I know it seems a bit early, but I’ve already started thinking about Thanksgiving. I mean, heck, we’re already to mid-September, wasn’t it just Labor Day?! Also, this year will be a bit different due to Ashton’s work schedule. You all know what a stickler I am for holidays and traditions, so we’re figuring out a way to preserve our holiday traditions while working around scheduling.
Ashton’s normal days off are Tuesdays and Wednesdays, so if the holiday falls on one of those days she’s golden, but I guess you know where that leaves her on Thanksgiving because the news never stops even for turkey and dressing.
Yes, Thanksgiving at the farm will have to be scheduled a bit earlier in the day this year, so she can go before work, but where does that leave all of her co-workers that don’t have any family nearby? One of them told me that the station bought them Chinese food last year for Thanksgiving.
I said, “Oh no, not on my watch! You will have a traditional Thanksgiving meal!” We have opted to do a Tuesday before Thanksgiving Friendsgiving. Now you guys can see why I feel the need to start planning now because I’m finally in my last semester at UAFS and technically, I’m still in school on that Tuesday, but fingers crossed I will not get sick and have to use any of my days allowed by my professors until that day.
Technically, Thanksgiving is about 9 ½ weeks away, but I believe you can never start too early planning and working out timelines. I apply this to most everything I do. Am I saying I never have a problem or late? No way, but I sure would hate to see my life without all of this initial legwork. It would be bad, very bad!
For something like this, I personally don’t think it’s too early to send out invitations. Especially for a holiday celebration. They all know they will be working, therefore, I just want them to know that we will be doing something special on a day that they can come.
• Pin, pin, pin away on Pinterest and look through old cookbooks for tried and true family favorites.
• Sift through and turn all those ideas into real plans by finalizing the menu and recipes.
• Make a shopping list of all the ingredients you need. This includes everything you have on hand, because at this point, you’re just trying to figure out what you need. This includes cooking gear, i.e., a roasting pan, etc.
• After you make the list, go through your cabinets and mark off anything you already have.
• Make a general serving plan and the items you need for that.
• Finalize décor.
• Start clearing out cabinets. This is also a great way to take inventory of your cooking gear.
• Divide the list from Week 6 into three categories: Perishable, Non-Perishable and Cooking Gear
• Start purchasing nonperishables and cooking gear as your budget allows. It’s a lot easier if you spread the expense out over the next few weeks.
• Order anything needed online and reserve anything you need to rent like tables and chairs.
• Develop your cooking plan based on your recipes and menu items.
• Based on the plan, divide the perishables by the date you’ll be buying them.
• Clean out the fridge and freezer.
• Press or dry clean table linens.
• Buy the perishables you will need based on your cooking plan.
• Items to make ahead and freeze are pie dough, bread, cornbread.
• Arrange your tablescape and other decorations. If using fresh flowers, go ahead and place the empty vase where you want it and then all you’ll need to do is fill it with flowers.
• This is the time to do what my mother-in-law calls, “clean the corners” i.e., get in there and scrub all the stuff you miss the rest of the time.
• Buy the turkey! Dang..almost forgot the star of the show!
• Buy any remaining perishable items.
• Start defrosting piecrusts.
• Prepare pies and like items.
• Chill wine/beer.
• Prepare sides.
• Defrost breads and other premade frozen items.
Of course, this is a general suggestion as to how I do things, but tailor it to your needs and traditions.
As I’ve mentioned I love tradition and I think it is so very important in a family, but I think there is always room to add new ones and evolve as your life seasons evolve.
I’m looking forward to this new tradition and inviting new people to be a part of our old traditions.