It’s a week before Thanksgiving, you may be an old hat at this, but for some it may very well be your first time to host!  Leave all the stress behind, we have a helpful timeline that will give you the confidence of Martha Stewart!

One week ahead:

  • Make your shopping list and check your pantry for items that might need replaced (your less often used items).  Shop for non-perishable items now.
  • Clean any crystal or silverware and iron any linens you plan to use.
  • Make any recipes that can be made ahead and frozen.Many appetizers, soups and side dishes freeze well.
  • Give your house or apartment a good cleaning.You can spot clean the day of, but do your heavy cleaning now.
  • Make room for your turkey in the fridge.If you have a frozen turkey, think about defrosting now.You’ll need about a day for every 4 pounds of turkey!  Plan ahead when you need to pop it in the fridge.

Three days ahead:

  • Shop for food and beverages
  • Pull out your turkey roaster and serving pieces from the high places and clean or get them ready for use.
  • Prep all vegetables ahead (wash before you put them away and cut or dice as needed for recipes).
  • Work out your cooking schedule.I like to work backwards from the time I plan to eat.  Get out all of your recipes and set a timetable for each dish that needs cooked.  Think about items that can cook together.  And don’t forget warming time for things that you made ahead or need a quick warming like bread or rolls.

Two days before:

  • Do any last minute shopping (yeah, you’ll have to brave the grocery store – you can do it!)
  • Brine your turkey, you will want to brine it overnight and then remove from the brine and dry it another day in the fridge uncovered.  A dry turkey makes for a nice golden, crispy skinned turkey!

The day before:

  • Set your table, set out serving pieces for your buffet.
  • Quick pick up around the house.
  • Assemble casseroles or make any other dishes that can be refrigerated and warmed the next day.

Thanksgiving day:

  • Chill any wines
  • Empty the dishwasher and clean as you go so you don’t have piles of dishes leaving you frantic before guests arrive.
  • Roast the bird, allow for resting time before serving.
  • Cook or warm any dishes you made ahead.
  • Get a sip of wine and prepare for early arrivers – there is always one or two.If they show up early – put them to work!  Most people like to work and are glad to do so if asked.
  • Relax and enjoy your family and friends!

Check out our Host a Successful Soiree for even more party planning tips and advice!  And for recipes for your holiday menu, we rounded up our favorite holiday recipes from appetizers to side dishes with a twist: Holiday Recipe Round Up

Happy Holidays from Tuttorosso!
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