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
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 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 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