Planning Thanksgiving Dinner

November 23, 2008

IMG_5080 by you.

I’ve hosted Thanksgiving dinner most of my married life, and after almost a decade, I’ve fallen into a bit of a pattern (dare I say rut?).  And the pattern is to load up the table with as much food as is physically possible (inevitably with some menu item forgotten in the oven, pantry or refrigerator).  Thanksgiving takes some planning, and I have saved most menus and weekly schedules of Thanksgivings past in my cookbook cabinet.  It’s helpful to see what I made, when I made it, what went well and what needs to be scrapped.

I spent most of this morning planning the menu and the shopping and cooking schedule for the week.  And despite taking away the mystery of the menu for my guests, I’ll share here.


crudite with homemade ranch dip
meslun mix with gorgonzola, pear and walnuts
roast turkey with giblet gravy
chestnut stuffing
cranberry kumquat sauce
haricots verts, roasted fennel and shallots
Nigella Lawson’s sticky garlic potatoes
mashed sweet potatoes with brown sugar and pecans
old fashioned double crust apple pie
pumpkin pie
key lime pie
vanilla ice cream
freshly whipped cream

And my do ahead list:

Sunday:  make cranberry sauce
Monday:  make pie crusts, ranch dressing
Tuesday:  bake pumpkin pie
Wednesday:  make apple and key lime pies, cube stale bread for stuffing, roast fennel and shallots, set table

Schedule for Thanksgiving Day

8:00  take out turkey from the refrigerator, make stock from neck, heart and gizzards
8:30  make stuffing
9:15  preheat oven, prepare stuffed turkey
9:30  place turkey and stuffing in oven, chill wine
11:00  whip cream, cut up crudité, cook beans
12:00  boil new potatoes, peel, cut up and boil sweet potatoes 
1:00  put out crudité and dip, bake sweet potatoes
2:00  make coffee, make salad, roast new potatoes
2:30  take out turkey, make gravy
2:45  saute beans with roasted fennel and shallots
3:00  dinner is served



4 Responses to “Planning Thanksgiving Dinner”

  1. Shari Says:

    This sounds amazing. I especially like the idea of offering key lime pie as well as pumpkin. Your guests are very spoiled!

  2. Funny, I made the green beans, fennel and shallots for guests last night (except I omitted the fennel!). It is so yummy.

    Enjoy your Thanksgiving!

  3. momofnine Says:

    Thank you for sharing your schedule. Your organization is inspiring! Hope you all enjoyed a lovely day.

  4. joan Says:

    I am a very fortunate recipient of the “fruits” of our spicy mama’s wonderful table. It was absolutely fabulous!! The family,food and festivities made a day to be everlastingly thankful for. Eat your hearts out guys!

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