How to have a perfectly timed Thanksgiving

TWO WEEKS BEFORE

  • Plan your menu (including the snacks/appetizer items)
  • Plan guest sleeping arrangements
  • Stock up on items such as paper towels, aluminum foil, tupperware containers for leftovers, etc.

ONE WEEK BEFORE

  • Finalize guest list
  • Make room in the refrigerator
  • Shop, shop, shop! – the earlier you can do your shopping, the better, plus you avoid crowds and ensure your items are in-stock AND remember the wine
  • Deep clean your house – hire a professional service for this part (and have them change all guest bed linens)

3 DAYS BEFORE

  • Prepare guest rooms
  • Stock all bathrooms – make sure each one is properly outfitted with a full hand soap, lotion, hand towels, toilet paper and other essentials. Include extra items in guest baths, like shampoo/conditioner, washcloths, bath towels
  • Wash all serving dishes or anything that may have been gathering dust

2 DAYS BEFORE 

  • Place turkey in refrigerator to begin thawing
  • Make all pies and desserts
  • Arrange seasonal florals or have centerpieces delivered
  • Make any breakfast items for Thanksgiving Day

THE DAY BEFORE

  • Make cranberry sauce and refrigerate
  • Prepare and bake casseroles/sides (green bean, sweet potato, etc.)
  • Refresh the house – you’ve already had your deep clean, this is a spot clean and last minute touch up job 
  • Set the table
  • Soak your turkey in brine overnight

THANKSGIVING DAY | MORNING

  • Wake up early and brew a pot of coffee – this should be refreshed all day
  • Rinse your turnkey of brine and pat dry
  • Let sit at room temperature for one hour
  • Place turkey in oven to begin cooking – if your turkey takes 3 hours to roast, allow yourself at least 1 extra hour of cooking and cooling time

THANKSGIVING DAY | AFTERNOON

  • Check temperature of turkey – begin checking after 2 hours of cooking
  • Make and arrange appetizers
  • Make mashed potatoes
  • Prepare all side dishes to be warmed in the oven
  • Once internal temperature of turkey is reached (180 degrees F in thigh and 165 degrees F in breast), remove from oven and let rest

1 HOUR BEFORE DINNER

  • Let turkey rest for 30 minutes
  • Place side dishes in oven to be warmed
  • Make the gravy
  • Warm all side dishes in the oven, including rolls
  • Carve the turkey
  • Arrange all dishes on table or buffet-style
  • Enjoy!

 

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