Thanksgiving is that time of year when family comes over, stories are shared, and a wonderful meal is offered to all. If you are going to be hosting your family’s Thanksgiving event this year, then here is the holiday countdown timeline you’ll want to follow to ensure everyone has the best time possible at your place.
30 Days Before Thanksgiving: You will want to have your guest list finalized. Think about the number of people your home can accommodate. Don’t worry about a formal invitation. Just call folks up to see if they’d like to come. Make sure you ask about food allergies, dietary preferences, or specific food items someone might like to bring.
You will also want to plan your menu about 30 days before Thanksgiving. That will give you plenty of time to find great recipes to try or secure the ingredients you’re going to need.
3 Weeks Before Thanksgiving: At this point, you’ll want to find the various kitchen tools you’ll need to pull off this event. That might mean a roasting pan, a turkey fryer, or an upgrade to your stand mixer. Look for ways that will create an easier cooking process for you, then make investments which are affordable and useful.
Then create your shopping list. By now, you should know who is coming to your Thanksgiving event. Make sure you’ll have enough ingredients to feed everyone. Coordinate any dishes that might be coming along to make sure you don’t have duplicates. Then order your turkey and get your drinks.
2 Weeks Before Thanksgiving: Now is the time to clean out your freezer. If you’re purchasing a frozen turkey or two, it is going to take up a lot of space. You’ll be putting some leftovers in the freezer later on as well, so make sure there is room.
You can also save some time on Thanksgiving by making your pie dough in advance, then freezing it until you’re ready to use it. Freeze your stock and rolls as well, so you can focus on the turkey on Turkey Day.
1 Week Before Thanksgiving: Finish your grocery shopping now. Get your produce and other items before the rush of people hit your local stores. Then create a cooking schedule to help you stay organized during the big event. If you’re making a soup, you can make it now, then freeze it for the holiday meal.
You’ll also want to plan a seating arrangement and put together plans for any leftovers that are being taken away from your home. Then pick up your turkey. If it is frozen, you’ll need 3 days to properly defrost it. If you have a large turkey, then you may need 4-5 days.
Once you get to this stage, you’re ready to begin the day-of cooking. Stick to your schedule, make those favorite recipes, and remember to have fun. Being in the kitchen on Thanksgiving can be a lot of work, but it is a process that is filled with love and gratefulness that everyone will appreciate.