Countdown to Thanksgiving Dinner

Written by Maureen Rowan Murphy, Manager Consumer Trends, Nutrition and Lifestyles

Organizing and timing are key elements when it comes to preparing any meal, but especially a special dinner. This countdown is intended as a guide to make it easier to prepare a stress free, delicious Thanksgiving meal that you too can enjoy!!

Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours!


The weekend before:

• Shop for items that can be purchased ahead.

• Prepare and freeze anything that can be made in advance.

• Develop a food preparation schedule.

The day before Thanksgiving:

• Purchase fresh items like vegetables.

• Set table or set up serving areas and set out serving pieces/utensils.

• Set up beverage area.

• Measure out dry stuffing ingredients, cover and set aside to mix with perishable ingredients prior to stuffing or placing in a casserole dish.

Thanksgiving Day:

Early in the day

• Post a list of food and check off so nothing is forgotten.

• Remove turkey from the refrigerator, unwrap, remove giblets, and set aside if using. Place in a roasting pan and refrigerate until ready to rest.

• Pick up any prepared food. (Our stores are open until 3pm Thanksgiving day.)

4 to 6 hours before serving

• Peel and cut up potatoes and cover with cold water until ready to cook.

• Prepare stuffing,

2 hours before serving

• Cook giblets is using.

• Place condiments such as cranberry sauce, olives, carrots, celery and pickles.

• Add any finishing touches to make ahead recipes.

1 hour before serving

• Remove turkey from oven and allow to rest.

• Place stuffing in oven to bake if baking in a casserole dish as advised.

• Drain potatoes, add salt and fresh water. Cook, drain, and mash. Place in an ovenproof casserole and keep warm in oven.

• Make gravy.

15 minutes before serving

• Carve Turkey.

• Bake rolls according to package directions.

• Pour beverages.

• Place condiments on table.

• Add any finishing touches to side dishes.

• Light candles.

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