5 Days to Christmas

Large Meal Planning

With a proper plan and timeline, Thanksgiving dinner can be a fun and relaxing event. Decide on your menu and lay out each recipe on an index card. Compare your recipes to see which ones will cook well together and which ones will compete for oven time. You want to setup your day so that everything is ready and warm at the same time.

Take a look at your cookware and decide which pans & dishes will hold the appropriate recipes to prevent needing a dish twice at the same time. On your index card, write down the appropriate dish and the cook time. As an example, Heather’s own plans are listed below.

Be sure to consider which items can be prepared in advance. For example, you can cut vegetables for a relish tray the night before or chop ingredients for a casserole. It is also helpful to start with a clean kitchen. Empty the refrigerator, take out the trash, empty the dishwasher & sink.

The night before, lay out each dish you will use along with the appropriate recipe. This way if someone wants to pitch in on Thursday, the recipe is at their fingertips. On the big day, you can relax, have fun and enjoy a hot meal.

Heather’s Thanksgiving Menu:
• Turkey-foil roasting pan
• Ham-Rival roaster
• Cornbread Stuffing-in bird/bread crock
• Mashed potatoes-6-qt pan/oval crockpot
• Gravy-2-qt pan
• Egg noodles-4-qt pan
• Green bean casserole-deep dish baker
• Green beans-round crockpot
• Sweet potato casserole-9×13 baker
• Broccoli salad-white dish
• Fruit/Veggie Tray-Chillzanne platter
• Dinner rolls-large bar pan
• pumpkin pies-pie plates
Sunday:
• Move turkey and ham to refrigerator for thawing
• Make and dry egg noodles
Wednesday:
• Bake pumpkin pies
• Cut fruit & vegetables
• Thaw rolls
• Fill salt & pepper shakers
Thursday:
7:00am make cornbread stuffing
7:30 am stuff turkey
7:45 am turkey into oven
8:00 am ham into roaster
8:15 am green beans into crockpot
8:30 am Breakfast
9:30 am peel & boil potatoes
10:00 am Mash potatoes; transfer to crockpot on warm
10:15 am prepare sweet potato casserole; refrigerate
10:30 am prepare green bean casserole; refrigerate
10:45 am prepare broccoli salad; refrigerate
11:15 am Set out fruit & veggies for snacking
11:30 am Make tea; refrigerate
12:00 pm Remove turkey from oven, transfer broth to stockpot
12:15 pm Casseroles/dressing/rolls into oven
12:30 pm Add noodles to broth
12:45 pm Carve turkey/Make gravy
1:00 pm Dinner!