I hope everyone’s Thanksgiving plans are coming along nicely.  This was a slow week for me as far as prep tasks are concerned.  With the menu already planned, I just did a couple of minor organizational tasks.  Now is a good time to take stock of what sort of containers you have available for guests to take home leftovers, and replenish the supply if needed.  Everyone knows one of the best parts about Thanksgiving is the leftovers, and guests shouldn’t be left out just because they aren’t hosting.  I have a variety of containers from Garnish which should do nicely.

It is a good idea to give your fridge, pantry and freezer a thorough cleaning and reorganization sooner than later.  If you are hosting a large meal, you will need somewhere for all the ingredients to go and you don’t want to have to worry about reorganizing once you get home and your counters are covered in groceries.  I took the time to do that this past weekend and I am so glad that I did.  It really doesn’t take very long to give each area some attention, and when you are finished there is so much more space and order to things.

Now that all the home and kitchen-related tasks are mostly taken care of, it’s time to focus on the food.  Namely, the timeline.  I make two separate timelines for each and every event or party I host.  One is a general timeline, planning out the specific tasks that can be done in advance to spread the work out over several days, or nights in my case.  The other is the specific day-of timeline, but I’ll discuss that more next week.

The first thing I do to get the advance prep timeline together is analyze my menu and figure out what can be made in advance (fully or at least partially).

The things I can do in advance are:
Make puff pastry, apple compote for baked brie
Make snack mix
Make, freeze spinach artichoke dip
Make, refrigerate stuffing
Chop broccoli, shred cheese for gratin
Cut butternut squash and brussels sprouts
Make, freeze multigrain rolls
Make honey butter, compound herb butter
Make cranberry sauce
Make most desserts (3 pies, 2 cookie varieties)
Make, decorate favor sugar cookies

Then, starting up to one week before Thanksgiving, I divvy up these tasks so that I can do a few things each day and not be too overwhelmed or busy on one day.  Here is how my breakdown ended up:

I will definitely end up entering this into my Google calendar because it keeps me on task, and I love checking off the boxes.

Stay tuned for next week when I’ll share my strategies on creating my day-of timeline.  Thanksgiving will be here before we know it!

Other Thanksgiving-related posts:
Thanksgiving Prep Series, Part 1
Roast Turkey
Our First Thanksgiving