SATURDAY: Clean up all clutter in party areas. Polish furniture. Clean windows. Wash tablecloth and napkins. Confirm guest count and if guests are bringing any dishes.

SUNDAY: Review recipes, check cupboards for ingredients in stock, clean out fridge for max space, make shopping lists

MONDAY: Shop for everything. I hit either the organic grocery or kosher market for the turkey, bread for the stuffing and other specialty items; the liquor store for wine for cooking and to stock the bar; my local farm market for homemade (just not my home) pies, rolls, some produce; and I go to my major grocery store for everything else. I am not a big coupon clipper, but I have saved a $20 off Shoppers coupon and a 10% off total purchase voucher for Safeway.

TUESDAY: Knock out as many sides as you can — you’ll feel empowered and optimistic with your plan-aheadedness. If your turkey is frozen, move to the fridge. Allow 1 day in fridge for every 4 to 5 pounds of turkey. Recipes I make on Tuesday night:

WEDNESDAY:  Clean guest bathroom. Polish any silver. Make other sides and chop veggies for tomorrow. Recipes I make on Wednesday night:

TURKEY DAY: Take it easy in the morning. Run dishwasher, clean out sink, take out trash. Stay in your jammies and get ready later.

Start turkey. (I like this Rosemary Roast Turkey recipe.) I cook my turkey in this electric turkey roaster (that’s my Amazon affiliate link  but I would make a Target run to have yours in time for T-Day.) I picked up mine at Bed Bath and Beyond for $35. It makes for a perfectly, evenly cooked, tender turkey and frees up my oven for cooking/heating all the sides.

Vacuum. De-pet hair. De-kid-mess. Set table.

Get cute.

Assemble cold dishes like your relish tray or salad. Set up drinks station for guests. Pour yourself one (just one, or you could get too anxious or loopy).

Warm sides. Make stovetop vegetables.

Give helpful guests jobs. Give talkative guests job of greeting/taking coats/mixing drinks. Decant dishes to pretty serving dishes or just set up buffet on counter. Let turkey sit for a bit and then carve. Make gravy or warm store bought. Let parents fill kids’ plates first.

Pray. Eat. Love what you did. Linger.

Let someone else clean up.

(By the way, I am Team Pie and Coffee and Cordials after a good amount of time has passed after meal. Serving in living room on laps with the kids “playing waiters” to take grown-ups orders is always fun.)

 What are your best tips and tricks for a stress-free turkey day? 


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