Five Last-Minute Thanksgiving Fixes

By Meg Favreau on 24 November 2010 (Updated 30 October 2012) 3 comments

Think you've ruined part of your Thanksgiving meal? No way. As someone who has personally lived through several Thanksgiving mistakes ranging from smoke-alarm-ringing pies to almost-broken hands (my father ate dinner one year with a hand swollen to nearly twice its normal size), I can assure you that almost any Thanksgiving error can be fixed. So if you're near tears over a dish gone wrong, don't throw out your food — here's how to salvage some last-minute Thanksgiving snafus. (See also: 4 Meals You Can Make With Thanksgiving Leftovers)

Pie Problems

Your filling is fine, but your crust — as delicious as it may be — somehow got screwed up and is about as easy to roll as pushing a semi truck up a hill. Instead of making an ugly pie, make a beautiful galette. This rustic tart is basically a free-form pie, which means you can use the exact same crust and filling, but that the little bits of dough you're shoving together by hand instead of rolling out smoothly are part of its charm.

Dry Turkey

The Sahara, the Mojave, the bird on your table — they're all bone-dry. Unfortunately, there isn't a great way to re-moisturize a dehydrated bird. But unlike the Sahara and the Mojave, your turkey can be covered with rich, juicy gravy (well, you can try to cover the deserts, but it seems like a waste of both time and delicious turkey fat). Make sure your gravy is good (AllRecipes has a whole collection of worthwhile ones to try), and push it on your guests like a middle schooler trying to win top prize in a magazine drive.

Uninspired Side Dishes

Butter and cream are your friends. From underwhelming mashed potatoes to over-wilted asparagus, there are few side dishes that can't be helped by the addition of some good ol' dairy fats. The power of butter and cream not enough? Complete the trifecta of power with freshly crushed garlic.

Wet Stuffing

If you cook your stuffing in the bird, it's pretty easy for it to come out soggy. If this is the case, remove the stuffing from the turkey and place in a baking dish. If it's really, crazy wet, sop up some of the extra liquid with paper towels. Then place the uncovered dish in a 350°F oven until it dries out a bit, stirring occasionally.

Awful Wine

The bottle of wine you just opened is...terrible. Follow Elizabeth's advice and serve it with soda water. Plus it'll make the wine last longer...although you might not want it to!

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Andrea Karim's picture

I had a nightmare last night about soggy stuffing. It's never happened to me, but I am 100% convinced that it will this Thanksgiving for some reason.

Meg Favreau's picture

Oh no! I hope, this case, that not all of your dreams come true. Did it turn out okay?

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Patrick

Hi Meg, I just linked to your post from my post "Last minute Thanksgiving tips". Please consider linking back for your readers who may be scrambling right now.

http://www.recipeer.com/2010/11/last-minute-thanksgiving-tips.html