Hosting Thanksgiving...A Labor of Love
Preparing a sumptious Thanksgiving meal for family and friends is truly a labor of love. There is the preparation of your home…setting the table…shopping, chopping, and slicing all the delicious foods--not to mention the little extra touches that make the day memorable.
With some careful “early bird” preparation, you’ll be ready to welcome guests around your table and actually enjoy the day yourself. A gracious host is always relaxed and prepared for company. Just follow our easy planner and practical tips and you will be ready to count your blessings!
Prevent peeled potatoes from discoloring by placing in a pot of cold water, cover, and refrigerate up to one day before cooking.
Frozen turkeys need time to defrost. Plan accordingly or buy fresh.
Placecards on your table to welcome guests and direct them where to sit.
Scatter dried leaves, pinecones, or colorful gourds for decoration. Wrap chandeliers, ice buckets and mantles with grapevine.
Make sure you have plenty of stemware and barware ready. This is a time for celebrating.
Stress Free Thanksgiving Planner
Two Weeks Ahead - week of 11/4
Finalize number of guests
Create shopping list
Order fresh turkey or buy a frozen one
Plan table and seating arrangements
Take inventory of tableware, flatware, supplies
Plan entire meal including appetizers and desserts
Assign jobs or dishes for guests to contribute
One Week Ahead – week of 11/11
Wash and iron linens
Purchase beverages (wine, soda, beer)
Order centerpiece or cut flowers for tables
Buy non-perishables (snacks, nuts, canned goods)
Start organizing house and decluttering rooms
Buy decorations (candles, linens, gourds, mums)
Schedule haircut and manicure appointment so you’ll look your best.
Three Days Ahead – 11/19
Purchase all perishable ingredients
Bake and freeze desserts/dishes that can be made ahead
Gather all items for table including dessert plates, cups and saucers
Fill salt and pepper shakers. Inventory spices.
Check stemware and glassware for spots
Clean bathrooms/guestrooms thoroughly
Two Days Ahead – 11/20
Take out cookware, utensils, flatware, warming plates
Prepare dishes that can be refrigerated (dips, spreads, sauces)
Set table. Make placecards. Display candles and decorations.
Take out serving pieces, ladles, platters and bowls
Prepare dough for pies or chilled desserts. Refrigerate.
One Day Ahead – 11/21
Clean and truss turkey. Refrigerate.
Prepare salads, side dishes, stuffing.
Fill and bake pies. Make desserts.
Tidy up kitchen, dining room, and bathroom. Vaccuum and dust.
Make room in closet for extra coats.
Peel and slice potatoes, place in pot of cold water. Refrigerate.
Thanksgiving Day – 11/22
Stuff turkey. Roast according to directions.
Prepare appetizers, side dishes, vegetables.
Place butter on table
Bake bread or pick up fresh rolls
Cook potatoes and stuffing
Light candles. Fill water goblets.
Set the mood with soothing music.
Prepare bar. Fill ice bucket.
Set table or buffet with food
Pour wine or champagne.
Toast your guests and give thanks!