Last minute preparations for Thanksgiving dinner can be pretty stressful, even for the most seasoned cook. Whether I'm serving 6 or serving 20, life can always find a way to throw a chink into my cooking chain. I always plan ahead and put together a cooking schedule to ease some of the stress. I chop vegetables, make turkey stock, and bake the cornbread for my dressing two days before. All of my pies are made one day before as well as the cranberry relish, green bean casserole, and the dressing. The turkey brines overnight and I'm ready to enjoy the day with minimal cooking. Roast the turkey, enjoy a Mimosa, boil the potatoes, have a Mimosa, reheat all of the sides and bake off the rolls while the turkey rests... Have a Mimosa. Did I forget to mention the chilling of the bubbly? That fits into the "Day Before Cooking Schedule".
I use this schedule every year and it has always worked to minimize the stress. Every few years life seems to throw some excitement into the mix. I've had baking dishes break ruining the completed dishes within, I've had last minute guests show up, rolls that didn't rise, turkeys that didn't defrost, and dishes that never got their dose of salt... You name it, it's happened over the years. It always helps to have a backup dish ready to jump into action and save the day, and an extra Mimosa... This year I'm bringing corn back to the Thanksgiving table. It's extremely affordable, fills guests up, and it played a major role in the first Thanksgiving. My Sister In Law, Heather, is the queen of corn. She can be ready to hit up a BBQ with enough caramelized corn to feed in army in a matter of minutes. Her recipe is so easy it's ridiculous and turns out wonderfully every single time. This makes it perfect for those last minute side dishes. I decided to jazz the recipe up to make it a little more indulgent for the Holidays, but kept it simple and stress free at the same time. When corn is slowly cooked in a pan over low heat it begins to develop the sugars and caramelize turning into a dish that could easily cure a sweet tooth. I decided to add a quick dash of Litehouse's Instantly Fresh Sage for some Holiday flavor and a bit of bacon to create a sweet and savory effect. It is perfect in every way and adds a new and different side dish to the table with minimal effort. The next time you are thrown into a frenzy over an unplanned Thanksgiving curve-ball don't let it throw you for a loop! Have extra food on the table in no time with a quick and easy last minute side dish, my Caramelized Corn w/ Bacon and Sage. It will please all diners and will leave you feeling like the Thanksgiving Goddess you really are.