This post was created in partnership with Honey Baked Ham. While there may be a sponsored element to it, all opinions are my own and it is a brand that I have adamantly supported since my sister worked her first job there in high school.
Welcome to the season of abundant eating, cozy sweaters and baked goods doused in cinnamon! Even though November just started, I have already attended and hosted a couple of Thanksgivings! This year, in order to help you with your preparation, I’ve put together a helpful Thanksgiving timeline for you to follow now that we’re getting close to the big T-day celebration.
When it comes to Thanksgiving, so many of us get caught up in the meal prep of the big day, we forget about some other key details to hosting and toasting all of your friends at home. With this timeline, you’ll be able to smoothly roll right into the Holiday without a gray hair sprouting.
As we loom ever closer to Thanksgiving, I hosted a small Thanksgiving celebration with some friends and decided to take the pressure off of myself for cooking everything and instead opted for a meal catered by Honey Baked Ham. That way I could focus on making my signature side dishes, pies, and decorate to the nines for when people come over. The Honey Baked Ham difference is less prep time, more family time.
Your Thanksgiving Timeline
Two Weeks Away: Prep Your List
Write every recipe and ingredient out on a sheet of paper and find the similarities so you can shop smart. Next, condense that list into pantry staples (spices/ canned goods/ garlic/ etc.) and perishables.
Two Weeks Away: Shop Smart
With your condensed list, make it a point at your next week’s grocery run to pick up all the pantry staples you need for your meal. Be sure to check flour/sugar/salt/spice levels at home!
The Weekend Before: Deep Clean & Décor Prep
Now is the time to Deep clean your house which entails any sort of floor cleaning, dusting, linen washing (and ironing!), and clean wood surfaces. Save leftover pumpkins from Halloween for a fun table runner, iron your table linens, clean the wax off your candlesticks, and ensure you have enough plates/cups/flatware for everyone coming over (+2 in case there are some accidents day of).
Monday Before: Buy Your Perishables & Your Honey Baked Ham
On Monday, you’ll want to pick up your recipe list perishables including your Honey Baked Ham. This is when you’ll have the least amount of competition at the grocery store and can ensure you get the cream of the crop when you pick up your Honey Baked Ham. Plus it allows you two extra days to pick up any items you may have forgotten before Turkey day commences.
Tuesday Before: Set Your Table & Buffet Area
If you have a formal dining area, go ahead and set your table and your buffet if you need an overflow space to set your food onto the Tuesday before. This way you won’t have to worry about last-minute prep when people arrive on Thursday. Thaw your turkey for 24 hours.
Wednesday Before: Prepare Dishes that You can Partially Cook Beforehand
Dishes like green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, sweet potato soufflé, desserts, and most appetizers can be prepared the day before without harm to the flavor of the dish itself. I like to prepare most of my sides the night before and keep them in the fridge until Thursday for serving. If you are serving turkey, start any sort of brine in the morning. Make a cooking list of what needs to cook, for how long, and at what temperature so that everything is ready to eat at one time.
Thanksgiving: Time to shine
Morning: Start cooking your largest dishes now, Turkey included.
Mid-Morning: Start all your sides and remember that for each additional thing you add to the oven you need to increase it by 5°F to maintain its original baking temperature.
30 minutes prior to serving dinner: Unwrap the best, pull out your Honey Baked Ham from the refrigerator. It should be served room temperature.
Time to eat! Sit back, relax and rejoice in your amazing preparation for a perfect Thanksgiving! With the help of Honey Baked Ham this year we were able to enjoy a flavorful and fun evening with friends and family!