Sunday, November 13, 2011

Thanksgiving Organized!!

1st 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 prepared.
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.

2nd 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 tables.
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 are clean.
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.

3rd 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.

Thanksgiving CenterpieceThanksgiving Week:

Saturday through Monday:

Grocery Shop
Pick up turkey or ordered items that are ready.
Pick up tables and chairs
Clean house
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 you need.
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 tomorrow.

Thanksgiving Day

Give Thanks.