Are you anxious about the approaching holidays? Are you rushed and feel like there is just no time to get ready? Perhaps it’s your turn to host this year, wondering what you can do to get ready?
Years ago I read an article that included several steps that you can take to get ready for the big day, whether it is Thanksgiving, Christmas or another family gathering. I wrote a few notes on an index card, placed the card in with my recipes and have used the advice every year since then. By following these steps the countdown to Thanksgiving will be seamless.
First of all figure out the guest list. How many people will actually be coming for the big meal and find out if there are any sort of food allergies.
Have your guests help out by contributing a dish or a dessert. Be specific, ask your aunt to bring her wonderful creamed onions or your sister to bring her delicious cherry pie for example. Tell everyone you’ll do the turkey and let your guests bring the sides. Allowing others to contribute will help the countdown to Thanksgiving be easy. Once everyone has decided what they are going to bring you can fill in the missing items.
Purchase your turkey ahead of time. If you are planning on cooking a fresh turkey place your order 2-3 weeks in advance.
Prepare and assemble any dishes ahead of time. Baked goods and piecrusts can always be made ahead of time and placed in the freezer.
The Saturday before Thanksgiving shop for your perishable food. If you have a separate dining room you can even set the table ahead of time. Get out all your china, servicing dishes and various serving utensils.
Making a stuffing from scratch. On the Monday before Thanksgiving cut up the bread into cubes and place in a plastic bag. If your turkey is in the freezer take it out and put in the refrigerator to thaw.
The Tuesday before Thanksgiving cook, peel and mash your sweet potatoes, cover and refrigerate. Chop the onions and celery for the stuffing and refrigerate.
On the day before Thanksgiving prepare the stuffing and refrigerate. Cook the giblet broth for your gravy. Prepare the cranberry molds and refrigerate. Make the creamed onions. If you can, set the table and arrange the centerpiece. Bake any pies or desserts on the menu.
Thanksgiving morning add the liquid to the stuffing and stuff your turkey. Start roasting the turkey so it will be done 30 minutes before you plan to eat. Set out a few nibbles for your company, this will help tide everyone over until dinner is ready.
By following these simple steps the countdown to Thanksgiving will be smooth and stress free. Most important remember what Thanksgiving is all about. It’s not about the turkey or the special dessert, but it is about the family and friends gathered around your table. Be thankful for each person gathered around your table and enjoy the day