Thanksgiving Guide Part 2: Cooking

Thanksgiving Guide Part 2: Cooking


This might seem nerdy, but it is incredibly helpful to envision the sequence of cooking a meal and to write it all down ahead of time. In doing so, you’ll figure out when each dish needs to go into the oven (and you’ll prevent any mishaps). Think of it as a trial run on paper.

I find it easiest to work backwards from the moment I want everyone to sit down at the table. Give yourself as much time as you’ll need to cook at a comfortable pace, with plenty of breaks for snacks, drinks, and hanging out with your friends and family.

Your holiday week will surely play out differently than ours, and you can definitely start further ahead with things like making stock and pie dough (both freezable). Cranberry relish will keep in the refrigerator for up to one week. For more about our menu and the recipes we’re using, see the previous post.


Here’s our detailed game plan:


Tuesday, November 21

-       grocery shop


Wednesday, November 22

-       make stock

-       make gravy

-       make cranberry-orange relish

-       make pie dough

-       set the table

-       season chicken with salt and pepper, tie with twine, and chill (uncovered) in refrigerator overnight


Thursday, Thanksgiving Day


-       coffee and breakfast (some ideas: eggs, toast, bacon, granola, oatmeal)

-       assemble and bake apple pie

-       make dinner rolls



-       lunch

-       go for a walk and gather greenery for the table



-       arrange greenery on the table

-       fill an ice bucket and chill wine in it

-       rinse and dry chicories and herbs for the salad



-       take chicken out of the fridge and let warm up at room temperature

-       make mashed potatoes



-       assemble appetizers of olives, cheese, nuts, and fruit



-       put chicken in the oven

-       warm a small pot of stock over low heat



-       guests arrive

-       cocktail hour time!

-       slowly reheat mashed potatoes, adding stock if dry



-       chicken finishes roasting; let rest for 20 minutes, then carve

-       reheat gravy and stir pan drippings into it

-       warm dinner plates and fill water glasses

-       dress the salad



-       bring all the dishes (including the rolls and cranberry relish) to the table

-       raise our glasses and give thanks

-       eat!


After dinner

-       clear all the plates from the table, but don’t worry about washing them yet

-       put away leftovers

-       whip cardamom cream

-       serve apple pie

Forbes 30 Under 30!

Forbes 30 Under 30!

Thanksgiving Guide Part 1: Planning

Thanksgiving Guide Part 1: Planning