Make Ready – Thanksgiving is Coming!

Okay folks, it’s one week until the Big Feast. Where are you with your pre-holiday preparations? I’ve got the lists all made and ready to go. Three lists are key to getting your big dinner on the table without a hitch – the menu, the shopping list and your prep outline. Here are mine for this year – not so simple that I’ll be bored getting it together, but not so complicated (as in previous years) that I won’t be able to pull it off with a baby on the scene.

The Menu

Roasted turkey (still trying to convince husband we should also apple smoke it)

Honey glazed ham

Mashed potatoes

Bread stuffing (with white and rye breads)

Stuffed sweet potatoes

Braised greens (whatever’s on sale – Swiss chard, kale, collards…)

Home made cranberry sauce

Turkey gravy

Pumpkin crescent rolls

Pumpkin pie

Chocolate icebox pie

Shopping List

12-15 pound turkey

8-10 pound ham

5 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes




chicken stock

4 sweet potatoes

3 large bunches greens






mini marshmallows

Prep Itinerary

Monday – Bake white bread and rye bread for stuffing.

Tuesday – Parbake and freeze crescent rolls; make chocolate pie; make cranberry sauce.

Wednesday – Bake pumpkin pie; prep all veggies and keep in fridge.

Thanksgiving – Get turkey and ham in oven by 9:00; cook bread stuffing in crockpot; cook mashed potatoes; bake sweet potatoes; braise greens; finish baking rolls.


Of course the Thanksgiving work list needs expanding and refining. I like to have times listed out so I know when to start each item so that everything is ready to eat at the same time. It takes a little maneuvering. That’s why I’ve decided to sacrifice the crisp crust on the bread stuffing this year and do it in the crockpot. I can just set it and forget it. Actually, I suppose I could throw it under the broiler for a few minutes if I’m so inclined, but personally I like a softer stuffing anyhow. So we’ll see. And juggling the turkey and ham in the oven will be tricky. Another pro to apple smoking it, as it can be done on the grill. But if we go that route, I’ll have to take the turkey down into pieces so it will fit on our grill. Not a big deal, since we don’t make a big thing of presenting the whole bird at the table anyway. But if we don’t smoke it, I may have to cook the ham through on Wednesday night so I can just heat it up on Thursday when the turkey is out and resting. So, I’ve got the master plan all set to go but we’ve still got some planning to do in the next week. And we’ve got to do the grocery shopping this weekend for sure!

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