Thanksgiving Football shopping pumpkin pie fall leaves turkey dinner Family pilgrims blessings cornucopia peace love thankful
Thanksgiving Football shopping pumpkin pie fall leaves turkey dinner Family pilgrims blessings cornucopia peace love thankful
Thanksgiving Football shopping pumpkin pie fall leaves turkey dinner Family pilgrims blessings cornucopia peace love thankful
Thanksgiving Football shopping pumpkin pie fall leaves turkey dinner Family pilgrims blessings cornucopia peace love thankful
Thanksgiving Football shopping pumpkin pie fall leaves turkey dinner Family pilgrims blessings cornucopia peace love thankful
Thanksgiving Football shopping pumpkin pie fall leaves turkey dinner Family pilgrims blessings cornucopia peace love thankful
Thanksgiving Football shopping pumpkin pie fall leaves turkey dinner Family pilgrims blessings cornucopia peace love thankful
Thanksgiving Football shopping pumpkin pie fall leaves turkey dinner Family pilgrims blessings cornucopia peace love thankful
Thanksgiving Football shopping pumpkin pie fall leaves turkey dinner Family pilgrims blessings cornucopia peace love thankful

One empowered woman's struggle against the world
Wednesday May 22nd 2019

Five Steps For Planning A Thanksgiving Dinner

It is that time of year again.  Thanksgiving is two weeks away and it is time to start planning.  Yes it takes a plan, if you want to have a less stressful Thanksgiving holiday dinner that is.  Thanksgiving is the perfect holiday to have friends and family come together but it takes a lot of food and a lot of work.  In order to make Thanksgiving more enjoyable for everyone, some planning and prep work needs to be done first.  Follow these 5 easy steps and tips to make this Thanksgiving a memorable and less stressful holiday.

Five Easy Steps

Step 1 – A week to 10 days before Thanksgiving week invite your friends and family, plan your menu, decorate, confirm schedules, cook meals for Thanksgiving week and buy your turkey.

  • Guests: You will want to give plenty of notice to friends and family so they can reply and you know how many people are coming.
  • Menu: Once you have an idea of the number of guest start planning the menu, which should be complete a week before Thanksgiving.  Remember to incorporate any dishes, desserts or beverages a guest is bringing.
  • Decorate: Do all of your outside decorations now.
  • Confirm schedules: Get all the kids activities, events you have to attend, and work you need to complete all scheduled on a calendar where you will see it everyday.  Set up driving schedules to drop off and pick up kids, run errands and/or pick up guest traveling in from out of town.  Even if you don’t normally keep a schedule this is the one time you want too.
  • Cook meals: cook some extra meals and freeze them so the hectic days leading up to Thanksgiving you just have to thaw and heat up meals.  This is a life saver when you are trying to get everything accomplished.
  • Buy the Turkey: You don’t want to wait till the last minute to get your turkey.  Buy the bird now and put it in the freezer.

Step 2 – The weekend before Thanksgiving clean the house and yard, decorate, organize the family, the kitchen, go shopping and pull out the turkey to thaw.

  • Clean: Do a major clean of the house inside and out.  This is also a good time to do any necessary repairs and get them out of the way.
  • Decorate: Now that the house is clean decorate it.  Set all the last minute, day of decorations in one area so putting them out is a breeze come Thanksgiving morning.
  • Organize the family: Get the family organized for the week.  Double check the schedule to make sure everything is listed.  Figure out who is driving when and where and make sure “they” know their task.  Get the kids involved and give them task to help during the week.  Making sure everyone knows where they are suppose to be and what they are supposed to be doing, don’t assume someone checked the calendar or just knows, tell them!
  • Organize the kitchen: Your kitchen is probably organized for everyday use but is it ready for preparing a big meal for family and friends?  Go over your kitchen to make sure appliances work, clutter is cleared away, counters are cleaned, refrigerator and freezer cleaned out to have space to thaw your turkey and store food and china/silver (if being used) is pulled out and cleaned.  Don’t forget about serving dishes, cooking pots and pans, utensils, dinnerware, glasses and throw away containers guests can take leftovers home in.  You don’t want to start cooking and realize you don’t have the right pan or a serving dish to serve it in.  An assortment of inexpensive plastic containers for guest to take home leftovers or just store leftovers in, is a must.
  • Shopping: Shop for food and any household and kitchen items you will need.  Triple check your menu and recipes, go through your pantry, freezer and spice rack then make a list of all the items you will need.  Make a list of everything you need and what stores you need to go to.  Plan out your shopping trip to make the most efficient use of your time.
  • Thaw turkey: If you have a turkey that is 13 pounds or more, the average is 16 pounds these days, you want to set in the refrigerator Sunday night to start thawing.

Step 3 – Two days before Thanksgiving start preparing some food, thaw turkey and ingredients and relax.

  • Start preparing food: Dips for vegetable platters, pies, cranberry sauce, dressings and any other items on your menu you can prepare ahead of time.  Prepare them and store them in the refrigerator until you are ready for them on Thanksgiving Day.
  • Thaw turkey: If your turkey is under 13 pounds it only takes about 2 days to thaw so now is the time to put it in the refrigerator to start thawing.
  • Relax: Don’t let things get hectic.  Set aside some time for yourself to sit back and relax before all the fun starts.  Send the kids away for a few hours, take a bath, read a book or whatever else you do to relax.

Step 4 — The day before Thanksgiving prepare some more food, final clean, prepare all your linen, serving and dinnerware and decorate.

  • Prepare food: Casseroles, mashed potatoes or sweet potatoes, vegetable/fruit platters and cakes are just some of what you can prepare the day before.  Take any frozen items out to thaw so they will be ready for the Thanksgiving Day.  Never pre-stuff your turkey!
  • Final clean: A major clean has already been done so it should just take a walk through to make sure everything is still in order.  Make sure there are soap and hand towels in the bathrooms, linens for overnight guest, vacuum on last time and a quick dusting you should be ready.
  • Prepare serving/dinnerware: Pull out all the plates, glasses, silverware, serving bowls/platters, glasses, table linens, placemats and napkins.  Any cloth linens that need to be ironed should be done now.
  • Decorate: Set out all your decorations for the big day just before you go to bed.

Step 5 – On Thanksgiving Day prepare the rest of the food, don’t forget the turkey, set the table and enjoy.

  • Prepare food: In the morning, remove the turkey from the refrigerator giving it approximately 90 minutes to come to room temperature.  Make sure to remove the giblets and neck from inside the turkey.  Rinse the turkey under cool water.  Stuff and dress the turkey and cook according to your recipe.  Plan for the turkey to be done an hour before serving time.  This gives you time to cook or heat up your side dishes that require the oven.  While the turkey is cooking prepare all the ingredients for the side dishes and desserts.  Get together all the beverages.
  • Set the table: That one is pretty obvious – set the table with dinnerware, silverware, glasses and linens.
  • Enjoy!!!

Planning Thanksgiving Dinner is a lot of work but it comes with a lot of reward.  If you plan ahead and prepare, you can break it all down into manageable, stress free chunks, spread out over two weeks instead of trying to do it all in one day.  Involve friends and family to make it an affair to remember.  Thanksgiving can be an almost stress-free occasion.  Here is to hoping you have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day.

Reader Feedback

One Response to “Five Steps For Planning A Thanksgiving Dinner”

  1. Clyde Derrow says:
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