Wednesday, November 27, 2013

My Thanksgiving Countdown

I won't lie, I tend to have big plans for cooking all kinds of dishes on Thanksgiving and then I lose my cool just a wee bit as dinner time approaches and I'm in the middle of a million dishes and I want to be done so badly I could cry and...yeah.  There's inevitably a last minute freak-out.  

  Don't get me wrong...everything turns out just fine.  :-) Generally things take a turn for the better when I finally give in and allow my husband to step in as sous chef.

It's all a lack of planning.  I get the recipes, the ingredients...but I sort of wake up Thanksgiving morning and expect to be able to throw everything together quickly and magically.

It just doesn't work like that.  In reality, there's limited time, one oven, and only one of me.

This year, I decided I was going to do things the right way, and I foresee a stress-free day of cooking tomorrow, one with a plan...and maybe a glass of wine at some point?

I only chose to make one appetizer...lol mostly because my husband asked me to let my MIL make something.  I mainly stuck with my go-to recipes, though I am trying out a new deviled egg recipe and a new pie. 

This is what my menu looks like...

Turkey and Side Dishes

(Reduce the butter to 1/2 C and the brown sugar to 3/4 C. Then add 2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, 1/4 tsp ginger, and 1/8 tsp ground cloves)

(I leave out the sausage when I'm serving as a side dish)


Nothing fancy, nothing gourmet- I think my family might revolt if I pulled that on Thanksgiving- but really, REALLY good food.  Traditional Thanksgiving goodness.

To avoid the same freak-out I experience about halfway through cooking every year, I made myself a schedule and planned ahead.  So far so good!
1 week before Thanksgiving I...
Moved my ginormous turkey from the freezer to the fridge

2 days before Thanksgiving I....
Made 2 pie crusts (then shaped as disks, wrapped in saran wrap, and refrigerated)
Hard boiled eggs
Diced onion for all recipes
Minced red onion, sweet pickles, and jalapeƱo for deviled eggs and put in a baggie.

Cubed bread for the stuffing, then returned to bread bag and cut holes to let air flow through and dry bread.

Made cranberry sauce
Mixed up copycat cornbread mix for corn casserole

1 day before Thanksgiving I...
Made pumpkin pie 
Made pecan pie 
Made and refrigerated dough for rolls (will rise overnight for first dough rise)
Chopped sweet potatoes 
Chopped potatoes (potatoes need to be covered in water when being stored to avoid turning brown)
Crushed crackers for top of green bean casserole

On Thanksgiving I plan to stick to this schedule...
9:15am- Turkey 4-ish hours at 350 

9:30am- Prepare and refrigerate deviled eggs. 

10:15am- Prepare stuffing in slow cooker 

10:45am- Prepare mashed potatoes in slow cooker 

12:00pm- Prep green bean casserole, get in casserole dish 

12:30pm- Prep mac and cheese, get in casserole dish 

12:45pm- Boil sweet potatoes 

1:00pm- Make sauce for sweet potatoes, get in casserole dish

1:15pm- Make corn casserole, get in casserole dish

1:30pm- Turkey out, make gravy 

1:30pm- Set oven to 375 

1:30pm- Corn casserole in 

1:45pm- Green bean casserole in 

1:55pm-Mac and cheese in 

2:00pm- Sweet potatoes in 

2:00pm-Shape rolls, 2nd rise 

2:15pm- Corn casserole out, green bean casserole out, mac and cheese out, sweet potatoes out 

2:15pm-Rolls 15 minutes at 400

2:30pm- EAT!!

It may seem like over planning, but this year I've got a plan!  No last minute craziness, no prepping of veggies, no eating late because I didn't schedule oven time well.  The super-planner, list-making, OCD side of me can't believe I've never done this before.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!


  1. I plan like a crazy woman every year....just like this. It's what actually keeps me sane on the big day! :) Now if only I could corral all the guests to do the dishes and put everything away...only then will I have a nice stress free holiday!!

    1. Glad I'm not the only crazy one! lol this year I bought the nicest throwaway plates I could that still looked nice- I'm even trying to avoid the dishes!


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