Don’t let turkey get you down

Stressed about the upcoming Thanksgiving cook-a-thon? Nobody knows more about feeding a crowd efficiently than a caterer, so I asked two local caterers for tips:

1. Matt Woolston of the Supper Club recommends breaking down the turkey and cooking dark and white meat separately: “Brine white meat and cook it at 165 degrees, and do a dry cure of cloves, bay leaf, salt, sugar, and smoked paprika for the dark meat. This method allows you to have the carcass to make stock and gravy ahead. Also, know your limitations. You can pick up side dishes or add some prepared food to the feast.”

2. Nancy Fontes, event coordinator at Hannibal’s Catering, says: “The day before, peel and cut up both yams and potatoes, and soak them in water. Make stuffing in advance, and clean green beans and have them in the pan. And have fun with your menu! You can hollow out little pumpkins and serve squash and shiitake mushroom soup in them for a first course, or do pumpkin ravioli with brown butter and sage.”