Thursday, September 30, 2010

ADDENDUM: Thanksgiving Itinerary of a Mad Woman

In light of my love of lists (see previous post), I thought last year's Thanksgiving To-Do List might come in handy for those of you planning a big party. Even if you’re not, this list is worth a good laugh. Yes, I am familiar with the phrase OCD.

Any fellow list-makers care to share (or confess) their secrets?

BTW, I did not actually cook all of this food. My family deserves much of the credit.

Thanksgiving 2009
November 26th @ 2pm
Guests: 15


Hor D’Oevres:
Samosas and Pakora
Cheese and crackers
Artichoke hearts: baked with parmesan, bread crumbs and egg, and sprinkled with Brianna’s salad dressing, boil artichokes ahead of time, and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees

Main Course:
Turkey – Amy
Stuffing (Whole Grain Stuffing with Apples, Sausage and Pecans, FW 2009 p 124) – Amy
Vegetarian Stuffing
Cranberry sauce (Really good! Cranberry with blueberries)
Day-ahead mashed potato - Amy
Spinach lasagna – Amy
Veggie dish

Dessert Course:
Pumpkin Pie
Pecan Pie

To Do List:

Weekend of 14th to 15th
Find stuffing recipe done
Get dishes from everyone else done
Find turkey recipe done
Farmer’s Market: Pay for turkey, Purchase sausage and a few other ingredients (maybe apples for cake and sage) done

Monday, November 16th
Get rugs cleaned
Put in Fresh Direct order for Monday, November 23rd

Sunday, November 22nd
Farmer’s Market shopping (make list; adjust fresh direct list accordingly
Update fresh direct order

Monday, November 23th
Fresh Direct order will come
Make sauce with Joan
Make Pumpkin bread

Tuesday, November 24th
Make facial appointment
Polish silver
Get whole wheat bread, vanilla from Zabars
Square tissue paper

Wednesday, November 25th
Get flowers
Make stuffing (don’t bake, refrigerate)
Make mashed potatoes
Brine turkey
Make dressing for bird (F&W)
Map out timing of bird
Get more kitty litter
Annette comes

Thursday, November 26th
Set table
Prep coffee
Set up cocktail table
Put away coats
Make turkey broth?
Rinse and dry
Put herb butter under skin (See F&W instructions)
Stuff bird immediately before roasting
10:30am to 11:30am – Put turkey in oven at 425 degrees with herb butter, add two cups of broth and carrots, onion and celery (45 minutes), cover stuffing area
11:10 am to 12:10 – Remove turkey from over and cover breast with foil, reduce temperature to 350 degrees (1 ½ hours if stuffed, 1 hours if not stuffed)
12:40 pm to 1:40 pm – Remove foil, add 2 more cups of broth. Roast until juices run clear and temperature is between 170-180, 160 in stuffing area (check after 1 hour)
1:30pm Set up hordoevres (throw artichokes in with turkey)
2:30pm Heat food
Make gravy
3:00pm Dinner
Whipped cream

Get mirrors?
Get tablecloths dry cleaned
Polish silver
Grocery shopping

Recipe Ideas:
Stuffing in F&W 2009, p 124 (day ahead and then bake on Thurs)
Do Day-Ahead Mashed potatoes with fried scallions (Wednesday)
Canyon Ranch butternut squash soup (This weekend)
Brussel Sprouts from 2007

NV Domaine Ste Michelle Blanc de Blancs (sparkling)
2008 Seven Terraces Pinot Noir
2007 Heron Pinot Noir
2008 Bodegas Montecillo Verdemar Albarino

• The turkey was really really good! I used recipe from Food & Wine, November 2009, p 153. Added carrots, celery and onions to the pan, and emulsified them for gravy. Don’t make gravy with too much chicken stock.
• Also think that the sausage, apple and pecan stuffing is a keeper. F&W, p 124
• Mom roasted turkey the opposite way: She covered it in the beginning and then took off foil to crisp. May try that next time.
• If stuffing is not hot enough and turkey is ready, take out and bake in oven at high temp.
• Don’t bother making any hor doevres if Kapoors are coming. We will just do Indian cocktail hour!
• Set up: Use desk for buffet table and counter for drinks.
• Don’t forget to buy cocktail napkins and plates.


  1. Um. Wow. And I thought I had a problem. :) Although I even make a list for my mis en place.

  2. Oh, yes! love it. Thanksgiving Dinner is heaven for listmakers like us. Are you a Virgo? Did you do a time breakdown? I did. 2:00 put potatoes in to boil... 3:30 stuffing back in oven... like that. Yup.

  3. Amy, I do that too. Love a good timeline. Also, like to start a list with "Get dressed" or "Wake up." Usually I can knock those suckers off.


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