It’s officially November and you know what that means! Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Every year, Thanksgiving seems to sneak up on me and I find myself completely unprepared and stressed out. But not this year. This year you and I are going to be fully prepared from turkey to table settings. I’ll be posting a weekly game plan, menus, and more to make sure we’re all ready to impress.
For this week, the first week of November, let’s get the big decisions made. That way there’s no last minute fussing.
Start with the guest list. The key to a smooth Thanksgiving is knowing exactly what you’ll need and how much and until you know whos coming and how many, you can’t fully prepare. So make a guest list, write it out by hand. Set a date for people to RSVP by, it might sound a little pushy, but people will understand.
Next, decide how hands-on you want to be. Is this a dinner that you plan to pull off by yourself? Or is a potluck maybe a better option? If you choose potluck, let your guests know in the invite and make sure each person knows what to bring. Most people will offer to bring something anyway, let them. A cheese tray or salad might seem small, but on the day of it’ll be a huge relief to not have to worry about it.
When you’re making this decision, consider your oven, stove, and fridge space. Do you have enough time and space to bake rolls, a turkey, and a pie all in one day? Do you have neighbors or nearby friends whos oven you could borrow? If you have a really great pumpkin pie recipe but no oven to bake it in, maybe you could make the batter and drop it off at a friends house to bake and bring back when they come over for dinner.
If you don’t have that option, does EVERYTHING need to be homemade? Probably not. Most bakeries will be taking preorders for bread, rolls, pies and even a stuffing mix. If you know you like the bakery, why not make your life a little easier?
Do you want fresh or frozen turkey? If the answer is fresh, look up a list of local farms and place your order now. You want about 1.5lbs of turkey per guest, this includes bone weight.
6 people – 8 lb
8 people – 12 lbs
10 people – 15 lbs
12 people – 18 lbs
14 people – 20 lbs
If you choose to go frozen, you can get your turkey within the next week or two. It might seem early, but when you’re doing your week-of grocery shopping and you see people scrambling to find the right size turkey, you’ll be glad you didn’t put it off.
Maybe you don’t even want turkey? Cornish hens are always a fun alternative. You could go pescetarian, maybe salmon or halibut. You could even go vegetarian, opt for a hearty squash chili as your main course.
This is also a great time to start clearing out your fridge and freezer, get rid of any old leftovers, expired foods, empty sauce bottles. Anything that you don’t want that could be taking up room for you to stock up.
Speaking of stocking up, it’s never too early to start a vegetable, chicken or beef stock. It’s such a passive way to prepare, why not do it this early? You can easily roast some beef bones and toss them into a crockpot with some water for a day, add some onion, tomato, celery, and carrot when you get home from work and strain it a couple hours later.
Seem like a lot? You’ll be surprised by how simple each task is. Come Thanksgiving, you’ll be so glad that you’re prepared enough to simply relax and enjoy.