Wednesday, November 20, 2013

An Organized Thanksgiving, Part VI: One Week Prior

We're almost there!  Thanksgiving is coming!
This is the part where I start to freak out and CLEAN ALL THE THINGS.  Company is coming, you know, and I have it in my head that people come to do a white-glove inspection when they visit my home (nobody ever has...yet).

Here is your list of ingredients to pick up one week before the big day.  Remember that there is one final list of ingredients that we will be shopping for on Tuesday or Wednesday of next week.

apples, red (2)
bananas (for dairy free menu. You want these quite ripe--meaning brown and disgusting--by Wednesday)
cranberries, fresh (1 bag)
eggs (7) (for regular menu)
ground turkey (one lb)
half and half (one pint) (for regular menu)
lemon (1)
onion, yellow (1)
orange (1)
potato,  russett (1)
shallots (4)
shortening (for regular menu)
sweet potatoes (3 lbs)
turkey or turkey breast (1 lb per person) (if using fresh)
whipping cream (for regular menu)
yukon gold potatoes (5 lbs)
You can buy the brussels sprouts or beans a week ahead, but I prefer to wait until a couple of days before Thanksgiving day so they are really fresh when I serve them
any item from previous lists that you did not already purchase

If you have not already done so, start thinking about table setting.  Take inventory of linens, plates, wine glasses, etc.  Make sure you have enough matching napkins.  Treat stains if needed.  In the past, I've even gone so far as to put sticky notes with the name of each dish on the serving vessel I intend to use for that dish.  If you'd like to create a centerpiece or place cards, start assembling those things.  Just, please, for the love of all things holy, do not refer to this as a "tablescape."

Another thing I like to do at this point is sit down and map out my recipes.  A few years ago (before children, when free time was "a thing") I had some leftover fancy stationery, so I wrote out all of my recipes on those.  I keep them in my homekeeping binder "holidays" section.  The reason I like to have them separate, and on sturdy paper, is because I clip them up on the refrigerator while I cook.  This makes it easy to refer to them, and it makes it easy for me to point any willing helpers in the direction of instructions.  I can easily say, "Sure!  You can help!  Take over the cranberry relish please!"  Even though I have most of these recipes memorized (or I just cook them without recipes), I like to have them written out for this reason.  I also wrote them on A5 paper, rather than on recipe cards, because I was able to use larger handwriting that I can see from the other side of the kitchen.  If you'd like to write out your recipes, this is a good time to do that.  You can even get fancy and laminate them.  

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