Your Thanksgiving Organizer
First Week of November:
Issue Invites: If you
haven’t already done so, it’s time to make those phone calls.
People feel more welcomed and comfortable if plans are made
ahead. No one wants to feel like a last minute guest.
Make your menu: Pull out
your cookbooks and recipe files. Create your menu. If you are
having guests bring a dish, you might want to do this before you
call them. That way, when they ask what to bring, you will be
Think ahead: Note on your
menu which dishes can be prepared ahead and frozen. These often
include casseroles, the stuffing, and cakes without the frosting
or other desserts. Pull out your calendar and divide those
make-ahead dishes up among the next three weeks.
Go Gobble: If you
traditionally call ahead to order a turkey, pie or other food
item, pick up the phone and do it now.
Second Week of November:
Count heads and seats: You
should now have a head count. Figure out where everyone will
sit. Decide if you need to arrange to borrow or rent chairs or
Check Linens: Do you need
to wash or press tablecloths or napkins? Once pressed, fold the
table cloth horizontally to fit on a hanger and store it hanging
until you set the table.
Shine Silver: You might not
have had out that silver all summer. Check now to see what items
need polishing. If you have dishes stored away, like that turkey
platter, take the time to get them out now and make sure they
Plan the Centerpiece: Decide now what you will put on the middle of the table(s). If
you intend to order from a florist, do so. If you plan to pick
up flowers, fruit, pumpkins or gourds and make your own, choose
your containers. Add a note to your menu so that you will
remember to shop for those items.
Third Week of November:
Grocery List: Take your
menu and create a grocery list. Don’t forget to add beverages to
your list. If you are having company at your house for the
holiday, take time to make a menu for those other meals and add
those items to the list.
Cooking List: Take your
menu and create a food-time cooking list. On your paper, list
each dish, the temperature it needs to bake, and the length of
time it needs to cook. Decide what time you want to serve
dinner. Based on that, you can now list on the paper what time
of day each dish should go into the oven or on to the stove.
Saturday through Monday:
Pick up turkey or ordered items
that are ready.
Pick up tables and chairs
If the turkey is frozen, look at
the weight and label instructions so that you can note when it
needs to begin to thaw.
Set tables, if possible. If not
gather together everything you do need.
Get out food serving or buffet
dishes. Use a sticky-note to label each dish. This will make it
easier to get the food out and to make sure you have everything
Do any food preparation that can
be done ahead, such as chopping celery or onions.
Work on dishes or prep work that
you can do ahead.
Pick up last minute food items,
such as that ordered pie.
This is a great day for dinner to
be a big pot of soup in the Crock-Pot!
Finish setting tables for
tomorrow. Add centerpieces.
Tidy up and do last minute chores.
Review your food-time list for