Sunday, November 9, 2008

Thanksgiving Countdown

I have to admit that Rachel made me feel pretty guilty when I read this post in which she said she was revving up for Thanksgiving…and it was only Halloween! OY! I’ve barely put my Christmas decorations away.

Actually when it comes to Thanksgiving, I am supremely organized. The only thing is that the organization is purely in my head. It hasn’t manifested itself in any practical way…yet. But that’s about to change:

Ready Start Go!!!
Here is my countdown to Thanksgiving…well, it’s far too early to think about the actual cooking. No, I’m wrong, we can THINK about it all we want, and in fact we should be, but there are other ancillary concerns for the Thanksgiving host.

Oh, one little note about the cooking, before we begin –
From the day after the LAST Thanksgiving, keep a file of possible Thanksgiving recipe choices and try them out them out throughout the year. (You still have a bit of time to do that.)

Up to three months before Thanksgiving -
Do anything that will not have to be redone by Thursday, November 27th. That includes painting the kitchen, cleaning out the basement or garage or découpaging an old table, so that those things are out of the way.

Start to firm up the menu. Definite recipes should go into one file with a plastic sleeve, so they can get through the cooking onslaught relatively unscathed. Keep a pen handy to note any changes.

Week of November 10th – 16th
Clean oven. This means no spitting, grease-type foods can be cooked until after November 27th.

Organize anything that doesn’t have to do with cooking - guest room linens, getting fishing gear out of the dining room…it’s still too early to wash the wine glasses, but you can iron the tablecloth and get the kids to carry stuff down to the basement.

Make your lists and buy staples – flour, sugar, nuts, dishwasher soap, plenty of sponges, garbage bags, cleaning products

Week of November 17th – 23nd

Anything that can be frozen, MAKE NOW.
For me that’s cranberry sauce, my four pie crusts – 2 shortcrust for Pecan Pies, Graham Cracker crust for Pumpkin Chiffon Pie and a mystery crust for a yet as undetermined pie number 4…that I better hurry up and decide upon.

Polish the silver. Okay, you can wash the wine glasses now if you have somewhere to put them when they’re clean.

Clean the house by the Sunday before Thanksgiving. You never know when you might have unexpected early houseguests. Quick touchups only, after that date.

Buy any non-perishables you have left on your list. Do not buy your extra toilet paper and paper towels at the same time as you’re buying 12 pounds of potatoes and a huge turkey.

November 24rd until T-Day
Sorry, you’ll have to wait a bit for that list. I still have a table to découpage.


Marty said...

My tip is to clean the fridge the weekend before Thanksgiving! Time to organize, eat or toss all those packages of leftovers to make PLENTY of space for all the extra food! Nothing's worse than finding you don't have room for that big ol' bird!

Sue said...

Hi Marty,
THAT is a fantastic tip. I'm going to do that.

Adam said...

These are all fantastic tips, Sue. I especially like freezing all things that can be frozen, because we know all how hectic things can be at the last minute. I def don't want to miss the Spiderman balloon this year :)

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

You put me to shame. I start very little of that stuff prior to Thanksgiving. All of my cleaning and shopping gets done the Monday and Tuesday before.

Want to know what's really down to the wire? You mentioned doing your renovations well ahead of time. Well, Sir PP and I are still in the process of renovating our second bedroom that has been nothing but a junk room with a computer in it since we moved in over 7 years ago. We are trying to make it into a more funtional office/guest room. We just had a new office unit installed and not everything has been put away yet. Then we ordered a futon couch that won't be delivered until the 17th. We are still looking to buy a TV and DVD player for the room. Our goal is to have a room where the kids can go and watch TV and amuse themselves and not make a mess while the adults eat. We're really taking it down to the wire though.

Anonymous said...

Sue, I absolutely promise that we will not arrive 3 days earlier than planned! I will NEVER EVER do that again, PROMISE!!!
You know who xxx

Sue said...

Thanks, Adam,
Freezing as musch as possible is always a great idea.

Going to the parade will be such fun!

Nah, Rachel,
I just talk a big game. We'll see how much I actually get done in advance.

That's a great idea to get that other room ready. I still like the bathtub idea, though.

I wish you were coming three WEEKS early. You still can.

Emiline said...

These are some great tips! Luckily for me, Mom handles everything.

All I have to do is bring home the rolls.

Sue said...

Would you please explain to me how your mother can have an extraordinary baker and cook living under her roof and she's not forcing you to cook for 300 people and charging admission?

Nikki said...

What? For real? I have to wait for the rest of the list? I'm sad.