Thanksgiving is next week! It’s amazing how quickly the holidays sneak up on you, and it’s easy to start panicking, but don’t. You probably (hopefully) know where you will be for Thanksgiving dinner and, if you’re just a guest, then you’re all set! If you are a food-bringing guest, you have quite a bit of time to plan out when to shop for ingredients and then prepare the item, so no reason really to stress out there. But for those of us who are hosting Thanksgiving this year, it may seem like time is slipping away but there is plenty of time. A certain amount of stress is unavoidable but chronic stress during the holidays can ruin the holiday spirit (and it’s not good for your health either).
At reveal23, we don’t think there’s anything that a good To-Do List can’t handle! By properly planning ahead and delegating, you can prepare for Thanksgiving at your house and be happy to do it again the very next week if you wanted to because of how easily it all came together.
Plan Your Menu – Create a “Holiday Book” or “Event Log”, if you don’t already have one, and write out every dish you plan on making for Thanksgiving. We suggest keeping the number of items at or under eight. Print out recipes (if found online) and include with the menu list.
Reserve Your Turkey – While markets will have turkeys generally, if you want a specific size, and haven’t already done so, place a reservation order for the particular type and size of turkey you want (if your local market offers the service).
Decide on Your Table Setting – Make sure you have your table linens, plateware, glassware, silverware, and serving ware chosen/purchased.
Decorate – Have pumpkins, maple leaves, and cornucopias to throw around? Do it the week before so your general decorations are not one of those last-minute Thanksgiving morning things you have to rush through.
Make Your Shopping List – Don’t rely on memory for this grocery trip. At the end of this week, make your list and check it twice!
WEEK OF THANKSGIVING
Monday – 1. Clean out the refrigerator. 2. Do your Thanksgiving grocery shopping, and don’t forget the ice cream if you’re serving pie à la mode for dessert! This will give you time to thaw and brine your turkey if that is how you are preparing it this year.
Tuesday – 1. Make sure the turkey is in the refrigerator, brining or not. Big turkeys especially need plenty of time to thaw if you want them to cook properly. 2. Make your pies. Whether pumpkin, pecan, or apple, pies will taste even better when made ahead. 3. Wash all plateware, silverware, and glassware for your Thanksgiving table. 4. Cut bread into cubes for stuffing/dressing and leave out to dry.
Wednesday – 1. Make turkey stock with neck, giblets, and vegetables to use for gravy. 2. Wash and chop all necessary vegetables for side dishes. 3. Make stuffing/dressing (if not actually stuffing into turkey). 4. Make dinner rolls, cornbread, or biscuits, if you choose to go homemade. 5. Set the table.
Thanksgiving Morning/Afternoon – 1. Get up early. 2. Eat breakfast and have a big cup of coffee! 3. Put any beverages needing chilling in the refrigerator. 4. Take the turkey out of the refrigerator to come to room temperature. 5. Prepare all side dishes needing the oven and set aside. 6. Prepare turkey and get it into the oven to roast.
Just Before Thanksgiving Dinner – 1. Take the (hopefully now fully cooked) turkey out of the oven to rest. 2. Put all pre-made dishes into oven to heat up. 3. Make gravy using pre-made turkey stock and juices from roasting pan. 4. Take pies out of the refrigerator to come to room temperature. You can always throw them in the oven just before dessert-time too.