When planning our Thanksgiving feast sometimes the “to do list” can seem a little daunting even for us. We try to spread out as many of the chores over the next couple weeks to avoid the last minute Thanksgiving panic. We ordered the turkey last week, if you haven’t done so already now is the time. This week is all about making lists, writing down a game plan, and stocking up. Yep, we take the time to write ALL this stuff down (so we don’t forget anything) and post it on our fridge and delegate tasks (so everyone else in the family can help.) We can’t stress this enough– make a plan!
1. Take a deep breath. Open a bottle of wine or make a pot of tea. Put on some nice music and sit down in a quiet spot.
2. Finalize your recipes and write down a plan: create columns for the following:
a) Stuff that can be made ahead of time. For example, you can make cranberry sauce the minute you see fresh cranberries at the market. Toasting any nuts you’ll be needed ahead of time… pie dough, Store the made-ahead items in your freezer, in air-tight containers and clearly labeled.
b) Stuff that needs to be purchased/ordered or re-stocked
c) Non-food tasks that need to done (i.e. taking linens to the dry cleaners, getting the dog groomed, cleaning the house, pulling service utensils, etc)
3. Make a shopping list. Organize the list into 2 categories: fresh ingredients and non-perishable ingredients. Buy all non-perishable items this week when you do your regular grocery shopping. Any of the shopping you can knock out now will mean less to pick up at the store the closer you get to the Big Day. If you’ve ever gone through the agony of shopping on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving… you’ll never make that mistake again!!
4. Double-check your kitchen and table setting supplies. Do you need a roasting pan? Don’t have a platter large enough for your turkey? Now is the time to borrow or buy any supplies you need. Do you need to wash or iron a tablecloth or napkins? How about polish silver (ugh)? These are all tasks we do this coming weekend while watching our favorite movies.
5. If you are really ahead of the game– make your pie dough and pie shells this weekend and freeze. Better yet, ask one of your guests (the one you trust the most) to bring the pie!