas, and pre-slice it...do you think I could re-heat the slices in my crock pot (maybe dressing on top)
on Christmas morning until dinner? Would this work? That's the
biggest part of the meal out of the way. Throw in a couple of
pre-made casserole type potato and veggie things in the oven and
I would be good to go?

Any and all suggestions would truly be appreciated, because I want
to stay awake and enjoy my guests when Christmas 2011 rolls in!!

Thanks in advance...............Carol
 

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do u get any kind of help? either cleaning or prep.. have guest bring something.. like a cake or pie,

i couldnt imagine being a guest and not atleast offering to help.. at my bff's and her moms house i just get up and do it.. often as go during the nite..
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hey grneyegrl..........

Thanks for your reply!

Yes, I do have lots of help, but when you're mashing potatoes,
and turnips, and making gravy and heating buns and....you see
where this is going...we are all tripping over each other in the
kitchen!

Family brings salads, dinner rolls, deserts...but the hot part of the meal is what i do. So, I am just looking for a way to do a
pre-prep for Christmas day, so that the bulk of the work is out
of my way. What do you think about the warming of the pre-cooked turkey in the crock pot?

Carol
 

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I'm afraid the crockpot might dry the meat out, but what about putting the slices in gravy in a casserole dish & heating it with the rest of the casseroles? The gravy should keep the turkey moist.

I serve ham on Christmas for this very reason :laugh:

ETA: And make your dressing & mashed potatoes early and put thosein the crockpots to keep warm
 

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This past Christmas, I cooked my turkey a couple of days ahead and put it in the refrigerator.
Christmas day I put the sliced turkey in a casserole dish, poured in about a cup of canned chicken broth, covered it and put it in the oven while my dressing was cooking.
Apparently, the turkey absorbed some of the chicken broth - it was incredibly moist and good.
You could probably do the same thing using your crockpot.
 

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definitely make the mshd taters a day or 2 in advance. 1/2 bake them and then rewarm on xmas day

i cant believe (imo) you are thinking about xmas already!!! it just was here....i, personally, wont be thinkin about it til at least august or so....you must be a good planner!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks so much ladies for all of your replies...

jam...I would do ham in a heart beat, but everyone wants/cries/
and whines for turkey. If I can find a way to make everyone happy,
and life easier for me, I'll comply.

wj...I love the idea of broth with my cooked turkey slices! This is
what I was basically looking for. Do you think that if I layered dressing on top of the turkey it would go "goopey"?

lisa...last Christmas was so exhausting that I am trying to use up excess energy during this year to prepare for 2011. If I make mashed potatoes 2 days in advance, what do I do with them? Store and reheat in a casserole dish?

Many thanks............carol
 

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yes, mash w/ whatever you are using...i use butter, sourcream, and milk and a beaten egg. then fold into greased casserole. i use foil if we are travelling. cover tightly. bake at 325 for 40 minutes or so. uncover for the last 10 minutes or so.
 

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This past Christmas, I cooked my turkey a couple of days ahead and put it in the refrigerator.
Christmas day I put the sliced turkey in a casserole dish, poured in about a cup of canned chicken broth, covered it and put it in the oven while my dressing was cooking.
Apparently, the turkey absorbed some of the chicken broth - it was incredibly moist and good.
You could probably do the same thing using your crockpot.
I basically do the same thing. I cut my turkey up completely and cover for a day or two while it waits on Christmas or Thanksgiving. That morning I will put the meat back in the oven on a lower heat with some broth or water. Make sure it is covered well to hold in steam. The meat comes out very moist.
 

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You can make turkey in a Nesco (kind of like a larger crockpot) or in the oven in a cooking bag. When it is done cut it up or shred it up and then put some chicken or turkey stock on it and put it in the refrigerator. On Christmas heat it up and it will be moist and delicious. Skip the gravy all together and instead use just the turkey in the broth- its healthier- or buy the jars of gravy. Cook the potatoes ahead of time. Allrecipes has a cook ahead mashed potatoes recipe that someone has already explained on here with cream cheese, etc. It is recommended that you not stuff turkeys anymore anyways so you can make your favorite recipe and just oven cook it. Our family does beef tenderloin for Christmas either on the grill or in the oven - super easy. We are low carb people so we skip the potatoes and maybe just have some yummy bread and a huge salad and cooked vegis. We actually buy desserts at this point- Costco and Sams club make great desserts!!

Good luck!
 

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I would make the turkey fresh. But ask your guests to bring everything not directly related to the turkey. Have some bring roles, mashed potatoes, corn, green been casserole, cranberry sauce, etc. You make the turkey, gravy, and stuffing. That should help ease the time and energy spent considerably and you will still have that fresh out of the oven turkey dinner.
 

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I would suggest you only making x amount of food. Everyone else can bring parts of the dinner. Things like veggies and casseroles can also be heated up in the microwave. There really is no reason for you to be doing almost everything for the dinner. One friend actually rents tables, but she did wise up and only prepare x amount of food with everyone else bringing something. You would not believe the amount of food there was with everyone contributing. Plus everyone got to take home food in the container they brought something in.

I realize you still have to do dishes but maybe during the summer time or the coming holidays you can stock up on paper plates, napkins and utensils. Sure many holidays are themed but you can still get green during saint patricks day, red during the fourth of July, or just use white. Just shop after the holiday. Even if it is just for desserts or hordevors it will cut down on the dishwashing.
 
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