Okay, we’re in the homestretch – the final week! This is the busiest one of all, as most of the food prep takes place during the next 4 days, but let’s break it down and make it easy. Ready?
This is your day to run to the grocery store and try to pick up as many of the items as you can on your list… by Tuesday evening, the stores may be running low on things like canned pumpkin or stuffing mix so it’s best to get as many of your groceries as possible today.
Also, if your turkey is frozen, make sure you’ve moved it to the fridge by today. A frozen turkey needs 24 hours of thawing time for every 5 lbs. Don’t put it under running water, just place it in your fridge and it should defrost just fine.
Tuesday is pie making day… not pie baking day… pie making day. Pie filling is one of those things that is best if you make it a day or two in advance and allow it time to marry, it’s even richer and better. Make your pie fillings today and place them in the fridge – pie baking will take place tomorrow.
This is also a great day for pulling out all those platters that you think you want to use. There’s nothing worse than finding out you don’t have a platter large enough for your turkey when there’s only 15 minutes left until meal time on Thursday. Having your serving dishes prepped and ready also works well for your helpers on Thursday – that way they aren’t asking you for dishes while you are trying to carve a turkey.
I like to pull my dishes out and put a little note in each making sure that I have one for each dish. Don’t stress if you don’t have a gravy boat – get creative and use a small pitcher. There’s no need to rush out and buy something… use what you’ve got! [or borrow!]
I try to do as much prep work as possible on Wednesday. I chop my veggies and prep everything! It all gets pre-portioned and popped into plastic baggies for the fridge. Even pre-measuring spices will cut down on the stress of Thursday. Mashed potatoes are a great side dish to work on during Wednesdays quiet time – those are easily reheated in the oven after the turkey comes out on Thursday.
I also blanch my green beans so all they need is a quick sauté the following day along with the seasonings. Blanching them today cuts my cooking time in half as I don’t need to wait for pot of water to boil (and I’m not taking up precious real estate on my stove top!).
If you are making a homemade stuffing, make sure that you have placed your bread out so it can get stale – my recipe calls for cornbread and biscuits (yes, let’s double up those carbs!) so make sure to make those today.
It’s the big day! Today it’s just your last minute sides that need attention and possibly reheating. Turkey goes in the roaster and then hopefully with all your prep work, there’s time to enjoy the Thanksgiving parade and a glass of wine (or two… or three!).
I hope your Thanksgiving is filled with fun time and much laughter… my hope is that this little November countdown has helped you to feel empowered and ready to tackle the holiday!