Last Week of October – Start Planning
Prepare Your Guest List
Start early to get a headcount of those you want to invite. Email, text or call your guests to let them know of your Thanksgiving plans. Be sure to ask about any dietary restrictions or allergies you’ll need to consider.
Plan Your Thanksgiving Menu
To accompany your turkey, include side dishes like our One Pan Vegetables (Hyperlink). Adding these delicious veggies and other recipes will bring zest to your menu and make cooking easy with step-by-step instructions.
For dessert, we recommend giving our scrumptious Chocolate Pecan Tartlets or Pumpkin Bread Pudding a try this year. You can find these and other delicious menu ideas on C&H® Sugar’s Pinterest (Hyperlink) page.
Four Weeks Before Thanksgiving – Get Started
Prepare Your Kitchen For The Holiday
Ready your kitchen by cleaning out your fridge and freezer. You’ll need room for all the Thanksgiving groceries and leftovers. Also, make sure you have the right kitchen tools to prepare your meal. The correct utensils make meal prep less stressful and more fun. Check your equipment to make sure they are clean, organized and ready to go. A few items that you don’t want to do without are:
Racked roasting pan
Heavy-duty aluminum foil
Containers for leftovers
A sturdy rolling pin
Plan Your Table Décor
Decorating the table (hyperlink to existing “how to set-up your table” article) for your event is more enjoyable when you begin early. Make this holiday special by mixing things up a bit. Use fall blankets in place of table cloths for a comfortable touch. Turn photos of your friends and family into place cards that can double as conversation starters. Finally, there is no longer a need to use matching china. Mix and match patterns for more interest as well as more place settings. Setting your table a few days before your guests arrive will allow you to take the time needed to make it extra special. Just cover the place settings with plastic wrap and uncover on the big day.
Two Weeks Before Thanksgiving – Maintain Your Momentum
Purchase Your Groceries Early
You’ve already prepared your guest list and holiday menu, so now you can beat the crowds and enjoy a better selection by shopping early! Remember, C&H® Sugar has a sweetness for every occasion, and now’s the perfect time to stock up. Or, just order your recipe’s perfect sugar online, C&H® Sugar is now available on Amazon.
Prep Ingredients For Your Recipes
It is not too early to begin chopping onions, garlic, nuts and other herbs or vegetables that refrigerate or freeze well. Look through your recipes and begin preparing these items to get ahead of this time-consuming chore.
You can also prepare pie crusts, dumplings and bread dough well in advance.
One Week Before Thanksgiving – Count Down!
Begin Thawing, Brining, And Cooking Your Turkey
Depending on the size and state of your turkey, you’ll need between one to seven days to be ready to serve it. Frozen turkey will take approximately one day for every four pounds to thaw (hyperlink to C&H® Sugar’s Turkey Defrosting Guide) properly.
If you are planning to brine or marinate your turkey, you will need to start the day before you cook it.
Prepare Your Make-Ahead Dishes
Begin cooking dishes that you plan to make ahead. Preparing one or two of your holiday recipes each day will culminate into a feast that you’ll have time to enjoy. Here are a few C&H® Sugar dishes you can make ahead of time:
You can prepare these delightful bite-sized desserts up to seven days before your event. Start by making your dough and chilling it. The day before your event, cook the filling and pour it into the dough pieces. Once baked, keep your pies in the fridge overnight until reheating and placing them on your dessert table Thanksgiving Day.
These savory sweet potatoes, squash and Brussels sprouts side dishes can be cooked up to four days before your event. Once cooked, they can be kept in your freezer until being reheated and served Thanksgiving Day. An hour before your dinner starts, bring these vegetables to your desired temp and place them on your table.
Two days ahead of your meal is the perfect time to make ahead and freeze this Thanksgiving staple. Reheat and serve the same way you would your One Pan Vegetables, an hour ahead of time, serving right before you ring the dinner bell.
This decadent gravy is the perfect topping for your Thanksgiving turkey and can be whipped up and frozen four days before your event. Just reheat 30 minutes before serving to your guests.
If possible, avoid cooking dishes on the day of your celebration. Only having to reheat and serve your dishes will help keep your stress levels down on Thanksgiving Day. If cooking the day of your event is your only option, start as early as possible. This will ensure that you are not consumed by your kitchen when guests start to arrive.
Thanksgiving Day – You’re All Set
Relax, Enjoy Your Guests, And Give Thanks That You Started Early
Congratulations! By starting early and following through, you can now relax and enjoy making memories with the ones you care about most.
Our Favorite Thanksgiving Recipes
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Sweet & Savory Pumpkin Butter Spread
Prep Time: 25 minute
Pumpkin Pecan Cheesecake
Prep Time: 25 minute
Butterscotch Bourbon Cake
Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minute
Pumpkin Spice Martini
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cranberry Cheese Cake
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Gluten-Free Corn Bread
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Sweet and Spicy Brown Sugar Roasted Carrots
Prep Time: 15 minutes
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