Thanksgiving Menu and Recipes
Speaking of pies, we have a whole category devoted to pies on our blog. You can start with my mom's absolutely best crust recipe here and go onto the many other varieties of pies that are all delicious, here. For even more pie ideas, you can purchase and download our For the Love of Pie ebook. You might find a new, wonderful pie to add to your Thanksgiving dessert table this year!
Sometimes people already have an idea of what they would like to contribute, so it is good to be open to those suggestions and work around them. If your sister asks what you would like her to bring, you could give her a few suggestions and let her choose. Also, accept any offers from people who would like to come early and help!
Before you Shop
Another important thing to do before you shop is to take an inventory of what you have already and what you will need to make your planned menu. Do you have enough eggs? How about little things like sage or even salt? Do you have the evaporated milk for the pumpkin pie? Make a list and check it twice!
- Freezer Storage Bags!
- Containers that seal and won't leak. Here are a couple suggestions:
- If you are using paper plates, get good sturdy ones. I prefer to use real plates for big dinners, because they look prettier, they are sturdy enough to handle the gravy and other juicy foods and won't fall apart under a knife. Also, make sure you have enough dessert plates! I like to check the clearance aisles for good deals on pretty dishes.
- Plastic wrap, or another fun thing to do to send home leftovers in is to make your own wax cloths like Maddy blogged about here. We use them all of the time and they are a great way to be a little more green. They would be a nice little gift to send home with your guests, wrapped around some leftover dinner rolls perhaps! Use some Fall colored prints!
- You may assign out whipped cream or Cool Whip, but I always like to have some extra on hand.
- Butter for those rolls!
- Save some time on Tuesday of Thanksgiving Week to go back for produce closer to Thanksgiving Day so that it will be fresh.
- Make sure the turkey is in the refrigerator defrosting by Monday at the latest. Big turkeys take longer. A 20 pound turkey can take 5 days to defrost.
- Clean the house really well on Tuesday. You can also put together some of your dishes, such as the stuffing, in advance on this day. Then on Thursday you can just pop it in the oven. Also, the cranberry sauce and sweet potatoes can be prepared in advance.
- Bake the pies, rolls and other desserts on Wednesday, because the oven will be very busy on Thursday with the turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, etc.
- After baking on Wednesday, sweep and straighten the house and set the table, unless you have very tiny children who will just mess it up. Then you can have someone help you with it on Thursday.
- Thursday morning, put a couple of spoonfuls of stuffing in the cavity of the bird for flavor, but bake most of it in a casserole dish. Prepare the turkey by rinsing it and removing the giblets. I cook the giblets separately on the stove in a seasoned broth to chop up and use in the gravy. When the turkey is done roasting later on, don't forget to remove the stuffing from the inside.
- When the turkey comes out of the oven, pop the stuffing, sweet potatoes and green bean casserole into the oven while it rests. Move the turkey to a platter to rest and make the gravy in the bottom of the roasting pan.
One Last Tip