Thanksgiving Cooking Schedule

Thanksgiving is only a week ahead of us and I am still working on my final dinner menu…I’m getting anxiety… This is my third thanksgiving celebration, considering the first time I was just a guest at my bf’s place and that last year he took care of most of the cooking (I still made the pies tho…), I can say this is the VERY FIRST TIME I’m called to tackle the entire meal myself for 25 people….God help me!

To prevent myself from getting a panic attack on thanksgiving day, I’ve decided to plan out my cooking and write down a schedule. I hope this will be to some help to you too so you can get plan ahead ideas.

My main plan is to get most of what can be prepared way ahead of time or frozen over the weekend and leave Thursday for assembling things and cooking the turkey.

Here is what my thoughts are!

Sunday 21st – morning

1. Prepare pie crust- 2 recipes, one for apple pie and one for pumpkin pie. Put each pie crust in zip lock bags, store in freezer

Tuesday 23rd – night (after work)

1. Prepare croutons for stuffing. Let them cool down, store in zip lock bags

2. Make vegetable casserole but don’t bake. Cover with foil and refrigerate

Wednesday 24th – morning (before work)

1. Wash and boil potatoes, drain water and leave them in the pan to cool

2. Prepare Chicken broth (you will use it to keep the turkey wet and moist while baking)

Wednesday 24dn – night (after work)

1. Make mashed potatoes, place into a large casserole, cover with foil and refrigarate

2. Chop onion, celery and other vegetable for the stuffing, store in separate zip lock bags

3. Put the turkey in a big container and cover with a wet towel dipped in orange juice (the acid from the orange juice helps to soften the meat a little, the towl just keeps the juice on top of the bird so it has time to concentrate in the skin. It also add a tiny amount of zest, which I think makes it good)

4. Before going to sleep take pie crusts out of the freezer

Thursday 25th – morning

1. Assemble stuffing for turkey

2. Prepare Mushroom filling, stuffed the mushroom and refrigerate

Thursday 25th – afternoon

1. Stuffed the turkey and send your bf to your friend’s house…the one that owns a real, big oven. Make sure he brings with him some of the chicken broth to pour on the bird while it is cooking.

2. Prepare apple pie – bake it in your toaster oven

3. Prepare pumpkin pie –  bake it in your toaster oven

4. Assemble sweet potatoes and bake (still in your toaster oven)

5. Take mashed potatoes out of refrigerator and bake till crisp on top – using again your toaster oven.

6. While mashed potatoes are cooking, prepare cornbread

7. Call your bf and remind him to keep an eye on the bird and pour chicken broth from time to time.

7. Take vegetable casserole out of the refrigerator, sprinkle bread crumb and bake at 180 C for about 30 min

8. Bake the mushrooms in your toaster oven which at this point is going to explode soon for the heavy usage…Log on Taobao and order a new one…

9. With some of the chicken soup, make the gravy

10. Put salad in a bowl and dress

11. Your bf is back with a perfect baked Turkey (or at least that’s what we have to hope)

Have everything on table by 7 pm…Yes, us expats celebrate thanksgiving for dinner…

This is the plan…wish me good luck!


– Dani

About the author:

An Italian living in China with a strong passion for cooking! Browse my 'left-overs' session for many tasty grub!. Follow her on Twitter / Facebook.