Happy November…time to plan for Thanksgiving!   Leave a comment

Give away the Halloween candy and clean out the cobwebs! It’s NOVEMBER!
Am I the only one out there that got an uncomfortable feeling when you turn the calendar to November and see that word that looms large…….THANKSGIVING? My first thought is “thanks-giving – who’s giving thanks for this? All the preparation that needs to go into that meal!” And then I began to think about giving myself the time to actually prepare a timeline for breaking this task down into workable steps. I’m on a mission to assist busy people with their lives so in an attempt to help with Thanksgiving, I have found a good timeline for the preparation of your Thanksgiving meal. I think that this will make me truly thankful….and much more able to appreciate what “Thanksgiving” is all about with less stress beforehand. I hope it helps you too!

(Compliments of Williams-Sonoma.com)
While some home cooks have years of experience preparing a Thanksgiving dinner, there are just as many who are roasting a turkey for the first time. With that in mind, we have compiled this timeline to help you plan and prepare the feast. Our tried-and-true timeline has helped many a Thanksgiving cook over the years.

We recommend that you begin planning and shopping a week or two in advance. Then you will be better able to relax and enjoy the pleasures of cooking for family and friends.

1 to 2 Weeks Before Thanksgiving

Confirm the number of guests and plan your menu.
Order the appropriate-size turkey.
Plan your table setting, serving dishes and decorations.
Read through all the recipes and make your preliminary
shopping lists and to-do lists.
Shop for any essential cooks’ tools, cooking equipment
and tableware you will need.
Take table linens to the dry cleaner for cleaning and pressing.

A Few Days Before Thanksgiving

Finalize your shopping lists.
Shop for staples, produce and other fresh foods.
Prepare any food that can be made in advance, such as pie pastry and cranberry sauce.
If you purchased a frozen turkey, begin thawing it out in the refrigerator.
If you plan to brine the turkey, prepare the brine but do not add the turkey; cover and refrigerate.

The Day Before Thanksgiving

If you ordered a fresh turkey, pick it up or have it delivered.
If you are going to brine the turkey, place it in the brine and refrigerate.
Complete your food shopping.
Make turkey stock for gravy and dressing.
Chop ingredients for the dressing, such as onions and celery; refrigerate in covered bowls or plastic bags.
Chop the herbs for various dishes; refrigerate in covered bowls or plastic bags.
Bake the pies and tarts.
Chill the wines and water.

The Evening Before Thanksgiving

Cut fresh bread into chunks for the dressing; leave out overnight to dry.
Set the table.
Organize the before-dinner drinks.
Organize the tea and coffee service.
Determine what time the turkey will go into the oven (see our tip for Roasting the Turkey).
Organize the serving dishes.
Get a good night’s sleep!

Thanksgiving Day

Early Morning

Have breakfast and organize your day.
Confirm the time to remove the turkey from the refrigerator and the time to put it in the oven.
Peel and cut the potatoes; set them in cold water.

4 to 5 Hours Before Dinner

While the oven preheats, prepare the turkey for roasting.
Place the turkey in the oven at the determined time.
Prepare the dressing.
Check the table setting to make sure all is in order.

1 to 2 Hours Before Dinner

Cook the potatoes.
Put the cranberry sauce on the table.
Serve drinks and hors d’oeuvres to guests.

45 Minutes to 1 Hour Before Dinner

When the turkey is done, transfer to a warmed platter and cover with aluminum foil.
Finish preparing the dressing, then bake the dressing and cook or reheat side dishes.
Make the gravy.
Mash the potatoes.
Place the dinner plates in the warm oven.
Seat your guests, carve the turkey and serve dinner.


Posted November 1, 2010 by dsgnmom in Uncategorized

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