Photo of a formal dining room table elegantly decorated for Thanksgiving or a harvest themed Fall dinner party.

Chicago Home and Lifestyles – Thanksgiving countdown

Photo of a formal dining room table elegantly decorated for Thanksgiving or a harvest themed Fall dinner party.

Hopefully you have found this on our blog site so you will get this on Tuesday. By now you should have most of your grocery shopping done. You may want to pick up a few perishables on Wednesday like rolls, if you’re not baking them yourself, but most of your list can be done on the weekend. You might miss some of the crowds that will be there on Monday and Tuesday. You have of course plotted out your shopping list from your menu. Now we can move into countdown mode. Side note: If you are using a frozen turkey make sure you give it enough time to thaw in the refrigerator. A large one can take several days. 

Tuesday is the day to get everything that’s not food, ready. Check your menu. Get out every pot, pan, and utensil needed for cooking all your dishes. Include everything like mixing bowls and foil pans. Foil pans are a cook’s dream, one use, and in the garbage they go. Don’t forget the odd things only used on holidays, like the electric knife for carving. One year I didn’t check early and found out on the big day the knife was kaput! Not a huge disaster, but it could have been avoided. 

The dining table can be set up on Tuesday also. Again, you will set out to have a dish and serving utensil for every menu item served. Don’t forget the dishes others are bringing. You’ll probably be able to serve from the dish they bring but you will need a utensil. Include trivets for all hot items. Wash and iron your tablecloth. Wash all dishes and glasses. Set the table and cover it with a clean sheet to keep off the dust. You won’t believe how much time this saves, especially not having to search for that extra serving dish just before dinner! Don’t forget dessert plates and utensils.

Wednesday is for food prep. Make the stuffing. Peel the potatoes. Make appetizers. Prepare veggie and other appetizer trays. Make dips. Brine the turkey, check online for instructions. Best turkey ever. Bake pies or make other desserts. 

Make a Thanksgiving Day cooking schedule. Consider what you are cooking, how long it takes, what can be prepared and reheated, and your oven capacity. Mashed potatoes can be made early and parked in a slow cooker on warm. Add a bit of warmed butter and cream just before serving. Vegetable dishes usually do fine with reheating just before serving. The turkey needs to rest for at least 30 minutes before carving so that is a great time to heat up all your sides, so they go to the table piping hot. Stick to your schedule and have a great day where you can spend time with your guests and not all day in the kitchen!

Kathleen Weaver-Zech and Dean’s Team Chicago