In response to a listener's frantic email about how to get the Thanksgiving turkey and all the side dishes onto the table at the same time (with one oven and four burners), Lynne came to the rescue with advice and a do-ahead feast.
Take a deep breath and strategize a fresh approach. Forget any recipe ending with "serve immediately." Anything requiring concentration (cooking a vegetable just right, arranging a casserole, etc.) has to be a recipe you can do ahead. The last minutes should be given to making gravy, reheating, and carving - more than enough tasks for anyone.
This game plan pivots on the turkey, which occupies the oven for hours. But since turkey should rest 30 to 45 minutes before carving, you'll have 45 minutes of oven time for reheating.
To make vegetarian eaters (and the rest of us) happy, lay on lots of veggie choices, with each one either reheatable or eaten at room temperature. Use shallow oven-to-table dishes for fast heat absorption and have the oven at 350° to 400°F.
Fresh Basil-Orange Roast Turkey
(Do seasoning blend two days ahead)
(Do after turkey comes out of oven)
Your Own Favorite Cranberry Sauce
(Do four to five days ahead)
Herman's Fantastic Cornbread Stuffing
(Do all but adding cornbread three days ahead. Add cornbread just before stuffing turkey)
Simplest of All Green Beans
(Boil while turkey roasts, serve at room temperature)
Cauliflower Garlic "Mashed Potatoes"
(Do three days ahead, reheat in oven)
Oven-Caramelized Brussels Sprouts with Autumn Fruits
(Do one day ahead, reheat in casserole)
(Bake in their skins with turkey until soft)
Apple Cake with Crackly Meringue
(Do up to two days ahead)
Andrea Reusing is the creator of the restaurant Lantern in Chapel Hill, N.C., and author of the book Cooking in the Moment: A Year of Seasonal Recipes. In this installment of The Key 3, she shares with Lynne Rossetto Kasper the techniques behind three of her favorite recipes: Turnip Soup, Overnight Braised Short Ribs and Tomato Salad.