We are just two short weeks away from Thanksgiving. How on earth did that happen??? No seriously, like I don’t know where the month is going. It’s also snowing in NYC which is making my head spin.
Buuut let’s talk Thanksgiving. It’s my absolute favorite holiday of the year. My family cooks the whole meal together and hosts the same family friends (who are practically family) every year. Since we make everything from scratch, it’s crucial we plan in advance so we’re not killing ourselves the day of the big feast. This post is the first in a two part planning guide. Today I’m focusing on the things you can do to prepare two weeks in advance. Next week I’ll outline the items you should focus on one week in advance! Sound good? Excellent. Let’s get started:
- Reserve Your Turkey Perhaps the most obvious thing you should at least two weeks in advance of T-day is reserve your turkey. In fact, if you’re buying your bird from a local farm (which I really really urge you to do), it’s best to reserve in late September or early October. Then you just pick up the bird a few days before Thanksgiving. You can also purchase your bird well in advance at the grocery store, and place it in the freezer until Thanksgiving. Take it out a few days in advance (24 hours for each 4-5 lbs) and let it thaw in your fridge.
- Prep Your Pumpkin Have you ever had real pumpkin pie? You know the stuff made with fresh pumpkin? Let me tell you, it will blow your mind. My mom makes it every year and it’s such a treat to have the real thing. I know it can seem overwhelming to roast a pumpkin, but you can totally do it weeks in advance! She roasts one in October, scrapes out the insides, and freezes the pulp until she’s ready to make the pies. Easy peasy.
- Prep and Freeze Your Pie Dough Along with your pumpkin, you can also prep and freeze your pie dough. You can keep it in discs or actually roll it out and freeze the crusts in your pie dishes. Just be sure to wrap them really well, and give them a day in the fridge to defrost.
- Stock Up on Staples My mom and I are still sorting out the exact recipes we’ll use this year (Mom- we need to have a conference call about that stat), but there are still certain staples you know you’re going to need no matter what- and there’s no need to be scrambling at the last minute to snag them at the store. Things like brown sugar, salted and unsalted butter, cranberry jelly, nutmeg, cinnamon, flour and so on are all musts to have in your pantry. Also, take some time to make sure your equipment (roasting pan, pie tins, meat thermometer, etc) are still in condition and if not, replace what you need now!