Sunday, November 23, 2014

Thanksgiving Countdown

As the designated Thanksgiving cook, I’ve done much, much better this year at delegating food responsibility among the family. I’ve managed to farm out the mashed potatoes, squash, salad, rolls, and two desserts to others.

My goal is to sit down to dinner without being exhausted and grumpy.

What am I grateful for this year? Many things, of course, but one of them is that I’m not working anymore and thus don’t have to cram the prep into one day. For those of you lucky enough to grace someone else’s table this time of year, consider how your host and hostess may have spent their time before you arrived at their door with your bottle of wine in hand.

I will say I do tend to micro-manage and plan and organize myself into a snit.
I guess the list below shows I still have work to do in that area.

Here’s my Sunday Status:

  1. Turkey bought, thawing in small basement fridge which I check obsessively until Thanksgiving just in case it suddenly stops working and doesn’t tell me.
  2. Gravy made from separate purchase of turkey wings a week ago, and frozen. (surprisingly, lone turkey wings are not that easy to acquire)
  3. Bread for stuffing cubed, drying in pans around the dining room which now smells vaguely like the day-old bread store.
  4. Squash soup made and frozen, packaged with sliced mushrooms sautéed in a lovely mixture of soy sauce and sherry to add later (This was over-achieving – I won’t be serving it on Thanksgiving, but it’s really good and I like to have it handy.)
  5. Apples for pie cut up, doused with lemon water, packaged with bags of spices and frozen. (Thank you, fellow blogger –sorry, can’t remember who – for this idea.)
  6. Accoutrements bought: cranberry sauce, wine, makings for punch,  (all stored on porch, which I treat as a spare refrigerator on holidays - A moderately cool patch of weather would be appreciated – cold enough to keep food fresh, not so cold as to freeze), whipped cream for desserts, snacks for mid-afternoon, etc. etc. (everything necessary for 13 people descending on house)
  7. Meals planned for stay-over family plus vat of spaghetti sauce made and frozen a week ago, plus chocolate zucchini bread, banana bread, made and frozen as back up.
  8. Dishes and linens sorted and ready.
  9. Beds for incoming family made and ready, towels stacked, bathroom cleaned.
  10. Books from library for incoming grandboys.

Wednesday Tasks
  1. Leafs (leaves??) into tables, find chairs
  2. Lay out all serving bowls, platters, and label which is for what
  3. Spot-check glassware and assemble
  4. Find hot plates to keep food warm (we do buffet due to lack of table space)
  5. Make stuffing (New recipe this year! Sausage, apples & cranberries), chill
  6. Make pie, store on porch Peel shallots for green beans, bag, store on porch
  7. Trim and blanch green beans, bag, store on porch
  8. Thaw gravy

Finally, take-out for dinner (this is a big night at the pizza shops, apparently) accompanied by LARGE glass of wine. 


  1. You are a great planner! I'd skip a few steps, save time and energy.

  2. I'm tired just reading this. My goal is to avoid humanity and eat turkey sandwiches. Is that wrong?

  3. My daughter insisted on doing Thanksgiving this year and told me to just show up the day before and help with the cooking! I have my fingers crossed.

    1. The TV show Modern Family had the mother of the group traveling around with a spare cooked turkey in a backpack. Just saying.

  4. Good Lord, Marty! That is a whole lot of work. I know it will be very very appreciated. You reminded me of my mother's incomparable turkey hash that I loved WAY better than the day before. :-)

  5. Love your list looks like mine. I did too much last year and am farming out the tasks. Have a great day love your blog

    1. Welcome, MaryAnn. May your guests remember their assignments, your turkey be tender, and your dinner calorie-free.

  6. You are organized...hopefully that will help in the exhausted and grumpy department:)

    1. A nice pre-dinner glass of wine might be helpful, too.

  7. You are OC--and, it will be magnificent.

  8. Organization.....I love it. I do lists and lists of my lists.

  9. You certainly are well-prepared! And everything sounds wonderful. I find the hardest part of the big holiday feasts is the overnight company at the same time. I can handle one or the other, but both at the same time sends me into overload! Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

  10. holy cow! we have a small family, just 10 of us (us, our kids, and their families) and we spread the cooking out. this year we did the turkey, the dressing, cranberry sauce, and the pie. Daughter did the potatoes (white and sweet), broccoli rice casserole, bread, and beverages. Son did roasted brussels sprouts and a spinach casserole. That way no one gets overwhelmed. sounds like you will have a good gathering though.

  11. Have a wonderful day and hope it goes seamlessly. It should with all the planning.

  12. All this makes me glad we don't do thanksgiving out here.
    Anything stored on a porch, anywhere, would be quickly eaten by roaming cats and birds. Possibly even dogs. Or it would melt in our heat.


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