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The Week Before Thanksgiving: What You Should Start Doing?

white candles on round table

We are now 10 days away from Thanksgiving. This is an odd number of days. Although it’s too early to start baking pies and buying perishables, it’s not too late. Although there may be a whole weekend between now and Thanksgiving day, pushing things onto Saturday and Sunday will cause stress and make it difficult to get through the weekend. You should still enjoy a normal weekend before The Holidays begin in earnest. There are some things you can do to make sure the next 10 days go as smoothly as possible.

Everybody plans differently for large events. Some people don’t consider Thanksgiving a major event at all. You don’t have to be a novice host if you just found out or are simply not interested in planning. Our first and second Thanksgiving planning guides can help you get started.

  • Keep an eye on your team

Make sure to reach out to those who will be bringing side dishes, or helping with Turkey Day preparations. Ask them if they have any questions and let them know if there is anything you can do. Last-minute dishes, desserts or drinks should be assigned immediately so that the responsible person doesn’t have last-minute scrambling.

  • Don’t forget about turkey

It is important to allow your turkey to defrost totally. You can speed up the process by taking cold water baths or sous-vide sub-vide baths, but putting The Bird in the refrigerator and forgetting about it for several days is much more difficult. We suspect that you will still need to use your hands (and sink!) for other things.

For every four pounds of turkey, it needs to be kept in the refrigerator for one day. We advice you to give it an additional day. You should also consider brining if you plan to make a marinade. For the 12 pound turkey, which will require 24 hours of brining, we know we need at most three days in the refrigerator, but we plan to keep it safe by doing four. The turkey must be in the brine by Wednesday before Thanksgiving. We will start defrosting the turkey four days prior. This means that we must get the bird in the fridge by Saturday to allow it to defrost, which happens to be the day that we pick it up. You can create an event once you have a defrost date and set an alarm to your phone so that you never forget.

  • Get your perishables and other items before the weekend rush

You should buy eggs, dairy, fresh produce, and other perishable ingredients. You can create a separate list for items on your menu that require super freshness, but you should try to complete the majority of your shopping before the weekend.

Make sure to go over the lists from our first planning guide once more. Then, make your final shopping list. You should also make sure to buy beverages, including soft drinks, as well as any vessels or utensils that you will need to cook, serve and eat each dish.

  • Perform an appliance inspection

Your oven and fridge should be empty and ready for food. Your oven and fridge will not be the only appliances that you use for Thanksgiving meal preparation. A stand mixer, a food processor, and a grill are all possible options. You should pull out any appliances you haven’t used in a while and check that they are still working. Also, make sure you have the batteries and attachments you need. If you use a digital thermometer for checking the temperature of your turkey, batteries are particularly important.

  • Draw a map of your stove and oven usage

Each dish must be prepared in your oven, on the stove or in/on another specialized appliance. You can use sticky notes to make sure there is enough space. We write the name and the location of each dish on the notes and place them in the pan or casserole we will be using to cook it. The note will be stuck directly to the lid of the Instant Pot if we are cooking something. If you prefer, you can write the information directly on the IP with a dry erase marker. We will also write the cooking temperature and estimated cook time for the dishes that will go in the oven.

These little notes will give you a better idea of how your kitchen will look on Thanksgiving morning. Knowing these details ahead of time will allow you to plan your menu and schedule to make sure everything is cooked on time.

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