Thanksgiving Countdown

Thanksgiving Countdown

So. I’ll skip the witty preamble and just jump right in: Here’s my plan for the week, leading up to the Most Important Day of the Year for food writers & bloggers. The idea is to get done as much as possible beforehand, so the actual day won’t be completely, 100%, tear-my-hair-out insane. Did I mention that I’m doing most of this while Harry’s at school? Not sure how I’ll fit in my actual work-work, but maybe that’s what nights are for.

SATURDAY (yeah, I meant to get this post up a little sooner…)

  • Farmers’ market: turkey, butternut, onions, apples, sage, parsley, thyme, more apples, cider, cheeses, sweet potatoes…
  • Sam Sifton’s Thanksgiving perused, chuckled over, dogeared



  • Pie crust, two batches using whole wheat pastry flour and this super-simple, ingenious method
  • Apple pie filling, using Sam Sifton’s recipe
  • Apple pie assembled and frozen—I’m lining the pie plate with plastic wrap, and once it’s fully frozen I’ll pop it out & wrap tightly. On Thanksgiving morning I’ll unwrap, put it back in the pie plate, and bake for about 30 minutes longer than the recipe says
  • Dough for pumpkin rolls, refrigerate
  • Supermarket & Trader Joe’s & craft store (to pick up something for the kids to do)


  • Really basic sweet potato pie: graham cracker crumb crust, sweet potatoes simmered in cider and a bit of pineapple juice and then mashed with butter, topped with mini-marshmallows. For the Thanksgiving feast at Harry’s school the next day
  • Bake pumpkin rolls; freeze when cool
  • Gather linens, candles, serving platters
  • Hit Emily’s Pork Store for pancetta & sopressata
  • Dry-brine the turkey


  • Make cranberry sauce or relish (still deciding which I’d rather do—what’s your preference?)
  • Bake pumpkin pie (I happen to have a can of fat-free sweetened condensed milk, so I’m going to use that—am I nuts?)
  • Make turkey stock
  • Check clean status of wine glasses, bathroom, living room. Stress over sad state of sofa, stained by six years of family living. Shrug.
  • Prep vegetables: still deciding between Pan-Roasted Carrots with Crispy Sage, pan-roasted green beans topped with toasted almonds, or Melissa Clark’s Shredded Butternut Squash with Brown Butter, Sage & Pecans
  • Prep and pre-cook vegetables for stuffing
  • Organize the living room—it’s not big enough for a seated dinner, so we’re doing this as a buffet


  • Bake apple pie (first thing)
  • Assemble cheese/sausage/olives plate, refrigerate, covered, until 1 hour before guests arrive
  • Bake stuffing (until just shy of done—then I’ll reheat/finish while the turkey’s resting)
  • Roast turkey
  • Make gravy
  • Cook vegetables
  • Reheat pumpkin rolls

That’s it, I think. Did I miss anything? How does it compare to your plan?