A Table set for thanksgiving

Thanksgiving countdown

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One month before:

  • Guest List: send invites. Facebook events make it easy to keep track of responses and what everyone is bringing
  • Plan menu
  • Organize recipes in one spot

Three weeks before

  • Make a master grocery list
  • Order fresh turkey
  • Shop for drinks
  • Make a list of perishables, buy a few each week
  • Clean glasses and polish silverware. Do a count of plates, glasses, and silverware to make sure you have enough.
  • Do you have enough chairs? Borrow or rent some.
  • Baking: Mix dry ingredients and place them in a plastic bag. Tape recipe to it. Make your baking schedule (what you are going to bake when). Mark on calendar

Two weeks before

  • Clean and press Thanksgiving clothes
  • Clean freezer
  • Make and freeze pie shells. Or make the pie and freeze.
  • Make and freeze roll dough
  • Freeze homemade stock
  • Plan serving bowls for each dish–label bowls
  • Check your pots and pans. Do you have enough?
  • Wash and press table linen
  • Plan decorations

One week before

  • List your menu items making note of how long it takes to cook each dish. Make up a cooking schedule.
  • Shop for non-perishables
  • Make and freeze soup
  • Pick up turkey
  • Clean out refrigerator

Sunday

  • Make ice. Save money by making ice and storing it in a food-safe bag.
  • Bake cornbread for stuffing. Not everyone uses cornbread for stuffing. Check your stuffing recipe for directions.

Monday

  • Defrost turkey. Allow one day for each 4 to 5 pounds
  • Buy perishables

Tuesday

  • Make cranberry sauce, Jell-O and other cold dishes
  • Pies: make or defrost. Don’t bake
  • Defrost stock
  • Set out bread for stuffing to dry
  • Fill salt and pepper shakers
  • Assemble reheatable side dishes such as sweet potato casserole, scallop corn, green bean casserole, stuffed squash, etc.

Wednesday

  • Bake pies late in the day
  • Chop nuts, vegetables, and cheese that you will be using for your dishes
  • Bake reheatable dishes
  • Make appetizers
  • Wash and dry salad greens. Store in a plastic bag in the crisper
  • Set the table. Place salt and pepper shakers on table.
  • Set up dessert and/or appetizer sidebars: plates, forks, spoons, pie servers, napkins, and other non-food items.
  • Chill beverages
  • Place dry ingredients for your dishes in a plastic bag and tape recipe to the bag. Place in serving bowl with serving spoon. Note: Stuffing–for safety reasons– should not have wet ingredients mixed with the dry until right before cooking.
  • Thaw rolls/scones. Bake if not already made.
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Thanksgiving

Schedule for Thanksgiving day will vary depending on the time of the meal, size of your turkey, if you are stuffing it and what side dishes you are serving.

4 to 7 hours before

  • Remove turkey from the refrigerator and let it warm to room temperature for one hour (see All Recipes for cooking times).
  • Preheat oven
  • Bake side dishes and/or rolls

3 to 6 hours before

  • Place turkey in the oven

3 hours before

  • Finish table centerpieces
  • Prep baskets for bread
  • Prep appetizers and/or relish trays
  • Put milk and sugar in their serving containers. Keep milk chilled

1 hour before

  • Remove mash potatoes and side dishes from the refrigerator and bring to room temperature.
  • Place cranberry sauce and butter on the table

30 minutes before

  • Check the temperature of the turkey and remove it from the oven when the thigh temp reaches 165 degrees. Tent turkey and let it rest for half an hour.
  • If you stuff your turkey, remove stuffing and place in baking dish. Heat until temp reaches 165 degrees.
  • Reheat side dishes
  • Warm rolls
  • Place salad in serving bowl with tongs. Set it and salad dressing on the table.
  • Fill water and wine glasses
  • Start coffee
  • Make gravy
  • Place appetizers on the table or sidebar.

Just before…

  • Crave turkey
  • Place side dishes and gravy on the table
  • Place rolls in bread basket and place on the table
  • Place sugar bowl and milk on the table or dessert sidebar
Shopping Guide

Thanksgiving serving bowls:  Amazon  ebay

Thanksgiving tablecloths: Amazon ebay

Thanksgiving napkins: Amazon ebay

Thanksgiving platters and trays:  Amazon ebay

Thanksgiving salt and pepper shakers:  Amazon ebay

Casserole dishes: Amazon ebay

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