Haven’t started planning yet? Fear not! There’s plenty of time to get organized for your big feast. Here’s our helpful shopping and prep check list for making sure you’re on track for enjoying the best holiday ever!
Things to do the weekend before
Clean out your fridge
You are going to need every square inch of space for all those dishes and casseroles and there are probably at least a few containers of things that can be tossed.
Clean Your Oven
If you have a self-cleaning oven, use that feature this weekend. Won’t it be nice to pop your turkey into a nice, clean oven? Or check out this article about different cleaning methods for ovens.
Make Pie Crust
If you’re making pies from scratch, you can get the dough out of the way this weekend. Just wrap up the disks well in plastic wrap and they’ll be ready to go on Tuesday or Wednesday. Here’s a recipe for a good pie crust.
Pick Up Your Turkey
Fresh Duerksen turkeys are available at Oryana the Saturday before Thanksgiving. If you get a frozen one, you will have to start thawing it on Monday if you’re thawing it in the fridge. How to safely thaw a turkey…
Make Cranberry Sauce
Get your cranberry sauce out of the way by making it this weekend. It’s so fast and easy to make and will keep in the fridge for several weeks. Here’s a recipe for a simple cranberry sauce.
Check your equipment
Do you know where the turkey roasting pan is? The roasting rack? The gravy boat? Do you have enough pie pans? If you’re missing anything you still have time to run out and buy it.
Finalize your menu
Figure out exactly what you are going to make so you won’t be forced to run to the store for last minute things. With a completed list in hand, you can leisurely shop for your ingredients next week.
What to do on Monday
Defrost Your Turkey
If you have a frozen turkey, start thawing it now in the fridge. If you plan on brining it, you can make the brine now. Here’s a recipe for a simple wet turkey brine.
First Round of Shopping
Shop for things like wine, chicken broth, spices, potatoes, frozen foods, etc., all the non-perishables. Pick up some containers for leftovers.
What To Do On Tuesday
Second Round of Shopping
Buy all your fresh ingredients like veggies, fruits, dairy products, etc. today. Don’t wait until Wednesday in case the stores run out of things you need. Also, you’ll avoid the mad rush the day before Thanksgiving.
Start Cleaning Your House
You probably won’t have time for house cleaning on Wednesday so do it now.
Start Prepping Side Dishes
Things you can prep on Tuesday: veggies for stuffing, cut and toast bread cubes for stuffing, wash lettuce for salads, make vinaigrette, anything else that will keep in the fridge for a couple days.
What To Do On Wednesday
Buy Fresh Bread and Pies
If you’re not heating frozen rolls, purchase your fresh rolls or bread today, and other desserts that you’re not making from scratch.
Peel Your Potatoes and Prep Fresh Veggies
You can peel your potatoes today and keep them submerged in water in the fridge so they don’t turn brown. Trim your green beans and Brussels sprouts or prep whatever fresh veggies you will be making.
Finish Your Make-Ahead Side Dishes
Make as many of your stuffing, soup, dips, and other baked dishes and casseroles as you can that are reheatable in the oven after the turkey is finished roasting and is resting. (You should let your turkey rest, loosely covered with foil, for at least 20 minutes and up to 40 minutes, plenty of time to reheat other dishes.)
Brine Your Turkey
If you’re wet brining it, stick it in the bucket, cooler, or bag and submerge with the brining liquid. Submerge completely and keep well chilled while it’s brining. (If you’re dry brining it, you should have done this on Tuesday because dry brining takes longer!)
Thursday! The Big Day!
Congratulations! You’ve done a great deal of the work already so today should be a breeze! Make sure you get your bird in the oven in plenty of time for the start of your meal. How soon you should stick it in the oven depends on what temperature you set your oven and how big your bird is. Here is our handy dandy roasting guide. Don’t forget to plan time to let the turkey rest (30-45 minutes), which is absolutely essential for the tastiest, juiciest bird.
Set your table early in the day to get that out of the way. Make your side dishes while the turkey is roasting. Start boiling your potatoes about 30 minutes before serving. Make the gravy from the pan drippings while the turkey rests. Get your family to help you with any last minute needs. Enjoy and be thankful!