25 Thanksgiving Tips from Yankee Magazine
1. First, be thankful. Take time and pause to reflect on the big and small things in your life that you are grateful for.
2. Make a timeline so that you can schedule your day and oven usage.
3. Read through all of your recipes to make sure you are clear about the order of instructions and the ingredients you’ll need.
4. Check and make sure that you have all the pots and pans you’ll need.
5. Check and make sure you have all the plates, flatware, napery, serving utensils, glassware, and chairs that you’ll need. If you are short ask a guest to pitch in.
6. Do as much as you can before BIG Thursday. Most purees can be made a week in advance and frozen. Make the pies, stuffing, etc., the day before.
7. Go easy on the table decor. Avoid fancy and elaborate floral arrangements and knick knacks on your table. You’ll have a lot of color with all the foods being served and with plates passing around and serving utensils poking out here and there, you’ll need more space than usual on your table.
8. Make use of extra hands in your house. The night before rent a movie and put family members to work peeling butternut squash, green beans, or other time-consuming jobs that’ll slow you down the next day.
9. Make a list of all the ingredients you will need a week before.
10. If you have a frozen turkey, be sure to begin defrosting it on Monday — in your fridge, a 14-pound turkey will take 2-3 days. If you forget, fill a large, clean cooler with cold water and put your bird in there, changing the water every hour. If you are lucky (we told you to defrost your turkey earlier!) you bird will be ready in 8 hours.
11. Pick up a few extra bags of cranberries and pop them in the freezer — after the holidays, they’ll be scarce.
12. It’s the one day of the year to eat with no restraint. This is not the day for diets. Be full — unbutton your pants if you have to.
13. Invite guests to your home and don’t get hung up on the table being too crowded or things not being perfect — it’s better to invite a neighbor, friend, or relative who would have been alone otherwise than to fret that someone is sitting in a folded metal chair or eating off a plate that doesn’t match your pattern.