“You don’t have to be scared. Roasted turkeys cannot bite you.” ~ The Unmanly Chef
Thanksgiving, for some, can cause them to have a nervous breakdown at the mere thought of it. For some, like myself, you get giddy like it’s Christmas Eve because you get to make so many unhealthy things in one sitting. That’s why I’ve made a Thanksgiving Survival Guide for you, to help you manage this awesome day.
Now, let me preface this. I know many of you like healthy dishes and this and that. But cut the crap, it’s Thanksgiving. Diet on Black Friday, and binge on a whole head of lettuce the day before Thanksgiving (they say it expands your stomach, or so the competitive food eaters tell me).
Diet Shmiet, I am using butter, cream, bacon, and all of my other fatty friends who have to hide away in the dark recesses of my culinary mind year round, because of the food guilt they create. Come out little buddies, it’s safe!
Now that we’ve cleared the air, Thanksgiving is a day that I love. It’s not about gifts or outdoing one another. It’s just about being around the ones you love the most and stuffing your face. These are my two favorite things in the world, WHY YES I WILL COMBINE THEM AND MAKE THAT A NATIONAL HOLIDAY THANK YOU!
But a lot of people get bogged down in the thought of cooking the huge meal. I have been doing Thanksgiving for my family (a team effort mind you) since 2007. It started because I was tired of eating Iranian versions of American sides, and it’s transformed into a 48 hour cooking bender that I love & hate.
What are Iranian versions of American sides?
It’s hard to explain, it doesn’t taste bad, but nothing is what you want it to be. The stuffing is off, the mashed potatoes are lumpy, and a gravy that is tasty but does not resemble gravy in any sense of the word.
What was your Thanksgiving like growing up and why did you take over?
Growing up we always had Thanksgiving at my grandmother’s house. She would team up with my uncle to put on a feast. Her Thanksgivings were great, but she reinforced the meals with Iranian staples to make sure everyone was happy. Mommon Joon, ever the crowd pleaser. But Mommon Joon was not an American cook and she didn’t know all the right flavor profiles for the perfect Thanksgiving sides. Enter her grandson.
After years of eating sides out and researching the best ways to make them, I demanded that I be apart of the Thanksgiving process once it moved to our house in 2007. Also, cooking for over 30 people became too much for my Mommon Joon and my Mom, so I happily invited myself to the team.
Since then, it’s basically demanded that I make Thanksgiving. You could say I have fans. I like to make a few non traditional Thanksgiving items, because I think they should have a place at the table. Fried chicken and mac & cheese. These are two of the greatest gifts America has bestowed on the world, so why shouldn’t they be on my Thanksgiving Day Table?
The Two Most Important Tips I can Bestow:
1 – Relax. If you screw up, you’re not going to be in trouble. Just go with the flow. Remember the real reason behind the whole day.
2 – And plan. Plan. Plan. Plan. Plan so you don’t have to resort to Tip # 1 to get through the day =)
3 – Make a list of all the dishes you plan on making and the associated ingredients.
4- Prep all your ingredients the day before (if possible)
5- Delegate dishes you wouldn’t mind other people to make and bring.
6- Have some extra butter and cream on hand, because when shit hits the fan, butter and cream can cure a lot of problems.
7- Invest in a meat thermometer and make sure your oven timer is working, because you can easily burn something when you’re trying to make fifty other things.
8- Enlist help from your spouse or relatives who want to help in the kitchen (as long as they’re qualified and wont slow you down).
9- Repeat Tip 1
10- Repeat Tip 2
Here’s some great recipes to make your Thanksgiving a HIT!
Other great options!
Other Delicious Options