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Preparing for Thanksgiving

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Thanksgiving is my holiday.  I host a big meal where I cook too much followed by eat too much.  
Last year I vowed to have a completely GMO free Thanksgiving meal.  Which meant that I had to find a couple new recipes.  It was a success, and probably the best Thanksgiving meal I’ve made.

Hosting Thanksgiving dinner takes a lot of planning and prepping.  To be honest, that’s probably why I enjoy hosting so much.  If I can use a spreadsheet, I’m excited!  I’m a little weird like that.
My planning goes through stages.  In an effort to help you out, or just to let you all in on how crazy I really am, here is the method to my madness.

Menu Planning

Write it out.  If you don’t, you’ll forget.  This year I used a spreadsheet.  Yes.  I said spreadsheet.  It included sumif and vlookup formulas.  I am a nerd.  Even if you don’t feel the need to go all Excel, start by writing out the dishes you plan on making.  Then write out all the ingredients you will need to purchase.
From your menu and ingredient list, you can create a shopping list.
(this is where all my formulas came into play…)
The closer you get to the day, the more fine tuned it is.  So that when you go to the store, you know exactly how much you will need of everything.  You don’t want to have to send hubby to the store on Thanksgiving day!

Time Table

My family knows all about this one.  Schedule out your to-do list.  I try to space everything out, so that the only rush time is the last hour.  Do I always stick to the schedule?  No.  Does it keep crazy Kate from coming out?  No.  But it does keep me from forgetting to take the lid off the stuffing, or taking the turkey out of the oven.  

Plan out your Dishes

Every year I take out my serving dishes and figure out what food is going into each dish.  I wash it up, find a serving spoon, and label the dish.  Then, my helper (aka Mom), knows where to put the potatoes after she’s mashed them.

Every year, I comment on needing more white dishes.  I’m sure this year will be no exception.

Set your Table

I always set my table the night before.  It gets most of the kinks out of your table cloth, and gets that one item off your to-do list.  

Perfect your Centerpiece

I try to not buy anything for my Thanksgiving centerpiece.  
Unless you find something on major clearance
Last year I didn’t do one.  (Hey, I had 2 babies under 2 last year…I chose my battles wisely)

Enjoy your day!

Yes, you have a lot to do.  But don’t let that spoil some of the memories!  Make sure you take time to watch some parade with your kids or check the score of the game!
The Excel portion is a bit on the extreme side…I know.  But the tips work with out it.  Just write everything down, and you will be as golden brown as your turkey!
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This is why you get Thanksgiving! These are awesome tips, I didn’t even know you did all of this to prep! 

Thanksgiving Day Timetable Printable | Twitchetts

Sunday 24th of May 2015

[…] away.  Are you counting it down?  Are you ready?  Do you remember all those crazy Thanksgiving Day tips I gave you the other day? The most helpful tip on that post has to be the time table. […]

Theresa A

Thursday 13th of November 2014

Labeling the dishes is a great idea. You are so organized! I am not sure I can accomplish all of that with four 4 year-old children running around, but I can aspire to be that organized! : 0 )


Thursday 13th of November 2014

I love how you've organized this. This is my first Thanksgiving cooking a turkey so I'm a bit nervous about that but otherwise I'm all for the task at hand.

Twitchetts Blogspot

Thursday 13th of November 2014

Good luck on your first Thanksgiving Dinner! I'm sure your turkey will be wonderful!

Rachel E. Bledsoe

Thursday 13th of November 2014

Beautiful. And I love the labeling and laying out your dishes. We are always in the mad scramble at the last minute hoping we have enough spoons. The white dishes really make the presentation look nice. Thank you so much for the great ideas!