I suggest moving your turkey from the freezer to the refrigerator to de-frost tomorrow, Sunday. I know people say you only need 2 days for this, but I have always found it takes at least 3 if not 4 days in the fridge to de-frost fully. I promise by de-frosting fully you won’t have an internal frozen surprise on Thanksgiving.
Are you starting to feel the stress? How do you get everything done when you have to work Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday? Start preparing now. It’s the weekend and the perfect time to start making your Thanksgiving Day favorite dishes.
Many things can be started over the weekend. Try chopping, slicing and sauteing all of your vegetables now. Cool them thoroughly then into a freezer zip lock baggy and into the freezer or refrigerator until Wednesday night. Roast your bread for the stuffing, place in a baggy and store in your pantry. Measuring spices can be a headache while you are in the midst of cooking on Thanksgiving Day, try pre-measuring them and store in a snack size zip lock baggy with the recipe name well-marked on them. Then you just need to pull them out and add when needed. Making sweet potato casserole, go ahead and bake those potatoes, then you just need to warm them before assembling the casserole. I always assemble my Southern Green Beans this weekend, place in a zip lock bag, it’s now waiting for the crockpot in the freezer. This weekend is a great time to pre-bake your pie crust if needed. You can wrap them in plastic and freeze, then use directly from the freezer with your pie fillings.
If you work a bit this weekend, assembling everything on Wednesday night, then you will have more time to visit and cook at your leisure on Thanksgiving Day. Whatever you do, don’t forget to find ways your guest can assist you. This way you’re not alone in the kitchen and you won’t be the only one participating.
My suggestions: Don’t worry about appetizers, you want everyone to have an appetite for your meal. Do you really want them to fill up on dips and chips or nuts and then only eat a few bites of the turkey? Set up the drinks as self-serve, away from the kitchen. Dress your table Wednesday night at the latest. Set out your serving dishes and utensils in advance so you’re not searching for them at the last-minute. I always make a timeline of what goes into the oven or crockpot at what time. This ensures I don’t miss something and everything comes together at the same time. Utilize your microwave to bring dishes to room temperature or get a jump-start on the cooking process in the oven. Remember it’s just a meal with family and friends, not the end of the world.