Hello Lovely Readers! I originally did this post last year, but I decided to update it by refreshing all the links and by adding a few more thoughts. Even if our holiday is much smaller this year due to Covid, there is still a lot to plan and execute. My most helpful tip is to plan ahead! Read through this timeline and see what works for you! Make your own list and be sure to delegate. With kids at home from school, ask everyone what would make this a more FUN holiday for all! And then, ask everyone for help! Happy planning!
Thanksgiving is just around the corner and it’s time to start planning how to pull off the Big Feast! So go get a pad of paper and a pen as there’s lots to coordinate! The sooner you start the more FUN you’ll have because you’ll be less stressed if most of the items on your list are done before Turkey Day🦃🦃🦃!
Ten days (or so) before (two Sundays before Thanksgiving):
Figure out who’s coming and think about which items you might want them to make/buy/bring. Don’t be shy. This is a big event and people want to help. Let them so you won’t be wiped out.
2. Order the turkey 🦃. Plan on one to one and a half pounds of turkey per person (this higher amount includes enough for leftovers). Buying a fresh turkey is easier as you won’t have to thaw it out. For a frozen bird it takes one day per five pounds of turkey to totally thaw out! And a frozen turkey takes up a lot of real estate in your frig for multiple days😞.
3. Find any linens, napkins, candles, powder room hand towels, etc. and put them in a safe spot for the Big Day. I prefer 100% cotton napkins as they’re more absorbent and softer. Check these out.
4. This is the time to make any name cards if you’re planning to use them. Several years ago I saw these cute paper turkeys made out of cupcake liners on the Today show. I made them and save them from year to year in a special drawer. I just make new ones for any new additions to the guest list. (My cupcake liners were from Sur la Table several years ago. Here are similar ones, for the rainbow striped turkey bodies. Here are the white mini liners for the heads. And here is construction paper for the beak, waddle and brown place card.
5. Check to see if you have enough plates, silverware, and glasses for your guests. Here’s a similar tureen to the photo above.
6. Make your menu. Try and be realistic about the number of items you prepare. Consider how much oven space you have, what items guests could bring, and how much time do you have to prepare. If you’re short on oven space, you can use a slow cooker to keep dishes like mashed potatoes warm.
7. This next step is REALLY IMPORTANT! Take the time TODAY to really read through each recipe. Make sure it’s not crazy difficult as there are LOTS of things to be made. When in doubt pick a tried and true recipe. If you want to experiment, do so on just one or two items. The others will be more on auto-pilot, so less stressful.
8. Order any supplies on line if you think they may be tough to find. One year I called or went to five stores looking for pomegranate molasses! Now it’s Amazon for that!
8. Order any supplies for sending home leftovers. Several years ago Mr. GQ helped me out by ordering plastic one quart containers with lids. They’re great for leftovers (for my kids when we have Sunday dinners) and I use them for homemade soups as well.
9. Buy liquor, soda, wine, beer as this will all keep.
That’s enough for now. Stay tuned as this week I’ll break the rest of the timeline down for you. I’ll share my menu with you as well as all of my fun recipes that I’ve collected over the years. This holiday is really a marathon and the more prepared you are, the less pressure you’ll feel. So you’re on your way to planning for the Biggest Feast of the Year 🍽🦃🍁!!!