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Emergency Thanksgiving Toolbox

Emergency Thanksgiving Toolbox



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A roundup of clever alternative tool solutions in case of a Thanksgiving emergency

Maryse Chevriere

Zester

A magnificent holiday, Thanksgiving can become a stressful time of year, with all of the menu planning, thinking ahead, and the guests who will be expecting a perfect and delicious meal oh-so-soon — and the pressure is on you to deliver.

Just when you think you’ve got it all covered, you realize, mid-cooking, that you completely forgot to get a turkey baster at the grocery store. What to do? While frantically running around your home screaming about this blunder to whoever is nearby might not be the most effective method, it’s usually most people’s go-to.

But fear not, because we have come up with an Emergency Thanksgiving Toolbox. So if you find yourself without a potato masher, don’t worry, because we’ve got an easy household solution for that. Don’t have a zester? No problem. We’ve got you covered.

Take a deep breath and look to one of our creative solutions for the answer. And make sure to have a happy Thanksgiving!

Click here for the Emergency Thanksgiving Toolbox Slideshow.

Our makeshift solutions are great, but if you're reading this ahead of time, then check out our essential Thanksgiving Toolbox Slideshow so you can be fully prepared.


The following are important food safety tips. Enjoy your favorite Thanksgiving foods by following safe food handling and cooking practices.

Preparation Safety

Keep everyone safe from the start by implementing these preparation tips:

  • Make sure to wash your hands thoroughly before preparing food, after handling any raw poultry or meat, and before eating.
  • Keep your food preparation surfaces and utensils clean and sanitized to reduce the risk of salmonella poisoning.
  • Use separate cutting boards: one for meat, poultry and fish, and one for cooked foods, vegetables and fruits. Sanitize the cutting board after each use.
  • Wash all vegetables and fruits before you prepare them.

Turkey Safety Tips

Thaw a frozen turkey safely in the refrigerator allowing 3-4 days for thawing or approximately one day for every five pounds. Another way to safely thaw a frozen turkey is submerging it in cold water. Replace the water every 30 minutes until the turkey is thawed. This method takes approximately 30 minutes for each pound the turkey weighs. The Food Safety website provides a useful turkey thawing chart and a turkey roasting chart. Additional safety tips include:

  • Refrigerate a thawed, or fresh, turkey for no longer than two days before cooking.
  • Immediately cook a small turkey that is defrosted in the microwave.
  • If you cook your stuffing inside the turkey, stuff it just before roasting.
  • Always use a meat thermometer to see if the turkey is completely cooked. The temperature needs to reach 165 degrees Fahrenheit when inserted in the thickest area of the thigh.

Handling Leftovers

Refrigerate all leftovers within two hours after cooking. Leftovers should be eaten within three or four days. If you are going to freeze leftovers, do that right away, not after they have been refrigerated for several days.


The following are important food safety tips. Enjoy your favorite Thanksgiving foods by following safe food handling and cooking practices.

Preparation Safety

Keep everyone safe from the start by implementing these preparation tips:

  • Make sure to wash your hands thoroughly before preparing food, after handling any raw poultry or meat, and before eating.
  • Keep your food preparation surfaces and utensils clean and sanitized to reduce the risk of salmonella poisoning.
  • Use separate cutting boards: one for meat, poultry and fish, and one for cooked foods, vegetables and fruits. Sanitize the cutting board after each use.
  • Wash all vegetables and fruits before you prepare them.

Turkey Safety Tips

Thaw a frozen turkey safely in the refrigerator allowing 3-4 days for thawing or approximately one day for every five pounds. Another way to safely thaw a frozen turkey is submerging it in cold water. Replace the water every 30 minutes until the turkey is thawed. This method takes approximately 30 minutes for each pound the turkey weighs. The Food Safety website provides a useful turkey thawing chart and a turkey roasting chart. Additional safety tips include:

  • Refrigerate a thawed, or fresh, turkey for no longer than two days before cooking.
  • Immediately cook a small turkey that is defrosted in the microwave.
  • If you cook your stuffing inside the turkey, stuff it just before roasting.
  • Always use a meat thermometer to see if the turkey is completely cooked. The temperature needs to reach 165 degrees Fahrenheit when inserted in the thickest area of the thigh.

Handling Leftovers

Refrigerate all leftovers within two hours after cooking. Leftovers should be eaten within three or four days. If you are going to freeze leftovers, do that right away, not after they have been refrigerated for several days.


The following are important food safety tips. Enjoy your favorite Thanksgiving foods by following safe food handling and cooking practices.

Preparation Safety

Keep everyone safe from the start by implementing these preparation tips:

  • Make sure to wash your hands thoroughly before preparing food, after handling any raw poultry or meat, and before eating.
  • Keep your food preparation surfaces and utensils clean and sanitized to reduce the risk of salmonella poisoning.
  • Use separate cutting boards: one for meat, poultry and fish, and one for cooked foods, vegetables and fruits. Sanitize the cutting board after each use.
  • Wash all vegetables and fruits before you prepare them.

Turkey Safety Tips

Thaw a frozen turkey safely in the refrigerator allowing 3-4 days for thawing or approximately one day for every five pounds. Another way to safely thaw a frozen turkey is submerging it in cold water. Replace the water every 30 minutes until the turkey is thawed. This method takes approximately 30 minutes for each pound the turkey weighs. The Food Safety website provides a useful turkey thawing chart and a turkey roasting chart. Additional safety tips include:

  • Refrigerate a thawed, or fresh, turkey for no longer than two days before cooking.
  • Immediately cook a small turkey that is defrosted in the microwave.
  • If you cook your stuffing inside the turkey, stuff it just before roasting.
  • Always use a meat thermometer to see if the turkey is completely cooked. The temperature needs to reach 165 degrees Fahrenheit when inserted in the thickest area of the thigh.

Handling Leftovers

Refrigerate all leftovers within two hours after cooking. Leftovers should be eaten within three or four days. If you are going to freeze leftovers, do that right away, not after they have been refrigerated for several days.


The following are important food safety tips. Enjoy your favorite Thanksgiving foods by following safe food handling and cooking practices.

Preparation Safety

Keep everyone safe from the start by implementing these preparation tips:

  • Make sure to wash your hands thoroughly before preparing food, after handling any raw poultry or meat, and before eating.
  • Keep your food preparation surfaces and utensils clean and sanitized to reduce the risk of salmonella poisoning.
  • Use separate cutting boards: one for meat, poultry and fish, and one for cooked foods, vegetables and fruits. Sanitize the cutting board after each use.
  • Wash all vegetables and fruits before you prepare them.

Turkey Safety Tips

Thaw a frozen turkey safely in the refrigerator allowing 3-4 days for thawing or approximately one day for every five pounds. Another way to safely thaw a frozen turkey is submerging it in cold water. Replace the water every 30 minutes until the turkey is thawed. This method takes approximately 30 minutes for each pound the turkey weighs. The Food Safety website provides a useful turkey thawing chart and a turkey roasting chart. Additional safety tips include:

  • Refrigerate a thawed, or fresh, turkey for no longer than two days before cooking.
  • Immediately cook a small turkey that is defrosted in the microwave.
  • If you cook your stuffing inside the turkey, stuff it just before roasting.
  • Always use a meat thermometer to see if the turkey is completely cooked. The temperature needs to reach 165 degrees Fahrenheit when inserted in the thickest area of the thigh.

Handling Leftovers

Refrigerate all leftovers within two hours after cooking. Leftovers should be eaten within three or four days. If you are going to freeze leftovers, do that right away, not after they have been refrigerated for several days.


The following are important food safety tips. Enjoy your favorite Thanksgiving foods by following safe food handling and cooking practices.

Preparation Safety

Keep everyone safe from the start by implementing these preparation tips:

  • Make sure to wash your hands thoroughly before preparing food, after handling any raw poultry or meat, and before eating.
  • Keep your food preparation surfaces and utensils clean and sanitized to reduce the risk of salmonella poisoning.
  • Use separate cutting boards: one for meat, poultry and fish, and one for cooked foods, vegetables and fruits. Sanitize the cutting board after each use.
  • Wash all vegetables and fruits before you prepare them.

Turkey Safety Tips

Thaw a frozen turkey safely in the refrigerator allowing 3-4 days for thawing or approximately one day for every five pounds. Another way to safely thaw a frozen turkey is submerging it in cold water. Replace the water every 30 minutes until the turkey is thawed. This method takes approximately 30 minutes for each pound the turkey weighs. The Food Safety website provides a useful turkey thawing chart and a turkey roasting chart. Additional safety tips include:

  • Refrigerate a thawed, or fresh, turkey for no longer than two days before cooking.
  • Immediately cook a small turkey that is defrosted in the microwave.
  • If you cook your stuffing inside the turkey, stuff it just before roasting.
  • Always use a meat thermometer to see if the turkey is completely cooked. The temperature needs to reach 165 degrees Fahrenheit when inserted in the thickest area of the thigh.

Handling Leftovers

Refrigerate all leftovers within two hours after cooking. Leftovers should be eaten within three or four days. If you are going to freeze leftovers, do that right away, not after they have been refrigerated for several days.


The following are important food safety tips. Enjoy your favorite Thanksgiving foods by following safe food handling and cooking practices.

Preparation Safety

Keep everyone safe from the start by implementing these preparation tips:

  • Make sure to wash your hands thoroughly before preparing food, after handling any raw poultry or meat, and before eating.
  • Keep your food preparation surfaces and utensils clean and sanitized to reduce the risk of salmonella poisoning.
  • Use separate cutting boards: one for meat, poultry and fish, and one for cooked foods, vegetables and fruits. Sanitize the cutting board after each use.
  • Wash all vegetables and fruits before you prepare them.

Turkey Safety Tips

Thaw a frozen turkey safely in the refrigerator allowing 3-4 days for thawing or approximately one day for every five pounds. Another way to safely thaw a frozen turkey is submerging it in cold water. Replace the water every 30 minutes until the turkey is thawed. This method takes approximately 30 minutes for each pound the turkey weighs. The Food Safety website provides a useful turkey thawing chart and a turkey roasting chart. Additional safety tips include:

  • Refrigerate a thawed, or fresh, turkey for no longer than two days before cooking.
  • Immediately cook a small turkey that is defrosted in the microwave.
  • If you cook your stuffing inside the turkey, stuff it just before roasting.
  • Always use a meat thermometer to see if the turkey is completely cooked. The temperature needs to reach 165 degrees Fahrenheit when inserted in the thickest area of the thigh.

Handling Leftovers

Refrigerate all leftovers within two hours after cooking. Leftovers should be eaten within three or four days. If you are going to freeze leftovers, do that right away, not after they have been refrigerated for several days.


The following are important food safety tips. Enjoy your favorite Thanksgiving foods by following safe food handling and cooking practices.

Preparation Safety

Keep everyone safe from the start by implementing these preparation tips:

  • Make sure to wash your hands thoroughly before preparing food, after handling any raw poultry or meat, and before eating.
  • Keep your food preparation surfaces and utensils clean and sanitized to reduce the risk of salmonella poisoning.
  • Use separate cutting boards: one for meat, poultry and fish, and one for cooked foods, vegetables and fruits. Sanitize the cutting board after each use.
  • Wash all vegetables and fruits before you prepare them.

Turkey Safety Tips

Thaw a frozen turkey safely in the refrigerator allowing 3-4 days for thawing or approximately one day for every five pounds. Another way to safely thaw a frozen turkey is submerging it in cold water. Replace the water every 30 minutes until the turkey is thawed. This method takes approximately 30 minutes for each pound the turkey weighs. The Food Safety website provides a useful turkey thawing chart and a turkey roasting chart. Additional safety tips include:

  • Refrigerate a thawed, or fresh, turkey for no longer than two days before cooking.
  • Immediately cook a small turkey that is defrosted in the microwave.
  • If you cook your stuffing inside the turkey, stuff it just before roasting.
  • Always use a meat thermometer to see if the turkey is completely cooked. The temperature needs to reach 165 degrees Fahrenheit when inserted in the thickest area of the thigh.

Handling Leftovers

Refrigerate all leftovers within two hours after cooking. Leftovers should be eaten within three or four days. If you are going to freeze leftovers, do that right away, not after they have been refrigerated for several days.


The following are important food safety tips. Enjoy your favorite Thanksgiving foods by following safe food handling and cooking practices.

Preparation Safety

Keep everyone safe from the start by implementing these preparation tips:

  • Make sure to wash your hands thoroughly before preparing food, after handling any raw poultry or meat, and before eating.
  • Keep your food preparation surfaces and utensils clean and sanitized to reduce the risk of salmonella poisoning.
  • Use separate cutting boards: one for meat, poultry and fish, and one for cooked foods, vegetables and fruits. Sanitize the cutting board after each use.
  • Wash all vegetables and fruits before you prepare them.

Turkey Safety Tips

Thaw a frozen turkey safely in the refrigerator allowing 3-4 days for thawing or approximately one day for every five pounds. Another way to safely thaw a frozen turkey is submerging it in cold water. Replace the water every 30 minutes until the turkey is thawed. This method takes approximately 30 minutes for each pound the turkey weighs. The Food Safety website provides a useful turkey thawing chart and a turkey roasting chart. Additional safety tips include:

  • Refrigerate a thawed, or fresh, turkey for no longer than two days before cooking.
  • Immediately cook a small turkey that is defrosted in the microwave.
  • If you cook your stuffing inside the turkey, stuff it just before roasting.
  • Always use a meat thermometer to see if the turkey is completely cooked. The temperature needs to reach 165 degrees Fahrenheit when inserted in the thickest area of the thigh.

Handling Leftovers

Refrigerate all leftovers within two hours after cooking. Leftovers should be eaten within three or four days. If you are going to freeze leftovers, do that right away, not after they have been refrigerated for several days.


The following are important food safety tips. Enjoy your favorite Thanksgiving foods by following safe food handling and cooking practices.

Preparation Safety

Keep everyone safe from the start by implementing these preparation tips:

  • Make sure to wash your hands thoroughly before preparing food, after handling any raw poultry or meat, and before eating.
  • Keep your food preparation surfaces and utensils clean and sanitized to reduce the risk of salmonella poisoning.
  • Use separate cutting boards: one for meat, poultry and fish, and one for cooked foods, vegetables and fruits. Sanitize the cutting board after each use.
  • Wash all vegetables and fruits before you prepare them.

Turkey Safety Tips

Thaw a frozen turkey safely in the refrigerator allowing 3-4 days for thawing or approximately one day for every five pounds. Another way to safely thaw a frozen turkey is submerging it in cold water. Replace the water every 30 minutes until the turkey is thawed. This method takes approximately 30 minutes for each pound the turkey weighs. The Food Safety website provides a useful turkey thawing chart and a turkey roasting chart. Additional safety tips include:

  • Refrigerate a thawed, or fresh, turkey for no longer than two days before cooking.
  • Immediately cook a small turkey that is defrosted in the microwave.
  • If you cook your stuffing inside the turkey, stuff it just before roasting.
  • Always use a meat thermometer to see if the turkey is completely cooked. The temperature needs to reach 165 degrees Fahrenheit when inserted in the thickest area of the thigh.

Handling Leftovers

Refrigerate all leftovers within two hours after cooking. Leftovers should be eaten within three or four days. If you are going to freeze leftovers, do that right away, not after they have been refrigerated for several days.


The following are important food safety tips. Enjoy your favorite Thanksgiving foods by following safe food handling and cooking practices.

Preparation Safety

Keep everyone safe from the start by implementing these preparation tips:

  • Make sure to wash your hands thoroughly before preparing food, after handling any raw poultry or meat, and before eating.
  • Keep your food preparation surfaces and utensils clean and sanitized to reduce the risk of salmonella poisoning.
  • Use separate cutting boards: one for meat, poultry and fish, and one for cooked foods, vegetables and fruits. Sanitize the cutting board after each use.
  • Wash all vegetables and fruits before you prepare them.

Turkey Safety Tips

Thaw a frozen turkey safely in the refrigerator allowing 3-4 days for thawing or approximately one day for every five pounds. Another way to safely thaw a frozen turkey is submerging it in cold water. Replace the water every 30 minutes until the turkey is thawed. This method takes approximately 30 minutes for each pound the turkey weighs. The Food Safety website provides a useful turkey thawing chart and a turkey roasting chart. Additional safety tips include:

  • Refrigerate a thawed, or fresh, turkey for no longer than two days before cooking.
  • Immediately cook a small turkey that is defrosted in the microwave.
  • If you cook your stuffing inside the turkey, stuff it just before roasting.
  • Always use a meat thermometer to see if the turkey is completely cooked. The temperature needs to reach 165 degrees Fahrenheit when inserted in the thickest area of the thigh.

Handling Leftovers

Refrigerate all leftovers within two hours after cooking. Leftovers should be eaten within three or four days. If you are going to freeze leftovers, do that right away, not after they have been refrigerated for several days.


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