Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thanksgiving Preparation

I remember my very first Thanksgiving.  I was having about 20 people over.  There were things to worry about like having enough chairs and plates and serving just the right drinks.  Our turkey was 23 pounds that year ~ WOW.  In fact, it barely fit into the oven but we were so excited to have tons of turkey!  This year our turkey is 14 pounds and that suites us just as nicely as that 23 pounder did back then.

We are so far from where we grew up and where our family lives that the days of 20 plus guest are gone.  It will be the 6 of us this year and we will perfectly happy with that!  I am blessed that I do still have some family local that I can enjoy the holidays with.

While thinking about all of this, I remember that I have been making Thanksgiving dinner for 14 years now.  WOW, am I old :-D.  In the beginning I needed to take two days off of work and prep all day long those two extra days.  I'm serious.  I have no idea why it took me so long, maybe because I was nervous.?!?!?!? But these days, I do not need a schedule.  Its more like a plan and its the same plan I follow each year.  I have been doing it precisely this way for so long that I can do this with my eyes closed.  I included my general plan below in case you were wondering what MY Thanksgiving morning will look like.

Take care and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!



A week or two ahead:
Plan menu
Review all recipe and cross check with your pantry
Make shopping list
Purchase all necessary ingredients
Buy frozen turkey and place in refrigerator to thaw (takes a week)
Made Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes and placed them in the deep freezer

Monday:
Make Fresh Loaves of Bread
Make Fresh Pie crusts (and freeze)
Peel, Slice Bake/Boil Sweet Potatoes
Take Potatoes out of Deep Freezer an put in refrigerator

Tuesday:
Turn Fresh loaf of bread into Croutons
Make Cranberry Sauce and Chill

Wednesday:
Make Brine for Turkey
Make cheesecake
Make Mashed Potatoes (in case you did not do it earlier)
Make Carrot Souffle
Make any soup you plan to serve for dinner
Wash, Dry and prep Salad Ingredients

Wednesday Night:
Take frozen pie crusts out of freezer, place in fridge
Place thawed turkey in brine overnight
Vacuum and Mop

Thanksgiving Day:

AM:
Wake up bright and early and make some Pumpkin Muffins
Make fresh loaves of bread or Sweet Potato Biscuits
Cook Onions and Celery for Stuffing & Make Stuffing (allow to cool)
Make and Bake pies (pumpkin, cranberry walnut, whatever!)
Stuff TURKEY and put in Oven
Place Carrot Souffle and Mashed Potatoes in Crock Pots
Clean up and wash all dishes (put away)

Mid Morning:
Set Table
(If using linens that need ironing, do so a few days before)

11 am:
Make Sweet Tea
Prep and set out small snacks and finger sandwiches

2 PM:
Prepare Green Bean Casserole 
Whip fresh cream for pies
Brew Coffee if serving

3PM:
Take Turkey out and Tent
Place sides in oven
Make Turkey Gravy



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