Whether you have months to plan, or only days, this timeline will help to ease your culinary and celebratory confusion.
A Few Weeks Before:
- Prepare two grocery lists — one for nonperishable items to purchase now and one for perishable items to purchase a few days before Thanksgiving Day.
- Order a fresh turkey or buy and freeze a frozen turkey.
- Gather materials for the Sheaves of Wheat Centerpiece
- Bake the Herbed Cheddar Crescents; cool. Freeze in a heavy-duty resealable plastic bag.
- Plan which side dishes to serve
Four to Five Days Before:
- Buy remaining grocery items, including the fresh turkey if you ordered one.
The Day Before:
- Set the dinner table and arrange the centerpiece.
- Make the Hazelnut Pear Tart; store in the refrigerator.
- For the Blue Cheese Romaine Salad, bake the pine nuts in butter as directed; cool and store at room temperature in an airtight container. Make the salad dressing; cover and chill. Wash, dry and tear the romaine; refrigerate in a resealable
- Prepare the mayonnaise mixture for the Cucumber Dill Dip; cover and chill. Cut up any vegetables for dipping; place in individual resealable plastic bags and refrigerate.
- Assemble the Squash Supreme casserole but don’t sprinkle with bread crumbs and paprika or drizzle with butter. Cover and refrigerate.
- Make the glaze for Fruit-Glazed Turkey; cover and chill.
- In the morning, thaw Herbed Cheddar Crescents in the refrigerator.
- Make the apple-raisin stuffing, stuff the turkey and bake, basting with the fruit
glaze as directed.
- Just before guests arrive, peel, seed and chop cucumber; stir into the Cucumber
Dill Dip mayonnaise mixture. Serve with vegetables and/or crackers.
- Remove Squash Supreme from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking.
Sprinkle bread crumbs and paprika on top; drizzle with the melted butter. Bake
as directed. (If the casserole has been refrigerated overnight, you may need to
bake it a little longer than the recipe specifies.)
- If desired, wrap Herbed Cheddar Crescents in foil. Reheat in a 325° oven for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Let the cooked turkey stand for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, make the gravy. Remove
the stuffing and carve the turkey.
- Slice the apples or pears for Blue Cheese Romaine Salad. Stir the dressing and assemble the salad as directed.
- For dessert, serve Hazelnut Pear Tart.