Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Thanksgiving Countdown!

Well, the countdown is on!  Thanksgiving is just a mere 6 days away.  I thought it might be helpful to post a checklist  that I've used more than once to help ensure that things go smoothly.  We'll only cover up to the day before for now.  I'll post an hourly countdown for Thanksgiving Day in a few days.  I hope you find it helpful!

3rd Week of November

1. Remind guests of what to bring
 (If you have folks who are bringing dishes, think about your oven space.  Let guests know if they'll be able to re-heat dishes or if they should bring them ready to serve.)
2. Create non-perishable centerpieces.
3. If you have guests staying with you for the holiday decide who will sleep where and ensure that you have plenty of linens.  Purchase necessary items.
4. Check to ensure that you have plenty of extra items such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo, special body soaps/lotions, slippers etc.
5. Purchase bottled water for guests rooms.
6. Ensure that you have guests favorite beverages on hand.

Thanksgiving Week:
1. Clean out the fridge.
2. Begin thawing turkey (if frozen)
3. Iron table cloths  and napkins
4. Decide which platters, bowls etc. you will use and label them with the item that will be served on them.

2 Days  Before
1. Clean the house
2. Transfer pies, cakes and quick breads to the refrigerator for thawing.
3. Go grocery shopping for fresh items such as produce, breads etc.
4. Prepare make ahead side dishes and sauces.
5.  Make cornbread for stuffing.  Crumble and cover with towel.  Set out to dry.
6.  Cube bread for stuffing.  Spread on tray and cover with towel to dry.
7. Ensure that you have plenty of ice and beverages.

The Day Before
1. Assemble side dishes like stuffing, green bean casserole etc. and cover.  Refrigerate.  (Add 3-5 minutes for pre-assembled, refrigerated dishes.)
2. Prepare butter dishes, fill salt and pepper shakers, set the table.
3. Bake pies.
4. Peel potatoes, squash  etc.  Put in water and cover.
5. Chop onions, celery, garlic, carrots.
6. Get giblets out of turkey and cook with chopped vegetables for gravy.
7. Make refrigerator roll dough.
8. Calculate time needed for baking turkey.
9. Plan Thanksgiving Day breakfast.

What does your family usually do for breakfast on Thanksgiving Day?  Since we typically will eat our big meal at 2:00 or 3:00 pm I often will prepare a couple of things for our family to choose from for breakfast.  Cinnamon Rolls are a must.  (See bread recipes)  A breakfast casserole (See breakfast recipes) is easy to do the night before.  Just pop it into the oven while you brew your coffee/tea.   Sometimes some yogurt, fruit and granola are an option. An easy pre-assembled fruit salad (see salad recipes) is also one of our favorites.  Whatever you choose to do, make it ahead!


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