FOUR WEEKS OUT:
- Prepare a guest list and invite your guests. You’ll need to know in advance how many guests so you’ll know what size turkey to purchase.
- Plan your menu from appetizers to dessert on a piece of paper. Make a checklist of all the ingredients that you’ll need.
- Measure your oven so you know what size turkey will fit.
THREE WEEKS OUT:
- Check your seating arrangements
– Table (one large enough for all your guests)
– Chairs for all of your guests
- Make sure you have enough of the following:
– Dinner plates
– Dessert plates
– Coffee cups and saucers
– Forks, knives and spoons
– Water glasses
– Wine glasses
– Clean napkins
- Are you prepared with cooking and serving items?
– Roasting pan
– Hot pads
– Different sized serving bowls, serving utensils and containers for leftovers
– Sharpened knives
– Sugar bowl and cream pitcher
– Salt and pepper shakers
TWO WEEKS OUT:
- Order your turkey–especially if you want one that’s fresh. (Plan on 1 1/4 pounds per person.)
ONE WEEK OUT:
- Create your shopping list by using your checklist of all ingredients that you’ll need for your Thanksgiving dinner menu. It might be easier if you break your shopping into two different days.
THANKSGIVING WEEK – MONDAY:
- Defrost your turkey (if it’s frozen).
- Allow 24 hours for every 5 pounds if you’re going to defrost a turkey in the refrigerator. A 15-pound turkey will take three full days.
- You can also defrost the bird in a sink filled with cold water. It would take about 7 ½ hours for a 15 pound turkey.
THANKSGIVING WEEK – TUESDAY:
- Make everything that will be served chilled, like cranberry sauce. Cover the dishes and keep them refrigerated.
THANKSGIVING WEEK – WEDNESDAY:
- Set the table.
- Prepare all the side dishes that can be made completely or partially.
While the turkey roasts, cook the side dishes.
While the turkey rests make the gravy and assemble any last minute sides. You can also reheat the ones you made on Wednesday. You might want to consider purchasing a large electric roaster depending on the size of your oven and your kitchen. You can be cooking your turkey in the roaster and all your sides in the oven.
Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to be thankful for your family, friends, good health and all that life has to offer. This Thanksgiving focus on the true meaning of giving thanks and showing appreciation.