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Your Thanksgiving Food Preparation Timeline

Here's a brief timeline for getting it all together for Thanksgiving

We are deep into details and know the importance of lists for keeping all things Thanksgiving straight. The fact is, you can take many approaches to this big feast, including cooking ahead for weeks on end, opening a few cans on Thursday, or somewhere in between. The route you choose will determine the complexity of your list.

The main point of making"the list" is to eliminate as much hassle on Thanksgiving Day as possible. Isn't it better to enjoy the time with family and friends rather than laboring over a hot stove all day long? We think so, too (although secretly we love the bustle of a busy kitchen).

On Thanksgiving
-Cook the giblets, neck, whatever if adding to the stuffing. This can take a couple of hours to develop a good broth with onions and celery added.
-Make the mashed potatoes (unless you've opted to makeahead without milk). They can be reheated easily.

The Day Before Thanksgiving
-Chill the white wines
-Prepare casseroles and refrigerate
-Purchase the last-minute items, including rolls and other breads
-OR, thaw the breads you have already made
-Cut and bag vegetables for appetizers and for dipping

Purchase a few days before
-Potatoes (including sweet) for baking or mashing
-Fresh veggies

Make a few days before
-Rolls (for freezing)

Do a few days before
-Wash any special plates and dinnerware or serving plates you plan to use.
-Wash and iron table linens
-Check salt and pepper shakers
-Re-check condiments, such as butter and salad dressings
-Begin storing extra ice cubes. If you have spare ice cube trays, use them and bag it up. A deep-freezer comes in handy.

To purchase in weeks preceding
-Canned cranberry sauce
-Canned pumpkin
-Frozen veggies
-Extra storage containers for leftovers
-Supply of paper towels (more sanitary in kitchen when handling turkey)
-Table Decorations
-Set aside a spot or shelf in the pantry for all non-perishable items.

Thawing the bird
-This depends on the size of the bird. Always follow the instructions. However, we have found that at least an extra half-day - if not more - is needed to eliminate all those interior ice crystals.

Remember to reevaluate along the way. Faithfully mark off each item on your list and rewrite if necessary with things you may have missed.




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