Thanksgiving Prep 2009

Here’s my prep list/schedule for Thanksgiving.   I hope it is helpful to you!

At least one week in advance {the earlier the better}, I start off by planning the menu and then look up all the recipes that I will need.  I hosted Thanksgiving last year, so I’m pretty much repeating that.  Once I have all of the recipes pulled, I survey what ingredients I have on hand and make my grocery list.  Then I decide what bowls, pans, etc I will need and make a list of them.  A couple of days before Thanksgiving, I pull out all of the dishes that will be used and wash them, set the table, label platters, etc…

We are hosting my parents and one set of my grandparents {6 people total}.  I’ll tell them to arrive anytime around/after 11:00.  We plan to eat at one o’clock.  Thankfully I have the day before Thanksgiving off of work. Unfortunately, I have to work the day after and on Saturday.



stuffing/dressing {Will not be cooked inside the bird}

corn casserole

2nd vegetable dish – green bean casserole or whiskey glazed carrots

mashed potatoes


cranberry sauce


dinner rolls

dessert – 2 homemade pies, one pumpkin and one pecan

apple cider punch and other beverages


My Thanksgiving game plan:

  • My Grandma is bringing a pecan pie.

My Mom is bringing the following:

  • dinner rolls
  • corn casserole {picture and recipe might be posted later?}
  • salad of some kind
  • cranberry sauce
  • possibly sweet potatoes?
  • electric carving knife

I’m providing:

  • beer, wine, and other assorted cold drinks
  • coffee
  • hot apple cider punch in crock pot {recipe will be posted later}
  • ice – start stocking up from our ice maker about 4 days ahead.  Ice will be needed for storing turkey in the brine overnight in cooler as well as serving drinks.
  • turkey – probably 15-20 lbs max.  Make brine 2 days ahead, cool and refrigerate until needed.  Place turkey in brine the night before {needs to brine at least 8 hours}.  Place slices of compound butter under skin right before roasting – make several days ahead and freeze.  {Method, directions, and pictures of turkey prep/cooking hopefully coming later}
  • gravy
  • mashed potatoes – I’ll probably scale back on the linked recipe.  Make 1 day ahead and refrigerate overnight, pull out of fridge approximately 2 hours before baking.
  • small green bean casserole – We could do without this, but Tim loves it.  I plan to bake it in my toaster oven. {recipe will be posted later}  OR, if Tim can survive without green bean casserole, I will make whiskey glazed carrots.
  • stuffing – Make cornbread 2 days ahead.  Cut into cubes and dry out cornbread and store-bought french bread 1 day before.  Chop onion and celery in the morning, place in Ziploc bag in fridge until needed.
  • pumpkin pie – Make pie dough several days ahead and freeze.  Make pie 1 day ahead.
  • appetizers – I’m not completely sure here, we won’t need much for the 2 hours between when guest arrive and dinner is served.  I’m afraid the meal may hit the table a little late though {it always does right? Right?!?}, so I want to have a few things on hand – cheese spread and crackers, assorted olives and pickles, fruit and veggie tray.  I also want to set the apps out again several hours after the meal {approx 5 or 6:00} if guest are still there and feel snacky for some lighter fare.

Things I need to wash/iron/set out/etc:

charge camera battery

cloth napkins & rings


wine glasses and other nice drinking glasses


formal silverware

large clear glass pitcher for ice water

coffee carafe

Heirloom china

butter dish

2 tier decorative pie holder

basket(s) for rolls

pie server/knife

serving bowls, platters, casserole dishes for stuffing and green bean casserole, divided appetizer dishes, cheese spreaders, appetizer forks

snack plates and matching cups for dessert {I have this set}

mugs for coffee, sugar bowl and cream pitcher set

crock pot for cider

extra chairs

put 2 leaves in table

ice bucket and tongs

bag to brine

containers to send leftovers home with guests

clean the house

Grocery list

meat thermometer



apple cider – 2 gallons, one for brine and one for drinking

1 loaf of french bread for stuffing/dressing

assorted cheese for appetizer plate

3 cream cheese blocks, one for mashed potatoes and 1 or 2 for cheese spread or other appetizer dips

wine and beer



carrots – only need if I decide to make whiskey glazed carrots

veggies and fruit for appetizer plate, definitely oranges to garnish punch and grapes

lemon for lemon juice in punch

Is anyone still reading this?

I already have on hand:


chicken stock

ingredients for pumpkin pie and crust

canned green beans, condensed soup, and French’s fried onion rings for green bean casserole

appetizers – crackers, pickles and olives

dried spices and seasonings for everything that requires them {cider, pie, brine, stuffing}

ingredients for corn bread

That’s all folks!

Am I forgetting anything really obvious? ? ?

5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Amanda Creech
    Nov 22, 2009 @ 05:11:44

    Corn bread stuffing instead of sage stuffing??? I can not believe it 🙂 I am making grandma’s stuffing and green bean casserole to take to grams. J is going to smoke a turkey. Not to sure how that is going to work out. We will see. Happy Thanksgiving. Hope we can all get together at Christmas time.


    • Beth
      Nov 22, 2009 @ 14:46:20

      Thanks for commenting! Happy Thanksgiving to you guys to! I think we’re planning on having everyone one together at g&g’s the Sunday before Christmas. I’m looking forward to that!
      I don’t have Grandma’s recipe for her stuffing – I’ll have to get it sometime. 🙂


      • Amanda Creech
        Nov 27, 2009 @ 04:55:54

        I will write it up and email it too you as soon as I can. I am especially grateful that I have had this time to spend with you and Katie during this time. I love you both.

  2. jennell
    Dec 01, 2009 @ 21:49:16

    Wow Beth! You impress me! Can I come over for Thanksgiving next year 🙂


  3. Trackback: Thanksgiving 2010 Recap « EASY AS PIE!

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