Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thanksgiving Planner

Are you hosting Thanksgiving dinner at your home this year?  I made a Thanksgiving planner a few years ago to help with the process... 

 
3 weeks ahead of time
 Figure out how many people will you be serving and how big of a turkey you will need.  To calculate this, you need to figure about 1 ½ lbs of turkey per person.  So if you are feeding 8 people you would need a turkey that was about 12 pounds.  I usually buy them bigger so I will have leftovers. 
 
Write out guest list
 
Plan out menu
 
Gather recipes
 
Write out grocery list
 
2 weeks ahead
Buy turkey (if buying frozen ones)
 
Make dinner rolls and freeze.  I like to freeze them before baking.  I shape them into rolls; lay them out on a tray and flash freeze them.  On Thanksgiving Day I bring them out in the morning to defrost and rise. 
 
If your guests are contributing to the meal let them know what you would like them to bring.
 
1 Week Ahead
Clean out your fridge to make room for the added food items
 
IF you have not bought your turkey yet, they should be on sale this week. 
 
Do your grocery shopping of staple items you will need for the meal

4 to 5 Days Ahead
If your turkey is frozen you need to put it into the fridge to defrost now.  A turkey will take anywhere from 2 to 6 days to defrost depending on its size (figure one day for every 5 pounds of weight). 
 
Buy any fresh and perishable items you will need
 
Make cranberry sauce and refrigerate
 
Make salad dressings and refrigerate
 
3 Days Ahead
Clean your house
 
Get out and ‘good’ dishes or bigger serving dishes and get them washed
 
2 Days Ahead
Wash table linens
 
Get out your roasting pans, thermometer, turkey baster and make sure they are clean and ready to go
 
Wash and chop up veggies for stuffing and side dishes and put in refrigerator
 
Make pie crusts, roll them out, and put in pie plates. Cover each one with plastic wrap and put in fridge

1 Day Ahead
If you are making mashed potatoes for the crockpot you can make those up now and store in fridge. Tomorrow you take them out and put in the crockpot on low in the morning.
 
Make stuffing and refrigerate. If you are stuffing your turkey do not do that now, wait until right before you put the turkey in the oven
 
Assemble side dishes
 
Assemble any jello type salads
In the evening pull out your turkey, clean it and make sure it has defrosted and put back in fridge. Remove giblets and refrigerate
 
Set the table in the evening if desired
 
Assemble and bake pies
 
Thanksgiving Day
Put some Christmas music on (this is our little tradition ~smile~)
 
Stuff turkey and put in oven at appropriate time (or if you have a roaster oven you can bake the turkey in there leaving your oven for heating up side dishes and baking dinner rolls)
 
Put the giblets in water with a little salt and let those simmer. You can use the broth for gravy and the cooked and chopped giblets can also be added to the gravy
 
Pull out dinner rolls and let them defrost and rise
 
Set the table if you did not do this yesterday
 
Put the mashed potatoes in the crockpot
 
If you have a second crockpot you can put the stuffing in there to warm (if you are not stuffing your turkey.  I always stuff the turkey and have leftover stuffing in a second crockpot)
 
When the turkey has finished cooking, pull it out
 
Put the side dishes in the oven to bake (if you did not bake the turkey in a roaster oven)
 
Bake dinner rolls
 
While the side dishes are heating up and rolls are baking, make gravy
 
Take a deep breath
 
Light some candles
 
Freshen up
 
Greet your guests
 
Enjoy your meal and give lots of thanks the Lord for his blessings and bounty in your life

5 comments:

  1. Whew!!! I'm going out to ah buffet! LOL! No family around so it's not the same.

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  2. Thanks for this Crystal! I wish I could figure out how to print, I am writing down and making my check list~Marianne

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  3. Marianne.. you should be able to print by highlighting the text you want to print and hit "Ctrl" and "P" on your keyboard.. you should get a box showing your printer .. click on the button that says "selection" and click on "print" This will print the text you have highlighted.. (this works for a PC.. if you have a mac.. I would be lost.. :)

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  4. Thanks... I dont know why it wont work, I highlight the entire post and it only prints the cute little bear picture.. its ok. I do have one more question Crystal. On freezing your dough ahead do you double the yeast as some recipes I have read?

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  5. Thanks for a great Thanksgiving post...I would love to have a great recipe for yeast rolls that can be frozen. I had one and somewhere along a move it got lost. Vera

    www.vlauterbach1@hotmail.com

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