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11.18.2004

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talking turkey and other Thanksgiving advice for the first-timer host by Yee-Fan Sun  | 1 2 3
continued from page 2

I want to make yams but I can only find sweet potatoes!
Yup, and those'll work just fine. Actually, real yams aren't terribly common in the States, so if you do see something labeled as one, it's actually probably a sweet potato.

How do I reheat things I've made ahead of time?
The quick and easy way is in a covered dish using the ol' microwave. Tent dishes in foil (or cover them in some other manner) after they've been zapped, to keep the heat in until everything's ready to go.

If there's room in the oven underneath the big turkey, you can also pop in a few items during the last half hour of cooking. Cover them in foil, and make sure not to crowd things in so tightly that there's no room for air to circulate. The finished turkey needs to sit for about 20 minutes or so before you carve into it, so you can also take advantage of this time to get things warmed up.

Some items can also be reheated on the stove - you can re-saute veggies, and re-heat mashed veggies by adding a little extra liquid, cooking over low heat, and giving it an occasional stir. Be very very careful when warming mashed potatoes this way, though, as they can quickly turn to glue if you get too impatient with the heat and too zealous with the stirring.

What if my guests show up, and hours later, the turkey's still not ready?
Hey, it happens. Timing the turkey roasting period is very, very tricky indeed, and it's entirely likely that you might find your estimated cooking time is an hour or even more off. If this happens, try not to freak out. Make sure your guests have a few tidbits to nibble on -- set out some nuts, some bread, whatever, to make sure their stomachs don't start auto-digesting -- and remember: the thing that really makes Thanksgiving so nice isn't stuffing your face till you can't breathe. It's having people with whom to share in the celebrating. So relax: the food will be ready eventually. In the meantime, enjoy the company.

o

check out these related articles: 
pass the gravy: thanksgiving survival tips | gobble gobble: a thanksgiving timeline | turkey 101 | do the mash: perfect mashed potatoes

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