Getting Ready for Thanksgiving
So, you're hosting Thanksgiving dinner. Whether this is your first time or your fiftieth time, there are always ways to make Thanksgiving Day go more smoothly. Here are a few tips on how to get prepared well in advance and be ready to go come Thanksgiving Day.
2-3 Weeks Before:
- Test new recipes. Trying new recipes the day-of can be a recipe for disaster itself. Give them a go a few weeks in advance to avoid last-minute kitchen mishaps.
- Plan your menu. By having a clear idea of what you're serving on Thanksgiving, you can watch for sales and specials on things you may need to stock up on, so you avoid the grocery store frenzy that week.
- Give your guests something to do. Whether you ask them to bring a side dish or just a bottle of wine or an appetizer, give the guests something to do that will make them feel useful and also take something off your list.
2-4 Days Before:
- Grocery shop. Grab any non-perishable essentials you need a few days before.
- Thaw your turkey. Be sure to give that bird a few days to fully thaw so you don't have a frozen center when it's time to roast.
- Bake and cook in advance. Things like pie crusts, cranberry sauces and cheesecakes can be prepared and stored to give you less to do on turkey day itself.
- Think about where the food will go on Thanksgiving Day. You may need to make sure you have coolers and ice ready to help create extra storage for desserts and drinks on Thanksgiving Day itself. Get these squared away now.
1 Day Before:
- Buy produce. Now is the time to get those fresh lemons and other vegetables you may need that are better fresh than frozen.
- Get your casseroles ready. Fill casserole dishes just up to the baking point and then place in the refrigerator so they're ready to pull out and bake the next day.
- Bake pies and desserts. All the desserts can be baked and set aside to free up oven space for the bird the next day.
- Clean your house. Don't leave things like cleaning the bathroom for the day of. Instead, get the major cleaning done now so Thanksgiving Day is focused on cooking and straightening up.
- Make breakfast. Having a breakfast ready to go on Thanksgiving will decrease the stress and commotion in the kitchen as you're trying to get the bird in and organize the casserole cook times.
- Create a cooking schedule. Write down how long things take to bake and cook so you can plan what needs to go in the oven when.
- Roast your turkey. The main attraction to a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. Be sure to allow time for resting, carving and the making of gravy when you decide what time to put it in the oven.
- Utilize your cooking schedule. Stick to the schedule you made and keep it posted in a spot you can refer to so you know where you stand.
- Send the kids away. If it's possible, send the kids to a parade or church and get them out of the house for a while.
- Give thanks. Remember that Thanksgiving is a day to be grateful for all that you have. Stay positive and say a few words of gratitude for the people in your life.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!