Planning Thanksgiving dinner for the
first time can be overwhelming. I say this because there is a
great deal of food to prepare and it all has to come to the table at one
time. The key is to be organized and not get frazzled. You
need to plan in advance, do as much as possible a day or two before
Thanksgiving and assign tasks to family members. lBelow you will
find a checklist to help keep you organized. Relax and Enjoy!
1 Week Before
you guest list. Email or call family and friends to
make sure you know exactly who will be attending so that you
can create your menu.
your food and drink menu. Assign guest an appetizer,
dessert or beverage to bring so that you can focus on the
main course. Pull your recipes so you know what you
need to purchase.
or order your turkey. Make sure you have a roasting
pan large enough to hold the turkey and that it will fit
into your oven.
if you have enough seating for all guests or if you need to
purchase or borrow a folding table and chairs to accommodate
all guests. Make a seating chart.
inventory of your dinner ware to determine if you have
enough or need to make other arrangements. You can
always use complimentary colors or patterns. Do you
have a gravy boat and bread basket? Is it clean or do you
need to wash it?
list of everything you'll need to purchase or pull out of
storage. Divide the grocery list into things that can
be purchased in advance and those that you will need to do
at the last minute. Consider your food list, serving
bowls and trays, candles, table cloths, flowers or other
type of centerpiece. Don't forget drinks for the kids
and fixers such as soda, ice, tonic water, lemons and limes.
Make sure you have all of the necessary spices your recipes
Decorate your home for the holiday. Click here for
Party Decorating Tips.
your tablecloth and napkins to make sure they are clean and
you have extra containers and Ziploc bags to use for
have a frozen turkey then pull it from the freezer and put
it in the refrigerator to defrost. Remember that it
will take a few days.
thorough cleaning of your house.
the refrigerator to make room.
Go to the
any foods that can be done in advance.
last minute items like flowers, fruit and vegetables.
Go early to try to avoid long lines at the grocery store.
make your centerpiece.
table so it is one less thing that you need to do in the
your bar area.
all of the serving dishes and utensils that you will need.
any food that will hold overnight: Prepare cranberry sauce,
make vegetable casseroles so they are ready to cook, peel
potatoes and refrigerate them in a pot of cold water,
night pull anything in the freezer out and put it into the
minute cleaning: guest bathroom, vacuum the rugs. If
possible keep the family out of those rooms.
doing take-out for dinner so that you do not have to worry
about feeding your family.
turkey in the oven early. It will take a long time to
preparing last minute items and cook already prepared items.
on to warm slowly.
your white wine.
coffee pot ready so you just have to turn it on to brew.
jobs to family members to help make the process easier:
turkey carver, drink pourer, potato masher, soup server.