This is your year to enjoy Thanksgiving as much as or even more than your guests. This is the year you promised yourself you wouldn’t wait until the last minute. Start early and you’ll ease ease the Thanksgiving crunch. Here are 9 things you can begin doing today to bring more joy and less stress into Thanksgiving preparations. Find many more tips and suggestions in my much more detailed Thanksgiving Guide and Checklist to help pave the way for a most glorious Thanksgiving Day.
♥ When moments of stress do come your way, take three deep belly breaths. You’ll be amazed what a difference deep breathing makes.
♥ Paste this beautiful tribute to the cook from Michael Pollen somewhere that you can see it. Then read it when you need it.
“For is there any practice less selfish, any labor less alienated, any time less wasted, than preparing something delicious and nourishing for people you love?”
9 things to do starting now
- Finalize your guest list. Learn what food allergies or special diets any of your guests may have.
- Plan your menu balancing flavors, colors, fresh & cooked dishes along with oven & stove top requirements. If you want some new ideas, take a look at my Pinterest Thanksgiving board with photos of many of my favorite Thanksgiving dishes. Some of which are linked to below.
- Know who is bringing what dishes and beverages. Write it down.
- Gather all the recipes for the items you’ll be making.
- Recipes in hand, create a shopping list. Write down each ingredient in each recipe. Here’s an easy to use and downloadable Shopping List Template for your convenience. Consider highlighting, using a different color highlighter for each store, where you’ll buy each item. By noting and checking off each ingredient as you buy it, you can (hopefully) avoid last-minute trips to crowded stores on the night before Thanksgiving.
- Buy whatever you can in advance. From canned pumpkin to fresh cranberries, fresh spices and flours, onions, dried mushrooms, butter, turkey necks and wings, beverages, etc.
- Check your roasting pans and pots, serving platters and bowls, glasses, dishes, flatware, chairs, tables to see that you have enough of everything. Purchase or borrow the items you need.
- Wash and polish special linens, china, glasses and silver now while it’s still fun to do.
- Decide what you’ll wear and try it on. If needed, have it cleaned and pressed so your clothes are ready to be hurriedly slipped into moments before your guests arrive.
Want some help planning your menu?
Consider these Thanksgiving Day favorites.
- Winter Squash Spread
- Watercress, Belgian Endive and Pear Salad
- Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Yams with Balsamic Reduction, Scallions & Chili Pepper
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Toasted Pecans
- Braised Turkey with Fresh Herbs, Wild Mushrooms & Vegetables
- Veggie Patties with Quinoa, Black Beans & Lots of Veggies
- Shiitake Gravy
- Cranberry Apple Ginger Chutney
- Triple Delish Cranberry Sauce
- Maple Pumpkin Pie
- Cranberry Apple Crostata
- Maple Pumpkin Flan