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OMG! Thanksgiving is next week....

Here are some sure fire tips from Lee to make sure that your turkey day is enjoyable.

Plan the menu – like right now. 

Take out a pad of paper and write down everything that you want to make.  Good job on step one, but now comes the heavy lifting.  Take a look at your oven / stove.  Do you have enough space to cook everything in your oven from your list?  Can anything be pre-done?  How long will everything take?  What time will dinner be served?  Can anything be warmed up or made in a crock pot, grilled outside, or other auxiliary heating source?  Can items be baked at the same time? Do you need to adjust a menu item?

I love making Thanksgiving and hate to give up control but have acquiesced several times to grilling or deep-frying the turkey.  It gets it out of my kitchen and frees up the oven for all of the other goodies and sides.  I always pre-make cranberry sauce the day before and prep the dessert if possible, or try to plan it so that it goes in while we are in dinner, so it’s nice and hot!  We usually serve a Thanksgiving Dinner, so I have a ton of time that day to cook – but timing is especially important for earlier turkey celebrations.

Here are some other things to consider making that day smooth as glass.

Plan out the logistics:

Having the family help with items – make sure you think through how they will come. 

Will you need a bowl / platter / serving utensil?

Do you have enough seats?  Table space? 

Where will all of the items fit?

Do you have enough plates / glasses / silverware?

Plan out your beverages:

What will you serve?  Where will you stage it?  Does it need ice?  What glasses?

As a family, we love breaking out the beaujolais nouveau for our Thanksgiving celebrations.  It’s always released in November, and is a nice light new wine that pairs well with the menu.  Pick a cocktail or a wine and beer selection and make sure you have room to keep it cold and the right glassware to serve it. 

Plan out the activities:

Will you watch football?  Will you need a game or other activities?  What will the kids do?  What will you do to burn off some energy / calories after or before a meal that large?

We like a hike, or a long dog walk.  Putting up Christmas decorations as our activities and usually a puzzle to cool down!

Hope this helps make your Thanksgiving Celebration fun and organized!

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