Thanksgiving hosting can be a intimidating job, especially if is your first time hosting. Even if you have done it new ideas and words of wisdom are always helpful. Below is my hosting checklist. I hope you find it blesses you. Please let me know if I missed something I want this to be as helpful as possible!
Thanksgiving Hosting Checklist –
PDF here thanksgiving-host-countdown-rm
4 Weeks Out
- Send out invitations
- Order Fresh Turkey (if not getting a frozen one)
3 Weeks Out
- Order Center Piece
- Make Menu
- Set-up your Thanksgiving Knowledge Arsenal Storage Area (TKASA)
- Check out your Kitchen Tools to make sure you have the necessary equipment
2 Weeks Out
- Know your headcount
- Create a Detailed grocery list
- Shop for non perishables
- Buy zip top bags – in Gallon, Quart, Sandwich and Snack
- Create a schedule knowing how much time it takes to cook items so you can get in on the table. Planning now will make for less stressful later.
- Buy food containers to send leftovers home with guests
- Check to see if you have enough serving dishes and servingware – write food item will be served in the dish on a piece of painter’s tape and place the tape on the bottom exterior of the dish for reference (just remove it before you serve)
- If you need to borrow stuff, keep a list so you know where to return it to.
- Make sure you have enough plates, glasses, flatware and napkins
1 Week Out
- Clean out your refrigerator(s)
- Clean out a cooler (for extra food storage option) – also this is something you could borrow or ask a family member to bring with ice!
- Do big cleaning items – windows, baseboards, stuff like that you might not do regularly but doesn’t need to be done again right before Thanksgiving
- Also makes sure serving dishes and tableware are clean (most of mine have been sitting around for months)
- Use your plastic bags to mise en place your ingredients in plastic bags (this saves so much time) Watch for a future post explaining this if you don’t know what it is.
- Shop for perishable ingredients
- Do more detailed cleaning (don’t forget to get your family to help)
Monday & Tuesday
- If you’re making cranberry sauce (which I think you should – it is super easy) make it now
- Start thawing your Turkey, if you got a frozen one
- If you need to rearrange any furniture (like I do) know at least how it’s going to be rearranged if it not feasible to do it yet.
- Prepare Desserts and any make ahead meals
- Prep the vegetables and put them in labeled bags
- Pick up fresh Turkey
- Do any furniture rearrangement
- Double check your ingredients that you need so there no searching for an open store on Thanksgiving
- Set Table(s)
- Follow your cooking session schedule.
- Use that/those cooler(s) to store drinks and store some of the food that needs to be stored on ice but might not fit in the refrigerator.
- Cook your turkey early – it can use a longish rest (most recommend at least 30 min) after coming out of the oven – just put a tent of tin foil around it.
- Be sure to allow your guests to help – some people are actually more comfortable being useful – dishes are always needing done.
- Divvy out the hosting duties with you spouse and family. Let them know how to help run the dinner.
- Relax, smile, if and when something goes not the way it should, roll with it.