Get a jump on your Thanksgiving feast! Make a detailed list of everything you want to serve and how you want to serve it. Take a careful stock of your china cabinet. Figure out what serving pieces you have and what will go on each plate well before you start cooking. Plan out how long everything must be in the oven and stagger the cooking times each dish.
SEVEN DAYS BEFORE THANKSGIVING: Plan your menu. Note which dishes can be prepared ahead of time and frozen. Invite your guests by telephone; ask if they’d like to contribute to the meal. Clean out the refrigerator to make room for your Thanksgiving groceries. Shop for non-perishables. Make place cards. Create a countdown list. Think of the time each task will take and then use that as a guide to plan your schedule over the next week.
SIX DAYS BEFORE THANKSGIVING: Carefully check recipes, the cupboards and your list of who’s bring what before making your own grocery list. Don’t forget to add film. Bake and freeze desserts and breads.
FIVE DAYS BEFORE THANKSGIVING: Shop for groceries. To save time, shop early in the morning or late at night. Start making side dishes that can be frozen.
FOUR DAYS BEFORE THANKSGIVING: Write a Thanksgiving Day timetable of what needs to be done when. Start with what time you want to serve the meal and work backward. How long should your turkey cook? What should you prepare first? Are the rolls the last thing you want to take out of the oven? Make sure you have enough burners and pots for cooking and reheating. Can any of your dishes be prepared in a slow cooker? Take out napkins and tablecloth and be prepared and launder, if necessary. Spray with a fabric protector for easier cleanup of spots and spills. Fix one or two dishes you can freeze.
THREEDAYS BEFORE THANKSGIVING: Check Serving Pieces you wish to use, check glassware and china. Clean or polish if needed. Fix one or two more dishes.
TWO DAYS BEFORE THANKSGIVING: If you are using a frozen turkey, put it in the refrigerator to defrost. Plan seating arrangement and make place cards for a more formal affair. Set the table and arrange centerpieces. If still necessary, prepare make more make-ahead dishes.
The Day Before THANKSGIVIVING: Defrost frozen dishes. Prepare any dishes you couldn’t freeze. Buy fresh bread, produce and a season bouquet for flowers. Spot clean rooms that will be frequented by guests. Chill wine. Lay out all the serving pieces and utensils for the next day. Set up extra tables. Clean and polish the dining room table. Iron linens. Lay out tablecloths, napkins, glasses and silver.
THANKSGIVING DAY: Carry out your Thanksgiving timetable. Stuff and roast the turkey. From football games to parades keep the fun flowing and be safe. ENJOY YOURSELF!!