You’ve got 17 days until T-Day! Worried your goose (err, turkey) is cooked? Don’t stress. We’ve gathered some next steps to take. Follow them and it’ll be gravy from today till the bird comes out of the oven.
What you can do now…
- Finalize the menu.
Create your shortlist of must-have dishes and then any newbies you want to try. If you’re getting cooking help, confirm what folks are bringing or dish out assignments (if you run a tight kitchen).
- Create your make-ahead plan.
Determine what you can start cooking early. Note any 24-hours-ahead dishes you want to prep and chill overnight and anything you can start making now and freeze for later.
- Confirm your guest list. Follow up and determine any extra guests, including children. Will you need a kids’ table? Extra seats just in case? Start thinking about how to keep the younger guests entertained, too, with games, movies, etc. (Check out our fun DIY desserts below!)
- Start on your shopping list.
You don’t need to get everything all at once. Consider breaking your list into “buy now” for non-perishables and make-ahead essentials and another list of the fresh stuff to buy the week of.
- Get cookin’!
It’s never too early to stock the freezer! Cherry pick a recipe or two from our 10 Make-Ahead Thanksgiving Side Dishes. Maybe start with mashed potatoes. How many times have you over-mashed and made them gluey in the last-minute rush? Try instead:
• Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes: Stash them in the freezer – a great year-round choice!
• Creamy Ranch Mashed Potatoes: Prep the day before and reheat in the oven or Crock-Pot!
- Think about drinks.
Hit up the wine shop for some bottles to taste test with dinner this week. Not sure where to start? Sackville shared her favorite varietals, including dessert wines, in our Thanksgiving forum: “For a red wine, a good choice would be a Beaujolais. It’s a fairly light, fruity red wine.”
Thinking Ahead: More Ways to Get Creative
Go Beyond Wine: Thanksgiving Cocktails!
Want to channel your inner Sandra Lee? Then festive cocktails (and tablescapes — more on those next week!) are a must. Add some of these seasonal bevvies to your menu to go with the wine, beer and water:
• Pumpkin Pie (alcoholic)
• Warm Spiced Cranberry Cider (non-alcoholic)
• Apple Pie (alcoholic)
• Cranberry Margaritas
• White Cosmopolitan
• Cranberry-Raspberry Sangria
Keep the Kids Busy: DIY Desserts
These Oreo Turkeys might get as many oohs and ahhs as your real bird. Bonus: Anyone can make ‘em! On the big day, gather the kids (big and small) create these DIY desserts while dinner cooks:
• Pilgrim Hat Cookies
• Rice Krispies Turkeys
• Turkey Cupcakes
Feeling behind schedule?
Catch up on our tips from last week HERE »
TELL US: What are you planning this week for your Thanksgiving meal? Share in the comments below!