Thanksgiving Countdown


Thanksgiving Countdown:   (One Week Before)

Your Thanksgiving thoughts and plans are organized into this easy countdown list. Remember to keep the week simple- use paper plates and have easy meals.  Cancel any routine doctor's visits or other appointments for the week. And by all means delegate the work and accept the help!

Thursday before: 

1. Count the number of guests-check the number of plates, cutlery, glasses, serving utensils, serving platters, tablecloths, napkins and chairs, - borrow or purchase if necessary.
2. Is an extra table needed? Sometimes setting up a small folding table is great for beverages, extra working space, children’s table etc.
3.  Check Turkey necessities - Roasting pan / baker / fryer. Gravy boat, gravy separator, baster, lifter, meat thermometer, foil, carving knife.
4.  Beverages- Coffee, tea, large coffee maker, ice, pitchers
Friday before:

1. Finalize and write down the Thanksgiving Menu / Checklist / Shopping List.  Gather recipes, is anyone bringing a dish?
2.  Clean out the refrigerator- make room.
3.  Food shop today or tomorrow.

Saturday before:

1.  Play music and clean.
2.  Set the table (if possible) and carefully cover your set table with a light (plastic) tablecloth-  this is not advisable if you have curious pets or young children.
3.  Think about a centerpiece, candles (fresh or dry etc.)
4.  Food shop today or tomorrow.
5.  Treat yourself to a drink and watch a holiday movie.

Sunday before:

1.  Food shop
2.  Make Cranberry Sauce / Relish
3.  Make Cake Breads.  i.e.: Pumpkin, Cranberry Orange, Nut Breads.
4.   Make cookies. i.e.: Caramelized Pecan Bars
5.  Treat yourself to a drink- watch a holiday movie.
6.  If necessary start to thaw turkey in the refrigerator (allowing 24 hours for every 5 lbs.)

Monday before:

1. If necessary start to thaw turkey in the refrigerator - (allowing 24 hours for every 5 lbs.)
Tuesday before:

1. Clean and/or prepare make ahead vegetables. i.e:  sweet potatoes, mashed turnips...
2. Make pie doughs and refrigerate or defrost if necessary.
3. Make Tangy Cold Bean Salad
4. Make Pumpkin Shaped Cheese Ball, Cheese Spread or dip.

Wednesday before:

1.  Do not wash the turkey, dry it with a disposable cloth and brine / season the turkey.
2.  Use gizzards and neck- prepare stock.
3.  Make the stuffing.
4.  Make pies- pumpkin, apple, cranberry etc.

Thursday- Thanksgiving Day ! :

1.  Cook your Turkey accordingly.
2.  Get a head start on the gravy- using extra wings or turkey legs.
3.  Prepare any fresh salad, slice fresh fruit
4.  Make mashed potatoes and succotash.
5. Roast nuts
6.  Time your dishes, cook and heat accordingly. (a list can be helpful)


  •  Keep gravy warm for a longer period by warming the gravy boat before adding gravy and/or place on a warm stone.
  • For a juicy turkey- Cover the cooked turkey snuggly with foil and rest for 20 minutes before slicing.
  • Use disposable baking pans if possible
  • Line your table with two tablecloths, keeps it quieter and if you need a clean tablecloth for dessert- just peel the top cloth off.
  • Set up separate beverage and desert bar /table.




Enjoy your Thanksgiving and left overs !!!



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