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The holiday season seems to invite disaster. Everyone who has ever hosted a Thanksgiving dinner has likely had something go wrong, whether it is an undercooked turkey or burnt pie. It does not have to ruin your Thanksgiving when things do not go as planned. Here are a few Thanksgiving-Day nightmares and some tips to help you avoid drama.
Many people do not realize that a 20-pound turkey takes five days to thaw in the refrigerator. If your turkey is still frozen solid and your family is set to arrive later on in the day, you might be tempted to put the bird in the oven frozen. This would be a big mistake; the inside of the turkey will be undercooked and the outside overcooked. So, what can you do?
First, submerge the turkey in cold water. Find a large bucket and put the turkey inside, completely covering it with water. A frozen 15-pound turkey will thaw in approximately seven hours submerged in water. Just remember to change out the water when it starts to get warm. It must be cold for it to help thaw out your bird.
There is nothing better on Thanksgiving than perfectly roasted, juicy turkey. If your turkey comes out of the oven dry as can be, there is no need to worry. Instead of smothering the bird with gravy and hoping no one notices, you can easily rescue your dry bird with this simple method:
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Next, cut the meat away from the turkey. Place the carved turkey into an oven-safe dish. Pour one cup of chicken broth over every 2 cups of turkey. Cover the dish with foil and place it into the oven for 10 minutes or just long enough to allow the broth to soak into the meat. Remove the turkey from the oven and serve while it is hot.
It’s Thanksgiving Day and you have a major clog that cannot be broken up with a plunger. To make matters worse, you only have one bathroom. Is Thanksgiving ruined? Luckily, a clogged toilet does not have to ruin your holiday. Many plumbers offer emergency services even on the holidays. Check with a plumber in your area for specific prices and services.
To help prevent a clog from happening in the first place, make sure that a wastebasket is available in the bathroom so that guests will not be tempted to throw feminine products and other items into the toilet. In addition, have a plunger available in the bathroom for guests to use.
It inevitably happens every Thanksgiving: someone shows up that you were not expecting. If more people show up than you were planning for, simply bring out an extra bottle of wine or an additional appetizer or two. It is also a good idea to keep steamable bags of frozen vegetables on hand for situations such as this. As this can be especially stressful during times of COVID, open a window or two to keep air flowing and try to limit the number of people in one area. If need be, ask guests to keep masks on when they are not eating or drinking.
Unexpected things are bound to come up at any gathering. If this is your first time hosting Thanksgiving, do not despair if things do not go quite as planned. Use the tips above to help you deal with some of the most common Thanksgiving Day disasters.