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Thanksgiving Countdown

Thanksgiving Countdown

Waiting until the last minute to pull together a holiday feast is for those who like to live dangerously. A checklist, advance planning, and the right tools will let you greet the holiday season feeling prepared and confident. This countdown to Thanksgiving gives you a simple idea each day to help you get ready for the big feast. You can apply this countdown to large gatherings you host any time of year.

Day 1

Invite your guests. Send an email out this week for a general head count so you can start a menu plan. Cooking for a crowd? The Roasting Pan holds a 20-lb. bird or roast!

Get the Pan  

roasting pan with rack  

Day 2

Start gathering your recipe ideas. Why not start a new side dish tradition with Savory Mashed Root Vegetables? You’ll need the trusty swivel-action blade Vegetable Peeler for all your veggie side dish plans.

Get the Peeler  

Day 3

Have a tear-free holiday season. The Food Chopper tackles onions in seconds. Get one now, so you’re ready for all your veggie prep.

Get the Chopper  

Food Chopper  

Day 4

Florists get busy right before the holidays, so place flower orders now.

Day 5

Make a playlist. Cue up your favorite tunes that evoke sweater weather, home, and gratitude. Consider some rootsy, acoustic background music or golden age big band jazz.

Day 6

Plan your beverages. Have plenty of choices for the kids and consider a signature cocktail for the grown-ups. Stock up on a few Family-Sized Quick-Stir® Pitchers to serve them in style.

Get the Pitcher  

Here are some basic rules to keep in mind for about 25 guests:

  • 2 gallons of lemonade, punch, or tea if alcohol is being served.
  • 4 gallons of lemonade, punch, or tea if alcohol is not being served.
  • 2 alcoholic drinks per person for the first hour and 1 drink for every hour after.
  • 1½ lb. of ice per guest.
Quick-Stir Pitcher  

Day 7

A well-stocked kitchen and quality tools will make holiday meal prep much easier. Here’s a list of essential kitchen tools and pantry staples you’ll need to get holiday meals on the table without the fuss.

Get the List  

Day 8

This week, decide what menu items you can make ahead of time and freeze. Soups and casseroles are good candidates. Leakproof containers will be your holiday BFFs before and after the big meal.

Get the Kitchen Storage  

kitchen storage and organization  

Day 9

Decide on side dishes. Will you go traditional or get inventive with dishes that will surprise and excite your guests?

Traditional:

Fresh Take:

Day 10

Consider vegetarian options for your menu.

spicy sesame cauliflower  

Day 11

Use the Mix ‘N Masher to get a smooth consistency from your favorite mashed potatoes recipe. You can even make them now and freeze them.

Get the Masher  

Day 12

Plan your desserts. Plan on a 3-inch wedge (⅙ of a 9-inch pie) for each guest. Stock up on dessert-making must-haves like Batter Bowls for mixing, Stackable Cooling Racks to save counter space, and a Pastry Blender for the perfect homemade pie crust. Here are 10 tips to avoid most common pie-baking problems.

Stock up on Bakeware  

Day 13

Plan an activity for kids to keep them occupied while you prep next week.

See 7 Fun Indoor Activities  

Day 14

Get crafty with pumpkin candle centerpieces you can make using The Corer.

Get The Corer  

pumpkin candle centerpieces  

Day 15

Decide how you’re going to prepare your turkey. Brine? Roast? Deep fry? Make sure you have Meat Lifters to get your turkey safely to the table.

Get the Meat Lifters  

Day 16

Turkey Thawing Tips: Refrigerator thawing will take 24 hours for every 4 lb. of turkey. Put your whole turkey breast up on a Large Baking Sheet. An 18 lb. turkey will take about five days to thaw in the fridge. Once thawed, that bird can stay in your fridge for four days before cooking.

Need More Baking Sheets?  

baster  

Day 17

Basting Tip: Give the bird a one-time greasing with the Baster, then roast without peeking. The more you open the oven door, the longer the turkey takes to cook!

Get the Baster  

Day 18

How do you know when the turkey is done? After about three hours in the oven, insert an oven-safe thermometer deep into the thigh without touching the bone. Start checking the turkey for doneness about 30 minutes before the recommended cook time. Your turkey is done when the temperature reads 180°F in the thigh and 165°F in the breast or stuffing.

Get the Thermometer  

Day 19

Use the weekend before Thanksgiving to clean the house and clean out your fridge. Three Everyday Cleaning Cloths outlast 15 rolls of paper towels.

Get the Cleaning Cloths  

baster  

Day 20

Write your holiday grocery list and get to the store. If you forget something, you’ll have a few days to run back out and get it.

Day 21

Assemble and bake your pie in a beautiful stoneware pie plate. The stoneware draws moisture away from the food so baked goods turn out light and crispy.

Get the Pie Plate  

pie plate  

Day 22

Iron your tablecloths. Wash your formal serving dishes and pre-set the table. (Hint: Turn the glassware and plates upside down to prevent dust from settling on them.)

Get the Entertaining Pieces  

Day 23

Chop, chop, chop. Prep as many fresh ingredients as you can. You’ll be giving your knives a workout, but luckily the Large Grooved Cutting Board will protect your countertops and the high-density polypropylene material helps prevent knives from dulling.

Get the Cutting Board  

pie plate  

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10 Responses to Thanksgiving Countdown

  1. Ruth Stehling November 3, 2016 at 9:04 am #

    Don’t need anything at the moment. Thank you.

  2. Katrina Metzler November 4, 2016 at 4:35 am #

    Helpful tips for counting down to Thanksgiving. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10210158860151043&set=gm.1444333305594362&type=3&theater

  3. Tammy jacksob November 5, 2016 at 4:00 pm #

    Com

    • Sue Reynolds November 10, 2016 at 6:51 am #

      Tammy J. Please let me know if there is anything I an order for you to make your Holiday so much easier! Do you need recipes, new easy food to prepare? Can check them out on my website or contact me!

  4. Tammy jacksob November 5, 2016 at 4:00 pm #

    Love this

    • Sue Reynolds November 10, 2016 at 6:52 am #

      Which one do you Love? What can I get for you?

    • Margit Miller November 15, 2016 at 6:50 am #

      I’m so glad that you love this link. I do too. Feel free to share it with your friends.

  5. Stacie November 15, 2016 at 2:40 am #

    This is INSANE…No one “preps”, and “adheres” to insane, and strict regimens that “Pampered Chef” pretends to adhere to. We all are capable women/men who can, and have, put Thanksgiving dinners on the table for many, many years. It is pathetic, and narrow-minded to think that Thanksgiving dinner is something as pathetic as a junior high school grade in a faux pas familial representation of a holiday. We embrace cultural differences, we embrace our beliefs of what Thanksgiving is to us, our fellow man. PLEASE do not adhere to the strict, and fringent ridicules of Pampered Chef, as we can all embrace our unity as fellow Americans!

    • paula November 15, 2016 at 5:22 pm #

      Stacie, I think you took this blog post way to seriously. This is adaptable to any and all people…if you don’t want to do it like this, that’s fine. Some people do better with a checklist, some do not. It’s all subjective, and a matter of what works for each person. These are merely suggestions, not a strict guide.

  6. Linda Clark January 1, 2017 at 6:48 pm #

    I am doing this next year! Thank you for doing it!!!

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