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Farmers Almanac
The 2014 Farmers Almanac
Farmers' Almanac

Keeping Ahead of Thanksgiving

Keeping Ahead of Thanksgiving

Will you be hosting the Thanksgiving dinner in your home this year? If so, it’s not too early to begin preparations for the grandest home cooked meal of the year. Every morsel made and served on your Thanksgiving table can be home prepared by putting this plan into action.

To Do List:

3 Weeks Before Thanksgiving …

Plan your menu. Pull out the recipes and make a list of the ingredients you need to purchase. Shop for the ingredients that can be stored in the pantry, refrigerator or freezer in advance: spices, nuts, butter, flour, sugar, eggs, fresh cranberries, sausage, turkey, canned pumpkin, sweet potatoes, Yukon gold potatoes, etc. Call other family members and assign casseroles or foods for them to bring. Bake desserts that freeze well: cookies and pies, cobblers and bread puddings and store in the freezer.

2 Weeks Ahead …

Make your favorite dinner or yeast rolls and store in the freezer. Select tablecloth, napkins and decorations for your Thanksgiving table. Wash and press table linens and set aside.

1 Week Ahead …

Buy fresh ingredients needed. Call guests to remind them of dinnertime and foods to bring. Determine if extra seating or additional tables are needed for serving and placement. Vacuum and dust the house. Set candles and decorations in place. Make turkey dressing/stuffing and freeze.

Thanksgiving Week …

Make a checklist of things to do each day prior to Thanksgiving. Set out menu, so you won’t forget to remove the cider or desserts from the freezer. Thaw turkey, in advance. If you’re having your Thanksgiving dinner early in the day, consider baking the bird a day ahead, carving the meat and storing it in the refrigerator in chicken broth to keep moist. Reheat in oven before serving on platter. Remove desserts, dressing and bread from freezer a day ahead. Fresh cranberry-orange relish can be made the day before. Assemble casseroles a day in advance, if possible and bake on Thanksgiving. Set the table, light the candles and savor the bountiful cuisine.

Planning ahead reduces the stress of holiday entertaining and gives the hostess the opportunity to count her blessings while enjoying a relaxing day with loved ones.


1 Danielle { 11.07.11 at 1:55 pm }

Since we don’t live near family, we get together with some dear friends every year. We have a deal where whom ever hosts bakes the turkey, does the potatoes, gravy and stuffing. The other family brings every thing else. Then we switch houses every year. Huge time and stress saver and we get to share recipes (which is always a bonus). We love it! Happy Thanksgiving guys!

2 Barbara Galowitch { 11.07.11 at 1:09 pm }

I make the meal, do the decorating, and set a formal table. I have my guests bring their choice of dessert/appetizers. I have found people want to help & this a good way for them to feel they have contributed. It also allows me to focus on the meal. This year I will be seating 18. Three tables in dining room and all the people I hold dearest. I can’t wait!!! So much fun!!!

3 Gwendolyn { 09.14.11 at 11:26 pm }

Thanks. Good ideas.

4 Ms' Barbara { 08.21.11 at 12:42 am }

I do all of the cooking for our family Thanksgiving dinner. To make buying groceries easy I buy stuff thourgh out the year, meal and flour go in the freezer. Buying during the year when it’s on sale really helps. I have 3 fridges with freezer plus 1 freezer.

5 Tina { 11.15.10 at 12:32 pm }

Thank you for the time put into this information ,it was very helpful.

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