Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Green Thanksgiving: Part 3 of 3

• Pre-fab as much prep as you can
If you're making stuffing, pre-mix it. If you're mashing potatoes, skin and quarter them (if you leave them in a tub of cool water, they'll be fine overnight). The turkey can be brined or prepped with olive oil, salt and pepper and left in the refrigerator until the next morning. Pies can be baked and set on a shelf. The more you get done today, the less you'll have to worry about on the big day. Timeline: The day before.

• Cook like you've never cooked before
But don't just go into it blindly: You're orchestrating a symphony of tastes! Sit down with a pencil and paper and plot out your finish times so that you know when your dishes need to go into the over in order to come out at relatively the same time. But don't stress the timing too much: Thanksgiving is more about the experience of sharing a meal together, and less about that meal being piping hot. Make sure you build in a little time to relax before your guests arrive. Light your candles. Sample the organic wine. Pat yourself on the back. Timeline: On the big day.

• Give thanks
Many families say a traditional prayer led by the head of the table before eating. Some go around the table, with each member saying what he or she is giving thanks for this year. Whatever happens at your table, make sure you're conscious of the religious considerations of your guests. Timeline: On the big day.

• Dispose of the leftovers
Scrape the plates and suds up-but wait! Is that a leek you're tossing in the trash? Even if you don't compost, you can separate the green scraps from the rest and toss them in your leaf bin. And you're recycling your plastic bottles and aluminum cans, right? Timeline: On the big day (and maybe one day after).

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