Friday, November 18, 2011

Organizing Tips for Thanksgiving

I finally put down on paper next weeks schedule and I slept better last night.  Isn't it amazing how just writing (or typing in my case) something down can relieve your mind!  I thought I would share with you how I make it through Thanksgiving week and work at the same time.  I always take the Friday after Thanksgiving off, to recover!  Not brother and his family always come home for Thanksgiving and this is the only time during the holidays I can spend time with them.  I am able to enjoy them by having a well planned week.

This year will be the first year in a very long time that I will be having a late afternoon Thanksgiving dinner.  The last few years have required me to have my dinner at noon.  I can tell you that just by having a late afternoon meal, it makes for a sort of leisure morning instead of a rat race. 

I shared with you our Thanksgiving menu.  Here it is again.  I need to list the items so I can share with you how I break down the cooking process prior to Thursday's Thanksgiving feast!

Cornbread Dressing
Giblet Gravy
Creamed Corn
English Peas
White Acre Peas
Macaroni & Cheese
Chicken and Dumplings
Potato Souffle
Relish Tray
Cranberry Sauce
Deviled Eggs

2 pumpkin pies
chocolate cake
banana pudding

I take each item and make a grocery list several weeks prior to Thanksgiving.  I break the list down by each week prior to the week of Thanksgiving  and this seems to really help with the expense.  This weekend I will be purchasing the last few items I need for this dinner.

My mom always cooks the turkey and she will be making the potato souffle and insists that she bring the white acre peas this year.  I have really limited her this year in what she brings. 

There a few things on the menu that do not require any prep work.
~English Peas
~Creamed Corn

The items that require some prep work are:
~Macaroni & Cheese
~Chicken and Dumplings
~Relish Tray
~Cranberry Sauce
~Deviled Eggs
~Cornbread Dressing
~Giblet Gravy
~Banana Pudding

This year I am using Tuesday and Wednesday as my prep days. 

Make Cornbread
Take Corn out of freezer
Cut up Cheese for Mac & Chse
Cut up Onions

Remind Mom about Card Table for desserts

Make Banana Pudding
Make Cake
Boil Eggs
    -Dressing   X9
    -Giblet Gravy    X3
    -Chikn Dumplings  X3
    -Deviled Eggs - 12
Get Ice
Set up Card Table (Desserts)
Set up Buffet Table w/dishes

Set both Tables
Make Tea
Make Deviled Eggs
Slice Cranberry Sauce
Olive Tray
3-4 pieces of toast for dressing

Prepare dinner

I plan to have dinner served around 4pm. 

It's so much easier having everything sliced and diced before I need them.  It makes the process so much faster.  I store all those items in disposable bags.  I also make certain my fridge is completely cleaned out of any leftovers.  I will need all the room I can use!   I will continue to use my cleaning schedule that I have to keep me on task about the house being cleaned.  Our biggie on the list is Sunday.  We will clean the carpet.  I also will be picking up some Fall dinnerware that was a gift to my son and his wife last year.  I can't wait to use it at Thanksgiving.  I'll be sharing some pics with you in a later post.  I always have 2 tables to set, but the table in the dining room will be showing off this dinnerware set!  I use a card table to display all the desserts and I have a long table that I use for all the food.  This gives us so much more room on the tables.  I remove my centerpiece in the formal dining room.  I like to be able to see the person sitting on the opposite side of me for conversation.  It's just to hard to talk with a huge arrangement blocking your view!  The kitchen table centerpiece will remain.  The height of it is just perfect for conversations.  The dining room arrangement will have to go, but I'll leave my candles and white turkeys for some decor on the table. 

Our family plans are to relax on Friday and dine out that night.  The ladies will be shopping on Saturday, while the men watch the football game and we'll have a pizza night at my house on Saturday night.  On Sunday, we have the Thanksgiving leftovers at my house. 

This is just MY side of the family.  Since I host Thanksgiving for our family, we try to spend as much time with my inlaws as allowed.  My bro in law and his entire family will be arriving on Monday night through Friday! map those plans out!!

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