Planning the Perfect Thanksgiving Dinner

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Thanksgiving 2013


A Stress Free Thanksgiving Just Takes a Little Planning

A lot of the stress at Thanksgiving is avoided by planning the day ahead of time.  It’s amazing how 10 minutes of planning will make the whole day go by so much nicer than if you wing it.  The best place to start is with how many and who you will invite.  This sets the tone for the rest of your planning.  Grab a piece of paper and write down all those people that you want around your table on Thanksgiving.  Remember to include any children as well, so your table will be set properly and you’ll have enough food.

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Planning the Perfect Thanksgiving Menu

Once you know how many people you are having, decide how big of a turkey you’d like.  Plan on 1 ½ to 2 pounds of turkey for each person, which takes into account the weight of the bones.  Then, start making a list of all the side dishes, salads, casseroles, and what have you that you’re going to have for Thanksgiving.  I always have so many I want, so I pare them down to what I can feasibly make.  To save yourself some stress, see if any of the guests can bring the sides you have listed, or maybe they can bring some appetizers.  Don’t forget to lists desserts, as well as any toppings, such as whipped cream, or coffee to drink.  Take the menu, and on another sheet of paper, start writing out all of the ingredients you will need to make everything.  Account for spices you need to purchase as well, so you aren’t fumbling for a substitution on the big day.  I always put the list aside at this point, then come back to it the next day to review and make sure I have all of my ingredients listed.

Shopping for Your Thanksgiving Dinner

Here’s the fun part.  I try and purchase all of the ingredients for my Thanksgiving while they are on sale, so I can get the lowest price.  Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be expensive!  So watch your sales flyers, maybe purchase things over a couple of weeks, but always make sure you have everything on your list.  There’s nothing quite like the feeling of realizing you are missing a key ingredient, such as white potatoes, and there’s no stores open.  Once you have everything in your pantry, it’s time to relax before the big day.  You’ve got your bases covered with your invitations and your menu for Thanksgiving!


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