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Holiday meal tips

Updated:

It's no easy feat putting a Thanksgiving meal together, but a little planning can go a long way. 

Whether you're a newlywed, or cooking for the grandkids, families everywhere are gearing up for the biggest sit-down dinner of the year.

"The thing I love about Thanksgiving is walking into a house and smelling a turkey," said Franny Pasternik, director of the Pastry Arts program at Platt College.

Pasternik shared these steps on how to get your entire meal ready.

  1. Plan a shopping list, shop early
  2. Time out your meal
  3. Avoid undercooking
  4. Have fun

"Get all of your staples first, and then maybe go back to get your fresh produce you need the day before," said Franny Pasternik.

You may also want to do some of your baking the day before. The timing of your meal is key. You'll need to how long it'll take you to prepare each item, then, divide up your time accordingly.

Don't undercook your meal. Some things just taste bad uncooked, but undercooking your turkey could leave you and your guests sick.

"I use the 'Joy of Cooking' for everything, for their charts," advised Franny Pasternik. "Also your turkey should have a chart on there. Make sure your turkey is thawed, but thawed properly."

And if you forget to do something, remember this cooking a Thanksgiving meal, and it's all in good fun.

"I've been to some meals where I had the best time and the food was awful!" the chef said. "I just think you have to get in there and sometimes you have to help somebody cook... and I think it's just all about having a good time."

Now if you still think a good tasting meal is definitely important, opt for some frozen or store-bought items to assist you. Mixing pre-made items in with your homemade dish will save you a little time, but it also ups your chances that at least part of the dish will taste good regardless of your cooking.

Originally aired: 11-07-07

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