In the military it’s no secret we have lots of new wives who are far away from home and doing the cooking for their very first Thanksgiving as a married spouse or for a group of people. The tips below will help you, if for some reason you have a Turkey Day Emergency:

We have all been there the potatoes are cooked and ready to be mashed when you realize that you forgot to buy a masher. Or, maybe you just moved and can’t find that fat separator and are stuck in a greasy, gravy mess.

Not to worry, your home is a treasure trove of untapped kitchen tools that will help you out in emergency situations, and The Daily Meal has come up with creative and out-of-the-box ideas for how to use them.

This Emergency Thanksgiving Toolbox will be your guide through the stickiest turkey day kitchen dilemmas, whether you’re an expert in the kitchen or a nail-biting novice:

·         If you don’t have turkey lifters, use a cutting board and fork

If you forget to purchase turkey lifters, don’t despair, a cutting board and fork is an effective alternative. Carefully lift the turkey on one side with a fork and leverage onto the cutting board.

·         If you don’t have a roasting rack, use a cake pan

In place of a roasting rack, fashion a cake pan upside down (the shallower, the better) in the bottom of your roasting pan and carefully place the turkey on top. This will keep the turkey elevated so that the bottom stays golden and crispy. (Just be extra cautious when placing the turkey in the oven.)

·         If you don’t have a potato masher, use a metal water bottle, colander, or ice cream scoop

Mashed potatoes are an essential Thanksgiving dish, so realizing that you forgot to buy a masher can induce panic. In this case, use the bottom of a metal water bottle or the blunt end of an ice cream scoop as a masher. If you are concerned about texture, mash potatoes with the bottom of a colander to mimic the aerating effect of a masher with holes.

·         If you don’t have pie weights, use beans

All varieties of dried beans will work for this emergency solution. The weight of the beans keeps the pie crust from puffing up while it is baking, just like traditional pie weights do.

·         If you don’t have a spatula, use a spoon or knife

With regard to spreading and getting every last bit of batter out of a bowl, a spatula is essential. However, when you are in a tight squeeze, a spoon or knife will do the trick.

·         If you don’t have a baster, use a large metal spoon

While a baster is certainly ideal for collecting basting liquid while roasting a turkey, a large metal spoon work quite well a pinch. Make sure to use your spoon with the longest handle to reduce the risk of burning yourself while basting.

·         If you don’t have a gravy separator, use a watering can

The mechanics behind a gravy separator allows for the turkey juices to separate from fat (which accumulates at the top of the container) so that you can pour out the juice through the spout at the base of the container. A small watering can will do the same thing, because of the positioning of the spout. If your watering can’s spout starts near the middle of the container, simply cover the top with plastic wrap and duct tape and then invert the watering can.

·         If you don’t have a peeler, use a single-blade razor, paring knife or pumice stone

If you find yourself without a peeler on Thanksgiving day, head to your bathroom cabinet. A single blade razor (typically they are disposable these days) will work wonders as a makeshift peeler. A paring knife or pumice stone will also do the trick for vegetables with thinner skins, like potatoes or carrots.

·         If you don’t have a flour sifter, use a strainer or a fork

When a recipe calls for sifting, it is best to follow directions. Choosing to forgo sifting all together can lend a dense texture to your baked goods, so when you find yourself without a sifter, opt for a strainer or carefully fluff your ingredients with a fork to add air.

·         If you don’t have a bench scraper, use a cake server, oaktag folder or chef’s knife

Sticky doughs for pies and dinner rolls can be tough to manage, especially without a bench scraper. Use the edge of a cake server, oaktag folder, or back end of a chef’s knife instead.

·         If you don’t have a pastry brush, use an unused toothbrush or paper towel

A pastry brush can be used to coat uncooked crusts and pastries with butter before baking, using an unused toothbrush or paper towel instead will achieve generally the same results.

·         If you don’t have a microplane, use a four-blade razor

A microplane is essential for zesting citrus and grating small amounts of ingredients, like ginger. In a pinch, a four blade razor can be used in its place. Make sure to use a new four blade razor-head that does not have a moisturizing strip.

·         If you don’t have baking cups, use aluminum foil and butter

If you run out of disposable baking cups, or forgot to purchase silicone ones, simply grease the muffin tin cups with butter and line with square of aluminum foil.

·         If you don’t have a cooling rack, use an oven rack

Before baking, remove one if the oven racks from your oven and use it as a cooling rack later. Because the spaces between rows  might be larger than in a cooling rack, place a sheet of aluminum foil beneath to catch any falling crumbs.

Courtesy of the The Daily Meal



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Krystel is the mom of two and an Army Wife. In addition to Army Wife 101 she is the Co-Founder of a digital media agency that connects brands with the military market. She has appeared on MSNBC ,FOX LA and formerly was a weekly contributor to HLN's "Raising America". She has written for various outlets including Sheknows and Lifetime and is a big fan of cupcakes and french fries.

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