Nov 19, 2012

Planning for Thanksgiving

We only have five for Thanksgiving dinner this year -- my son, daughter-in-law and sweet granddaughter will not be traveling in from Texas. It would be more difficult if we hadn't been to visit them in Texas just last week, but I will still miss them at the Thanksgiving table!

I'm planning my week today to make sure I have everything ready for Thanksgiving. Is there anything worse than being in the middle of a recipe and finding you don't have the ingredients you need? (Yes, I've done that before!)

Here is our menu:

Turkey with traditional sage stuffing
Mashed potatoes
Oven-roasted brussel sprouts (debating this one still)
Steamed brocolli/cauliflower mix with cheese sauce
Corn (my daughter's request every year)
Creamed onions
Green bean casserole (my daughter is bringing it - yay!)
Rolls, butter
Cranberry Sauce

Apple Pie
Pumpkin Pie
Vanilla Ice Cream/Cool Whip
Whoopie Pies (my daughter is bringing because it's her Dad's favorite)

Coffee, tea
Diet Coke, Root Beer, variety of juices

Now here's my schedule to get everything ready:

Write menu, post on fridge
Check all ingredients, make shopping list
Launder tablecloth
Dust, vac dining room
All good china to the dishwasher
Check serving spoons/forks
Get out serving dishes

Grocery shopping
Pick up fresh turkey at butcher's
Clean out turkey, simmer giblets for stock for gravy
Clean guest bathroom, fresh towels

Wednesday - Baking!
Apple Pie
Pumpkin Pie
Prepare stuffing
Prepare gravy
Set the table
Clean up kitchen
Empty dishwasher
Evening - brine turkey

Thursday - Thanksgiving!
Eating around 3pm, so turkey in at 9am

After dinner:
Make up "TV Dinners" in aluminum pie plates for freezer
(Husband always cleans up after Thanksgiving dinner - bless his heart!)

I actually write my menu twice. The first time I list each dish of the meal, and make a list of ingredients it needs, right down to the salt and pepper. From this list, I check against what I have on hand, and can make up my grocery shopping list.

The second time I write the list, it's done in simple menu form. I post this on the fridge door, and it helps me stay focused on what needs to be done, and makes sure all dishes actually make it to the table! It also helps me figure out what serving dishes/utensils I need to have ready for the "big meal".

I think my husband and I look forward to the "TV Dinners" more than the actual Thanksgiving meal itself! I usually buy a dozen or more aluminum pie plates, and immediately after dinner we bring all the leftovers into the kitchen, lay out the pie plates, and put a small serving of each leftover in each pie plate. Turkey, gravy, veggies, rolls - even cranberry sauce! Then we cover each pie plate in saran wrap, then in aluminum foil, and stack them in the freezer. In a week or two when we're needing a quick meal, I pop two of these "TV Dinners" out of the freezer, remove the saran wrap, and put them in a 375 oven for about 45 minutes. Trust me, they are every bit as good, if not better, than the original dinner!

I have a lot to be thankful for this year. Both my grown children are doing well and in stable relationships (with people I like! LOL). I have the world's most wonderful grandchildren. My husband and I will be celebrating our 35th anniversary next year and I love that silly man more than the day I married him. Everyone in the family is in good health and employed. We have a comfortable home and no longer struggle financially as we did in our younger years.

Life is good - and for that I am very, very thankful.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!


Karen said...

Very organized! However, I can't believe you do the grocery shopping on Tuesday. In my part of the woods, I wouldn't step foot anywhere near Market Basket for this entire week. My shopping was done last week. I do have to stop in to get salad stuff at the last minute I will be there on Wednesday morning when the store opens at 6am.

Joan J said...

Karen, I also had my main ingredients done weeks ago! :) This is just a few last minute items that I need whether it's Thanksgiving or not - oh, and potatoes. I forgot to get potatoes. LOL Hugs, Joan