NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

PortWatch

October 30, 2013

Thanksgiving 101

A cheat sheet to help take the pain out of holiday math

(Continued)

Using a convection oven? They are great at browning, but require heating or timing adjustments. Either cut the temperature by about 25 degrees from what is called for by the recipe and cook for the time directed, or roast at the suggested temperature, but reduce the cooking time by about 25 percent.

The following times are for a standard oven:

12-pound turkey: 3 to 4 hours

15-pound turkey: 4 to 41/2 hours

18-pound turkey: 41/2 to 5 hours

20-pound turkey: 5 to 6 hours

The baste

Basting the bird with its juices helps crisp the skin and flavor the meat. Do it every 30 minutes, but no more. Opening the oven door too frequently lets heat escape and can significantly slow the cooking.

The rest

The turkey never should go directly from the oven to the table. Like most meat, it needs to rest before serving for the juices to redistribute. Cover the turkey with foil and a few bath towels layered over that (to keep it warm), then let it rest for 20 to 30 minutes.

The sides

Carrots: A 1-pound bag makes 4 to 5 servings.

Cranberry sauce: A 12-ounce package of fresh cranberries makes about 21/4 cups of sauce; a 16-ounce can has 6 servings.

Gravy: Plan for 1/3 cup of gravy per person.

Green beans: 11/2 pounds of beans makes 6 to 8 servings.

Mashed potatoes: A 5-pound bag of potatoes makes 10 to 12 servings.

Stuffing: A 14-ounce bag of stuffing makes about 11 servings.

The desserts

Pie: A 9-inch pie can be cut into 8 modest slices.

Whipped cream: Dolloping whipped cream on those 8 modest slices will require 1 cup of heavy cream beaten with 2 tablespoons powdered sugar (a splash of vanilla extract is nice, too).

Ice cream: A la mode doesn’t require much — 1 pint per pie should suffice.

The leftovers

For food safety reasons, leftovers should be cleared from the table and refrigerated within two hours of being served. Once refrigerated, they should be consumed within three to four days. Leftovers can be frozen for three to four months. Though safe to consume after four months, they will start to taste off.

Text Only | Photo Reprints

Special Features
AP Video
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp
Special Features