Eat + Drink

How to Prep for Thanksgiving Entertaining

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It’s mid November. Thanksgiving (and probably your family) wants to know what you’re doing to celebrate it. As the queen of procrastination, me and Thanksgiving have to have an understanding – we must start early. Early-early. There will be no “still cooking at 5A on Thanksgiving Eve” at my house. Yours either. Here’s how to prep for Thanksgiving entertaining:

Two Weeks Prior

Plan your meal. Select well-rounded dishes that are simple and delicious.

Decide which type of Turkey you’d like to serve. If you want a pasture-raised turkey and you’re here in Atlanta, local farms like 180 Degree Farm, Darby Farms and Heritage Farm have been taking orders for birds since February, but maybe, just maybe you can grab one from White Oak Pastures this month!

One Week Prior

Get organized. Make grocery lists arranged by the items’ location at the farmer’s or local market. Got multiple places to visit? Make grocery lists for each.

Plan the table setting. Pinterest, anyone? Find your decor inspiration, create a seating chart and place cards.

Prepare your workspace. Clean out your refrigerator and pantry in preparation for the coming Thanksgiving groceries and dishes.

Clean and decorate your house.

Create a cooking plan. Which dishes needed to go in the oven and for how long? Write this information down.

The Monday Prior

Having pie? Make the dough.
Cranberry sauce is a “yes” this year? Make it today.
Making your own stuffing? Cube the bread.

The Wednesday Prior

Chop and pack all vegetables in sealed in containers and refrigerate.
Finish your pies.
Peel potatoes and store in a bowl of water in your refrigerator.
Depending on your appetizers, either prep or make them today.
Pick up your fresh turkey from your local farm or market.
Shop for remaining groceries if needed.
Prepare side dishes that can be made ahead.

Thanksgiving Day

Remove turkey from the refrigerator to be brought to room temperature.
Make the stuffing.
For dinner at 5PM, put the turkey in the oven at noon.
Set the table.
Reheat cranberry sauce.
Make the mashed potatoes.
Make the appetizers.
Chill the wine and cocktails.
Have an amazing time!

Image courtesy of A Thousand Threads blog. Florals and styling: Laicie Heeley. Adapted from Pop Sugar.

Porsha Thomas

Porsha Thomas is an Atlanta, GA-based brand consultant , publicist, graphic designer and the founder & EIC of Ladypreneur League. She enjoys cooking, working (odd – she knows), travel, yoga, and usually wants to know where the champagne's at.