So, you’re hosting Thanksgiving, this year? Congratulations! Or, shall we say, Good Luck? Last year was our first Thanksgiving at The House on High Street. I remember feeling excited and nervous. Thankfully, it was a success. I think the best advice I can give you is to plan ahead and pace yourself. I actually created my own Thanksgiving Countdown! So, here are some tips for you in preparing for one of the greatest holidays, ever. Have fun!
1- 2 Months Before
- IF you’re buying a fresh, farm-raised turkey, reach out to your local farmer/butcher and order in advance!
- Determine your guest list.
3 Weeks Before
- Determine Logistics: where you are setting up appetizers, drinks, and/or dessert and sitting for the meal.
- Take inventory of your serving items, utensils, etc. Order whatever you need!
- Delegate whatever portion of the meal you want to whomever asks to help! Cross that off your list.
- Make sure you have enough seats! Buy, order, or borrow some folding chairs.
- If children are attending, consider ordering something fun for the kids to do.
- If you are trying a new recipe, make a sample ahead of time!
- Make/Purchase Place Settings
2 Weeks Before
- Purchase any paper products, disposable serving tins, and take-home containers.
- Purchase beverages that do not need to be refrigerated.
- Confirm WHO is coming and WHO is bringing WHAT
- Finalize where you are buying your turkey!
- Write down your menu.
- Make your shopping list of all the ingredients needed for the items you are making.
- Determine the cooking method for your TURKEY. (Brining. Roasting. Deep Fry.)
- IF you’re buying fresh, order your turkey from your supermarket!
- IF you’re making homemade pie crusts or homemade rolls, make them now, and freeze them.
1 Week Before
- If you’re serving more than a Family’s worth, consider going to a wholesale store and purchasing non-perishables. (Cranberry sauce, stuffing mix, canned foods, turkey gravy, etc.)
- If you’re making any desserts that can be frozen, now is the time to do it!
- Clean out your fridge and freezer! You’re going to need a LOT of ROOM!
- Order desserts
- Revisit and Revise your shopping list
2-3 Days Before
- Pick up your FRESH Turkey.
- Wash stemware, clean utensils, and set the table.
- Gather your serving trays and serving utensils. Lay them out and attach post-its with descriptions, so you know what is going where.
- Lay out your place cards.
- Set up your beverage area, dessert area, etc.
- Buy all of your perishable ingredients (Produce, meat, etc.)
1 Day/Night Before
- Do any and all prep work for tomorrow’s meal. (i.e.Cut up onions for stuffing, cheese cubes for appetizers, etc.)
- Make dessert
- Prepare anything and everything that can be reheated!
- GET THAT TURKEY COOKING! Low and slow is key.
- Empty your dishwasher!
A few HOURS Before…
- Make all side dishes.
- Set up dessert and beverage area.
- Set up coffee for later.
- Set up appetizers.
- Have your guests help you serve dinner! Or consider using hot sternos that can house the food and keep it warm before your guests arrive!
And, that’s it! ENJOY!
Here is a graphic with coordinating links for all of those last minute purchases! You’ll notice I provided a simple, comfortable, and casual dress for you to wear. With comfortable mules, and a pretty apron. I could be way off here, but whenever I host a holiday or large dinner party, I like to wear something cute, cool, and comfortable. Obviously, if you’re in a very cold area, you may need a long sleeve dress/tunic and leggings. But, you get the gist.
Here are some helpful websites that will give you extra tips!
- A Simply Perfect Roast Turkey
- 5 Things to Make Your Thanksgiving Holiday Extraordinary
- A Beginners Guide to Cooking a Thanksgiving Turkey