Countdown Checklist for Thanksgiving (Plus Shortcut Tips)

Posted by on Nov 17, 2017

Print this Post


For some families, Thanksgiving is the biggest event of the year. For other people, it's a last-minute get together of friends. Either way, you want the party to be worth the trip, whether cousins flew from across the country or friends drove from a few miles away. Here's a list that's good to save for every year, a countdown that can begin six weeks out or a handful of hours. Plus a few shortcuts to help along the way.


6 Weeks: A Thanksgiving invitation requires plenty of advance. Send out a save the date.

1 Month: Mail out a detailed invitation.

2 Weeks: Buy tabletop items.

1 Week: Stock up on spices, cocktail fixings, and hard-to-find ingredients like sorghum.

3 Days: Find pretty branches to use for the gratitude tree, and cut out paper cards shaped like leaves and feathers.

2 Days: Buy all fresh flowers, vegetables, and herbs, as well as dairy items and the turkey itself. Peel grapefruit twists for the cocktails; store in the refrigerator. Day before: Make the turkey spice blend. Make the chocolate tart and refrigerate.

Night before: Whip up the Sorghum Sauce (if you're making). Prep the turkey.

Morning of: Bake the cornbread. Roast the turkey. Arrange the flowers.

3 Hours: Set the table. Bring tarts and pies up to room temperature.

2 Hours: Prepare the pavé (if you are making). Cook the carrots. 45 minutes: Sauté the green beans and okra. Bake the pavé.

20 Minutes: Set out ice for the cocktails. Rewarm the cornbread.

10 Minutes: Light any candles that you might be using. During the main course: Top the tart with the whipped cream, pomegranate molasses, and pomegranate seeds.

The Shortcuts
-- To easily carve thin slices of breast meat, gently cut the breasts from the turkey, placing them skin-side up on a board. Slice again from one narrow end to the other.
-- Make the tart in stages, baking and freezing the shell in advance. Or make the entire tart, thawing on Thanksgiving morning. You could even use a premade chocolate pie crust instead of starting from scratch.

Excerpted from InStyle Parties: The Complete Guide to Easy, Elegant Entertaining All Year Round by the Editors of INSTYLE. Copyright © 2017 Oxmoor House. Reprinted with permission from Time Inc. Books, a division of Time Inc. New York, NY. All rights reserved.

Log-in to Post a Comment: Craftfoxes shadow Google shadow