Thanksgiving Time Line

Time Line

To save on clean up and refrigerator space, I place most things I prep (that don’t go directly into baking dish) in sandwich or Ziploc bags to make clean up easier.

2 Weeks Ahead

Order turkey or check local paper for prices at various grocery stores in your town

Wash and iron tablecloths and napkins

1 Week Ahead

Organize equipment and serving dishes

Clean any silver you are using

Buy candles

Organize table decorations

Put turkey in refrigerator to thaw if frozen

3 Days Ahead

Make cranberry sauce

2 Days Ahead

Shop for groceries

Make sweet potato puree

Rim cocktail glasses with sugar

1 day before

Make sure turkey is thawed – if not, place in bowl of cold water until thawed and then refrigerate on a wire rack and cookie tray and allow to air dry until needed

Make stuffing

Make turkey stock

Sauté pancetta and shallots for sprouts

Clean and cut Brussels sprouts

Make breadcrumb topping for beans

Clean and top and tail beans.

Set dining table if you can.  If you are having a buffet and have the space, you can set the table and the bar, and place water and wine glasses out.

For Serving Dinner at 5:00

Morning of (estimate cooking time and plan time line accordingly starting with serving time and work backwards)

?10:30am  Take turkey out of fridge at and allow to come to room temperature.

11:00  Take stuffing out of refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature.

11:15  Turn oven on.  Place oven rack on the lowest rack and remove second rack from oven.

11:15  Stuff turkey and season with turkey with salt and pepper and butter.  Place any extra stuffing in a buttered ovenproof dish.  Dot the top with 2 tablespoons of butter and place foil over top and put in refrigerator until needed.

11:30  Put turkey in oven.


Make turkey stock (if you didn’t the day before)

Blanch green beans and place in refrigerator

Peel and cut Russet potatoes and place in water

1 Hour before serving:

Put potatoes on to cook

1/2 hour before serving:

Remove turkey from oven and place on cutting board.  

Remove stuffing to a heatproof serving dish.  Tent the turkey with foil.

Put Parsnips and Carrots in oven

Make gravy

Make mashed potatoes, cover, and keep warm over bain marie on stove top or in oven on low heat.

Make green beans

Sauté Brussels sprouts

Reheat sweet potato puree


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