Thanksgiving Dinner Without the Stress
A little bit of smart planning can make this meal one of the easiest―and most gratifying.
Three to Five Days Before
- Go grocery shopping.
- Begin to defrost the turkey in the refrigerator, if necessary.
- Call guests to reconfirm. (If they offer to bring something, say yes.)
- Make the molasses butter for the turkey.
- Combine the spices for the sweet potatoes.
- Make the cranberry sauce.
Two Days Before
- Tidy up the living room, the dining room, and the bathroom. Be prepared to steer guests clear of the rest of the house.
The Day Before
- Rinse the greens and shake to remove any excess water. Remove the stems and tear the leaves into bite-size pieces. Refrigerate in resealable bags lined with paper towels.
- Make the corn bread (if you're not buying it), then leave it out, uncovered, to dry overnight.
- Toast the bread cubes for the dressing. Leave them out overnight.
- Make and glaze the cake. Cover and refrigerate.
- Set the table.
- Designate a pot or skillet, a serving dish, and a utensil for each recipe and leave them on a counter.
Early in the Day
- Fry the bacon for the butter beans.
- Sauté the parsley mixture for the dressing.
- Peel and cut the sweet potatoes and toss with the remaining ingredients.
- Place a second oven rack beneath the roasting pan so the stuffing and sweet potatoes can bake in shifts.
While the Turkey Roasts
- Change your clothes, then pour yourself a glass of wine.
- Assemble the ingredients for the greens and the beans.
- Make the biscuits, the beans, and the greens.
- Designate a turkey carver.
While the Turkey Rests
- Cover the cake with foil and warm it in the oven.
- Mentally note your prime candidates for dishwashing duty.
- Exhale and enjoy.