Many cooks are preparing their menus for Thanksgiving dinner. But often what exhausts cooks about cooking Thanksgiving dinner is not the actual cooking, but the organization and the logistics. It seems like somehow you always wind up running out of butter or other necessary ingredients. Or someone in the family invites an additional guest at the last minute, throwing your portions out of whack. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to better organize your Thanksgiving dinner cooking.
Begin by planning your dinner menu ahead of time. The typical Thanksgiving dinner has three or even four courses. There is a salad course, the main meal and dessert. Many families also have a cheese course. Now is the time to be choosy and to select exactly what you want to serve. Pour over your cookbooks and pick out the best of the best recipes to make for Thanksgiving.
Get the majority of your Thanksgiving cooking shopping done the week before Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is always on a Thursday, so it comes as little surprise to most of us. Plan ahead and get to the grocery store, butcher and specialty stores the weekend before that Thursday to do the majority of your shopping. Bring a detailed list with you and cross things off as you go. This is the ideal time to get just about everything that you need. Remind family not to eat that special cheese or other items as they are for Thanksgiving!
Plan an additional grocery store trip for Tuesday evening to get last minute items. By planning for it, you can pick up milk, eggs or any perishable items you may need. This is also the best time to pick up anything you might have forgotten.
Keep your non-perishable Thanksgiving items in one place (spices, flour, etc.) all in one place so you know you have them. You shouldn’t have to hunt around for them. This will help you find them so much more easily on Thursday.
Clean your kitchen and organize it so you are ready and comfortable to cook. You should have plenty of table and counter space to put out your pumpkin and apple pies as they cool. Prepare the space for what you will need.