Monday, November 15, 2010

Day #1 of Turkey Day Planning 101

Let the countdown begin! We're a week and a half from the launch of Turkey Day and lots of Thankfulness. I can't wait! I have family flying in to town, we're getting the tree next weekend to start decorating the house, the recipes are flying like crazy and I purchased my massive turkey on sale for a mere $5. Life is good!

I promised that this week I would walk you through some of my favorite recipes, and I got a request from my friend Richelle L. to add my time line to the mix for the planners among us. It's a daunting task if you've never cooked a turkey - let alone being responsible for the entire meal. But you CAN do it, enjoy it and live to tell about it - I promise! I'm living proof. Now, eat a chocolate or two and lets get started!

My first plan of attack for a monstrosity of a meal such as this (and we're taking this from the standpoint of me hosting the shindig - I'm not this year, but for scenario sake, pretend I am). Planning ahead will save you much stress and heartache. I never thought I'd see the day that I would be exactly like my mother, but here goes: Start TODAY. Get out your notepad and make a list. My mom makes lists for lists and then adds another list for good measure. She's the most organized person on the face of the earth.

Your list #1 should contain the following: all your favorite dishes that you want to prepare. This is a task in and of itself as I have about 483 favorite recipes that I have to narrow down. I always go against the grain and try something new as well...but that's my adventurous spirit. From that, determine how many people are attending and if any of them have offered to bring something. This is where you say YES! Don't try to be super woman, this is part of you actually getting to enjoy the holiday. Delegation is an art - start practicing now. If your brother can't cook but wants to help, let him bring the rolls. If Aunt Helen will be there and makes a great casserole - sign her up! That helps defray some of the cost so you're not eating Ramen noodles for the rest of the year. (I don't have a brother or an Aunt Helen, but it sounded with me here).

You now have your master list - grab your recipes and write out all the ingredients that you need to purchase. We're on list #3...I told you I've turned into my mother. May I also mention I am a total nerd and Excel works wonders for list making? Hit the store and purchase everything non perishable first. Save the week of for your lettuce and floral arrangement and things that won't keep. That way, you're not losing your mind with the rest of America who has waited until the last minute - it's just a quick in and out for a head of lettuce and a few tomatoes.

Once you've gotten home from this shop-a-thon, put on your fuzzy slippers and heat up a mug of hot apple cider and make your way to your cupboards that have all the fun serving pieces. Match your food list to the serving dishes...just so you're not calling mom last minute for a gravy boat or turkey platter. Are we feeling on top of things or what?!

I don't want to overwhelm, so we'll stop here for today. I'll leave you with a typical Musing Foodie Menu, if you were coming to my house for Thanksgiving. Let's say this is for 12-15 people.

2 Appetizers
Green Bean Casserole
Mashed Potatoes with Gravy
Yellow Squash Casserole
Cranberry Sauce
Lettuce Tossed Salad
Sweet Potato Casserole
Broccoli Casserole
Fruit Salad
Rolls with Butter
Apple Pie
Pumpkin Pie
Cookies / Brownies
Pumpkin Roll
Assortment of Drinks (Tea, Soft Drinks, Water...)

Chat with you more tomorrow - start working on your list!


  1. Lovin it! It is my second time to host Thanksgiving and I'm not so nervous this go round. I have people willing to help and even bought stuff last year on sale (decorations, etc) in preparation. I've got my list done. Now for step 2... :)

  2. That was me...not sure why it logged me in as "Carolina".