This is a great alternative to sweet mashed potatoes and can be prepped the day before and simply reheated in the microwave. Thanksgiving and Christmas meals can be very stressful when cooking for larger groups. So planning ahead and preparation is the key to enjoy and eat, not stress and sweat.
KISS (Keep it simple stupid): Turkey, gravy, butternut squash mashed or regular mashed, Brussels sprouts or green beans, dressing, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie.
Plan a menu, write it down and stick to it. Think and see what could be eliminated, not added from your menu. Nobody will remember or care how many dishes you made or how many hours you spent in the kitchen, but everybody will remember whether it was good.
Delegate out as much as possible. Aunt Joan is bringing beans, Elisabeth is making pumpkin pie, Kat is bringing vegan mashed potatoes and Mariela is responsible for wine and beverages etc....
Prep ahead as much as you can. Thursday should only be for turkey, reheating and last minute items. This may not sound traditional but it will make this day so much easier.
Weekend before: Make a detailed list and shop all you ingredients. Buy pre-cut vegetables like onions and celery, it will make a difference. Beans can be already bought cleaned and ready.
Make yourself a prep list for every day so you have an overview of where you at.
Monday: Make cranberry sauce, it will easy last until Thursday and you can scratch it off your list.
Tuesday: Cut everything for stuffing. Clean and prepare Brussels sprout, beans, squash and potatoes. Dice bacon and store in refrigerator, Chop your herbs, parsley and slice your chives etc...
Wednesday: Mashed potatoes and/or butternut squash mashed can be completely made, only to be reheated in microwave tomorrow. Don't like that idea? No one will complain as long as they are delicious.
Thursday: Turkey, gravy, dressing and last minute items.
Who will be responsible or help with cleanup? It needs to be addressed and be clear who's gonna help.
Keep notes for next year. What worked and what didn't and improve on it the following year.
So now that you got Thanksgiving down, what's next? Christmas day Mimosa and eggs Benedict?
1 butternut squash, about 2 pounds
4 tablespoons butter, or vegan butter
2 tablespoons brown sugar
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt and pepper mix
¼ cup real Maple syrup
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Cut butternut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Place on a baking sheet cut side up.
Divide butter and place in scooped out crevasses. Add brown sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle the squash with salt and pepper mix
and bake for about an 1 hour and 15 minutes or until tender when pierced with a fork.
Remove from oven set aside and wait until cool enough to handle, then scoop out the flesh with a spoon and place in a bowl. Add maple syrup and mash with a potato masher until smooth or as smooth as you like it.
Taste and add more salt and pepper mix if needed. Serve right away or store to be reheated the next day. Will be vegan if you use vegan butter and is naturally gluten free.