Saturday, November 17, 2012


Time to get all your ducks (or is that turkeys) in a row. 10 Tips to save you from disaster the day of Thanksgiving!

One of the best tips I learned from my Mom is to have a “go to table”. This is a table filled with things you will need for the day. It is so much easier to direct the helpful guest to the table than have them rummaging through your cabinets. On this table you should have all your serving dishes with a post it note stateing what it will be used for. Also include your serving spoons. When Aunt Matilda asks what you want to serve the glazed carrots in, you’ll just direct her to the table and she can find it ready and labled. No guess work!
I also like to set up all of my dessert needs on the table. All of my coffee cups, sugar, creamer, dessert plates and pie server. All you will need to do is fill your creamer when its time for dessert, and transfer the dessert essentials to the dinner table.
I also keep all the “to go” containers stored here too. They are out of the way and still easily accesable for your guests.
You can use a card table, or a coffee table or even a couple of tv tables set together. Just throw a pretty table cloth over it.
Set your table now. Don’t wait until Thanksgiving Day. You can get it all set and decorated and throw a sheet on it. I used to laugh at Mother for having her table set a week before a holiday. I don’t laugh anymore. Now my kids laugh at me. It is a huge timesaver. It will also make you aware early enough if you don’t have enough dishes, glasses, or silverware.
Do as much as possible the day before. On Wednesday, I clean the turkey and make my stuffing. Please make sure you clean your turkey well! I also peel and chop all my potatoes and put them in the pan of water and put it in the refrigerator. On Thursday all I have to do is take the pot out of the fidge and put it on the stove to boil, then mash my potatoes. I won’t have to make a mess of peeling potatoes, I have better things to do that day! On Wednesday, sit down and figure out how long your turkey needs to cook, what else will need reheating or cooking and your whole time line.
Tip 4
I have been using oven bags to cook my Turkey. There is no mess(use a foil pan), the turkey is always juicey, and with no basting, and it takes half the cooking time than without a bag. My 24 pound turkey will take only 3.5-4 hours to cook, and I won’t have to baste it or turn it or do anything! And all the dripping are right in the bag for the gravy!
Take your turkey out of the freezer on Sunday.
To thaw in the refrigerator, place the bird on a tray and allow 24 hours thawing time for every 5 pounds (3 to 4 days). You can also thaw in cold water, allowing 30 minutes thawing time per pound. Be sure to change the water every 30 minutes.
Make sure your refrigerator is cleaned out and has plenty of room on Wednesday. If you lack refrigerator space think about filling up some coolers in the garage with ice and storing some things in there that you won’t be using on Thursday.
TIP 7 Serve buffet style. This will ensure that everyone gets their food warm. It will cause less stress and mess at the table. No handing down dishes and waiting. I set my buffet up on my kitchen table and all the guest form a line, get their food and sit down. We all have full plates at the same time and it is a much easier way to enjoy the dinner. Always put the gravy on the buffet table last. This will warm up the food that may have cooled a bit. If you have chaffing dishes use them. If you know someone who has them, ask to borrow. They are a great investment if you do a lot of entertaining.
TIP 8 Do have a seating arrangement. Think it through. If your having elderly guests, seat them comfortably. Try not to squeeze them in between seats. The end seats should be reserved for them. Think about the leftys in your family. They too should sit on a left end as not to keep bumping their neighbor! Mix the company up a bit. Don’t sit all the men on one end of the table and all the ladies at the other end. Do try and reserve a spot for yourself that is easy to get up and down. While traditionally you should sit on one end and your husband the other, I like to sit closest to the kitchen. I have my husband on one end and my great uncle or my father at the other end. Its a place of honor and I think my great uncle or my Dad deserves the spot!
TIP 9 Clean up as you go! Keep your sink full of hot sudsy water and wash whatever you can by hand. By the time your guest arrive be sure your dishwasher is empty.
TIP 10 Keep a smile on your face, and never let them see you sweat! When your feeling a little frazzled, take a deep breath, look around and count your blessings! Don’t get caught up in trying to be perfect or trying to impress your Mother in Law! Be yourself, have fun and enjoy the day! Most of all don’t forget to give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done!!<a href="//" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above"><img src="//" /></a>


  1. Great tips! I label all of my dishes etc before hand too - makes life soooo much easier on the day of!