With Halloween under our belts it’s inevitable we start thinking of our actual belts and maybe adjusting them a notch or two as Thanksgiving is underway. We’re about a month out and if you’re planning to host Thanksgiving in your home it’s the perfect time to outline the holiday.
A month-3 weeks out is generally a wise time to plan your menu. Keeping your guest’s dietary restrictions in mind is pivotal as you’ll want to accommodate everyone. Providing a main course for both carnivores (traditionally turkey) and vegetarians is a safe bet and good place to start when curating a menu. Sides can easily cater to vegetarians by replacing any meat based stocks with vegetable stocks so you’re not doubling your efforts.
Gluten free options are also of importance. It may come as a surprise but a lot of traditional sides are already gluten free such as Broccoli Cheese Casserole, so long as your recipe doesn’t include any breadcrumbs. If you intend to have a potluck style dinner share the main course with your guests along with keeping them in loop on what others are bringing as well. This way you won’t end up for 40lbs of mashed potatoes. With all of that said, don’t forget drinks. With an array of delectable foods, you’ll need libations to wash it all down.
Now that you’ve compiled a game plan, give yourself ample time to shop for the items you’ll need to prepare and host, about 3 weeks before the big day. Walk into your kitchen and take inventory of any cooking items you’re missing. Maybe you’re deep frying a turkey for the first time this year? You’ll likely need to hit a store or the internet to acquire the proper deep fryer. Ask your guests for any additional items that you may not be ready to fully purchase as a money saver too. Chances are that if you’re hosting they’d be happy to oblige.
Take a look at your furniture, will you need more seating? Another money saving tip is renting furniture from your local rent to own store. Read more on Shop RTO’s article “Thanksgiving guests? Rent to own stores can help”.
Two weeks out draft your menu shopping list and clean out your refrigerator. Shop for nonperishables you can store or cook anything that you can freeze; i.e. homemade stocks, pie or bread dough. One week out hit the market for the remainder of your list. If you plan to only make one trip, wait until the one-week marker as perishables will likely, well, perish.
The two-week marker is also a good time to pick up festive décor. Read more on decorating with formal linens on Shop RTO’s article “Get your formal dinner linens ready for the holidays now”.
One week out start to think about your cooking schedule and process. Turkeys take anywhere from a 1 ½ to 3-4 days to thaw depending on the size. A lot of dishes can be made a couple days in advance such as sauces and desserts. Side dishes can be made the day before so you can easily reheat day of. Plan for leftovers by having any disposable containers or bags available for guests.
On Thanksgiving day preheat your oven in the early morning and get your Turkey in (as it takes the longest to cook). After the turkey is ready pop in any side dishes that need reheating and enjoy!
Getting ready for the holidays doesn’t have to be stressful, relax and let us help you out with our tips!