Emergency Thanksgiving Toolbox Slideshow
November 15, 2010
If you don't have a: Roasting Rack
Emergency Solution: Cake Pan
In place of a roasting rack, fashion a cake pan upside down (the more shallow it is, 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.)
Wikimedia Commons/Sanjay Acharya
If you don't have: Pie Weights
Emergency Solution: 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: Baster
Emergency Solution: 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: Flour Sifter
Emergency Solution: Strainer or a Fork
When a recipe calls for sifting, it is best to follow directions. Choosing to forgo sifting alltogether 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.
Wikimedia Commons/Jonas Bergsten
If you don't have a: Pastry Brush
Emergency Solution: 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 acheive generally the same results.
If you don't have a: Cooling Rack
Emergency Solution: 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.
If you don't have a: Spatula
Emergency Solution: 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: Turkey Lifters
Emergency Solution: Cutting Board and Fork
If you forget to purchase turkey lifters, dont 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: Potato Masher
Emergency Solution: Metal Water Bottle, Colander, or Ice Cream Scoop
Mashed potatoes are an essential Thanksgiving dish, therefore 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 a: Gravy Separator
Emergency Solution: 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
Emergency Solution: 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: Bench Scraper
Emergency Solution: 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: Microplane
Emergency Solution: 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
Emergency Solution: 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.