Thanksgiving To-Do List & Stress-Less Tips
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I love the food, all of it, and the fact there is no pressure to buy presents. To keep it enjoyable, don’t let Tom get the best of you. Be prepared, have a plan and start soon to avoid the stress and expense of last minute preparations and shopping!
10 Tips For Tackling Turkey Day
1. Confirm number of guests.
2. Decide on sit down, buffet or combo ( we always have 20+ guests, but love to have everyone gathered at one table. So we serve food buffet style and have everyone sit at a long Thanksgiving Table we create by lining up smaller tables – it runs from the Dining Room to the Living Room!)
3. Regardless of how you plan to serve your Thanksgiving feast,you are going to need to seat all your guests somewhere, so make sure you have enough seats and space.
4. Launder and press tablecloths and napkins.
5. Decide on your signature cocktail. This is great for welcoming guests from a road trip, a glass of prosecco is one of our favorites. Select the wine (4 – 5 glasses per bottle) and beer, and make sure you have enough glasses. Stock your pantry with a case of sparkling water – whatever you don’t use will come in handy the rest of the Holiday Season.
6. Purchase your beverages ahead of time – this is some heavy lifting you can get out of the way in advance of Thanksgiving.
7. Finalize your menu. You know Turkey will be on it, so make some decisions:
- Fresh or frozen? (if you want fresh make sure to order it).
- What size Turkey? Decide based on number of guests. If you will want to have enough for each person to have at least two servings and enough for turkey leftovers allow 1lb. per person. However, general guidelines are: Bone in breast = 1/2 lb. per person Boneless breast or role = 1/3 lb. per person
- How long to thaw? It is best to thaw a turkey in the refrigerator
6 to 8lbs. = 1 to 1 ¾ days
8 to 12lbs. = 1 to 2 days
12 to 16lbs. = 2 to 3 days
16 to 20lbs. = 3 to 4 days
8. Make three shopping lists:
- Buy Now: All your non-perishables: beverages, paper items, canned goods, candles, etc.
- Buy Monday before Thanksgiving: fruit, veggies, etc.
- Buy Wednesday before Thanksgiving: fresh bread, flowers, etc… and you can pick up anything you forgot.
9. Make what you can ahead of time. Here are some great side dishes recipes from our blog, some of which can be made or prepared ahead of time. Thanksgiviing make-ahead side dishes>
10. Invite guests to bring their family’s favorite side dishes. It’s nice to have guests share and enjoy their traditional dish at your table – just like the Pilgrims! Plus, it cuts down on your shopping, cooking and mess! Decide what everyone is bringing and cross off some items on your list.