If you're cooking Thanksgiving dinner this year, follow along with our Thanksgiving countdown so your holiday goes off smoothly.
Ready or not -there's just one week until Thanksgiving! No worries though, if you aren't ready, our Thanksgiving countdown will have you ready in no time.
A week from the big feast is the perfect time to go over all the last minute details that will help ensure your holiday celebration runs smoothly and pleasantly.
The week before Thanksgiving is probably the most critical time to prepare the details that will turn your feast into a perfect celebration your guests will love!
While starting the planning two weeks ahead of time takes some of the stress off your plate, the week before is plenty of time to get all your ducks in a row.
So, with Thanksgiving just a week away, here are our best tips and suggestions for tasks to complete and boxes to check as part of your preparation process.
Of course, all of this is just a good guideline, intended to help grease the wheel as you're getting ready for Thanksgiving. It's not intended to be prescriptive!
Clean Out the Fridge
To avoid the stress that can ultimately come with this process, it's a great idea to clean out your fridge in advance at some point in the next few days.
Toss items with a passed expiration date - it’s easy to forget to do so regularly with life being busy and something always sneaking to the back of the fridge.
This is also a great opportunity to wash out any containers you may use to store the leftovers, and prepare or purchase take home containers for guests.
Make Your Grocery List
With a week to go until Thanksgiving, now is the perfect time to review your favorite Thanksgiving recipes and check your pantry and fridge for items you will need to purchase.
From there, make itemized lists for each store so you can save time when you're running out to do the shopping and errands before the holiday itself.
Knowing exactly where to go, and what to get once you’re there, will keep you from making multiple trips or spending extra money unnecessarily.
Once you have your lists made, shop now for whatever will not be spoiled by Thanksgiving, creating a separate list for things you will want to purchase a couple of days before.
Confirm When You Need to Thaw Your Turkey
A crucial part of ensuring Thanksgiving goes off without a hitch is knowing how long it takes to thaw to a turkey, which can be a lengthy so timing is important.
If you are cooking a turkey that's currently frozen, take a peek at it in the next day or so to confirm the weight to determine when it needs to start thawing.
The safest, best method to thaw a turkey is to place the turkey in a pan in the fridge and allow for 24 hours of thaw time for every five pounds of bird.
Once thawed, you will need to cook the turkey within 1 to 2 days, so count back from there to determine when the turkey needs to hit the fridge.
Neglecting this step can cause a crisis last minute and a lot of stress, so set an alarm on your phone or write the date somewhere you’ll see it.
Everything you need to know about preparing and serving a turkey can be found in our handy guide to cooking a turkey!
Prepare Your Place Settings and Platters
For those of us who prefer formal place settings, sometime in the next few days is the best time to wash and press our linens so three's not a last minute rush.
Doing this a week in advance will keep you from feeling stressed as the time gets closer and you're struggling to balance baking, cooking, cleaning and other household needs.
If you have holiday dinnerware, this is a good time to prepare it for use by counting how many place settings you need and cleaning them up.
Cross reference your guest list with your menu to determine what pieces you need and to confirm that you aren't short on serving platters or flatware.
Once everything is gathered, cleaned, organized and ironed, you can stack it to the side in your kitchen or dining room for easy reach on Thanksgiving.
Planning and preparing in advance of Thanksgiving will save you a lot of stress, give you plenty of time to search for ingredients that are out of stock, and help you add last minute touches that you wouldn’t have had time for otherwise.
We strongly suggest setting yourself up for success by doing whatever you can early - it will transform your holiday celebration, making it even more enjoyable.
Nicole is a self-published author of fiction novels, and a lover of food and spending time in the kitchen with her six children. She lives in coastal Maine where she loves exploring new recipes especially those that can save time, money and wow a crowd.Tags: Dinners, Thanksgiving, Holidays