Thanksgiving Preparation.

Hi Peachies! Happy Thanksgiving week. This is one of my favorite weeks of the year because my son is off school all week, my husband only has a three day work week and we get to spend a lot of time together in the kitchen. Growing up one of the things I loved about the holidays was spending so much time in the kitchen with my Mom. We still do that but last Thanksgiving my husband (my fiancee at the time) & I decided to make an entire meal for his family. His parents weren't able to spend all that time in the kitchen standing and cooking and they weren't going to have Thanksgiving. We were just going to bring them leftovers from my family get together but my heart couldn't stand the thought of that so I came up with the brilliant idea to cook an entire meal for them. It was a lot of hard work, three days worth, but I wouldn't have changed a thing. It was worth it so that they could have a Thanksgiving worth remembering and not just sitting at home, alone, waiting on us to bring them some leftovers. Apparently last year went so well that we're getting to cook the Thanksgiving meal for them again this year & I can't tell you how much I love this new tradition we've started. And it's a double win because we're sharing some of it with my family, too. It means so much to be able to take care of the people who have raised us and taken care of us, and our son, all these years. Holidays should be stress free and more about spending time together and that's exactly how we try to make them for our parents. For us, it's fun just to be spending the time together and creating memories and laughter of our own.

To make Thanksgiving less stressful for us I have a few tips on prepping ahead of time.

Make a meal plan list
Check for all ingredients
Make a grocery list
Take list to store

(nothing irritates me more than having my kitchen in disarray, food everywhere, and finding out you need more eggs).

Since we transport all the food from our house to my in-law's we had an incident with the sweet potato casserole.
The marshmallows stuck to foil covering them and when we got there the marshmallows pulled off with the foil meaning
I needed more marshmallows. I didn't have them with me though so my hubby had to run out to go get me more marshmallows.

Then the same thing on Christmas Day except my Dad and hubby were deep frying the turkey and realized, as the turkey went in, that they didn't have enough oil so away they went on Christmas Day in search of more peanut oil. It took hours and many stores later but they finally found some.

Moral of these stories, don't be like us. Be prepared.

If your turkey is frozen, start at least three days before defrosting it

Two days in advance

Prepare casseroles

Season bird and leave un covered in fridge

Cook your cornbread for dressing

The day before

Cook all casseroles

Pull turkey out 1 hr before roasting so it reaches room temp

Cut up veggies such as potatoes (for mashed potatoes)they can be placed in a bowl of water in the fridge over
night to prevent them from browning. Same for squash, carrots, etc

Start cooking your collards and dry beans. These tend to take the longest

Cook your turkey the night before because you'll be less stressed and rushed

The Morning Of
All that's left to do is warm up all your casseroles, beans, collards, and turkey

Make mashed potatoes, creamed corn, sauteed green beans, sauteed squash if you are because those things are not good warmed up

Biscuits, rolls, any bread is best if made on this day, too

Here are some more tips that might help you out if you're still stuck. I learned a few things from this, too.

These are Chef Michael Symon's tips straight off his Facebook page:
my turkey day 101 #symontday
1-season bird the night before and leave uncovered in fridge
2-get all veg chopped and diced night before & make turkey stock w/ wings and necks
3-set any casseroles & dressings the night before so they r ready for oven
4-pull out turkey 1 hr before roasting so it comes to room temp and chill is off(u should do this w/all meats before cooking) place in roasting pan and cover with butter soaked cheesecloth
5-start turkey so it is done atleast 1 hr before serving so it can rest cook at 425 for first 45-60 min 375 until thigh reaches 160 (about 10 min per pound)
6-while turkey is resting cook any sides in oven or stovetop & make gravy
7- when sides are done lay out on table or buffet
8- carve you perfect turkey and set on table or buffet
9- feast on turkey & goodies
10- move to couch and watch pie and drink espresso

**cpl of side notes...i never brine or stuff my turkey...there r tons of ways to do a turkey but this works best for me...also if u dont have a good meat thermometer u should get one as it will save you a ton of headaches & guessing..ignore that pop up thing in the bird it is not worth a sh**.....have a great Thanksgiving everyone!!

Get your Turkey on Ladies & Gentlemen.
Gobble till you wobble.

"post signature


  1. Great tips! I also love the reminder to take the list to the store, it's like you know me!

    1. Haha. Laura, i'm the worst about this. I used to tease my mom for forgetting hers then I started forgetting mine all the time. I can have two things on it but if I leave it at home i'll come home without one of them!

  2. These are really good ideas! I am fortunate enough to go to my Grandma's house and have never had to do too much prep as everyone works together. I am sure my time will come!

    1. That is such a blessing. On my mom's side we have a huge family get together and i've never had to do anything for that either but with my hubby's mom and dad, I can't let them not have Thanksgiving. I actually love that time prepping and getting everything ready.

  3. Thanks for the great tips - boy, you are organized and love the idea of cooking the turkey the night before!

    1. You're so welcome. I'm glad you enjoyed this post. I have to be organized or i'll drive myself crazy! I can't just run with chaos. LOL. My hubby is in charge of the turkey, it's his thing and this year he bought a 30 lb turkey. If we didn't cook it the night before we wouldn't have it for Thanksgiving! Hahaha.

  4. We don't celebrate Thanksgiving in my country but I always love reading about other nations' celebration... thanks for sharing.

    1. I'm so glad you like reading about it. Where are you from? I find other country's traditions fascinating!

  5. So, so sweet of you guys to cook a meal for them. I am sure they were thankful more than you'll ever know! These are great tips.

    1. Last year was the first year they didn't have to do anything. They just stood around, lost while we brought everything in and got it all set up and warmed up. I know it means a lot to them, that's why we do it. They've never had anyone do anything for them. They're older now and can't spend days in the kitchen like before. It's all worth it to sit down with them and enjoy a meal together and they aren't stressing out and running around. Now, if we can get my mom to do the same ;)

  6. It's amazing how much you can get done by planning in advance. Last year we hosted my parents and a couple of friends. The amount of planning that goes into getting that dinner on the table is mesmerizing. I'm glad I had wine and dish washers!

    1. Amen Girl! With wine all things are possible. I may be cracking open a bottle tonight, myself. There is so much preparation to be done, I'm about to get back to it today actually but it's worth it to know that my in laws have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

  7. Some wonderful family time indeed. We will be doing a lot of cooking together and I'm so looking forward to it. Thanks for sharing your story.


    1. Thank you for your sweet comment. I'm so glad that you enjoyed my post. I love spending time in the kitchen with my loved ones, it's the best!


Thanks for stopping by and leaving some love. Have a peachy day.