Countdown to Turkey Day 2012: One Week Out

Heather says:

Today is supposedly -I have my doubts here- National Refrigerator Clean-out Day. That sounds silly, but it makes a little sense. You need room for all the leftovers you’ll have post-Turkey Day. You need room to thaw your turkey, if you’re having frozen.

If you have a small fridge and your expecting to have a lot of food, find a cooler. You can keep your hardier perishables (yeah um about that conflicting description, Heather) in the cooler with ice.

Tomorrow we’re going to talk about creating your Thanksgiving Timetable. Keep in mind, we’re in the home stretch. For those of you who have been playing along, there’s not that much left to do except cook. Don’t get smug, that draws the attention of the Fates¹.

Unless of course your serving ware has been stored for a year and you actually have good silver to use (do those people exist?). In that case, go ahead and start pulling it out and cleaning it up for the big day.

You’ve also kept up on your daily chores, right. If not, no worries there is still time before the invasive parasites extended family arrives. Pick one room a day and give it a little extra love.

If you’re lucky enough that family and friends live in town, who won’t be spending the night, you can limit your deep cleaning to public areas and close the doors to the rest. There is a caveat to this plan, if your home has more than one bathroom all of them -and the paths to them- should be clean. Make sure there are clean towels, soap, and plenty of toilet paper available. Don’t question, just do it.

When you invite people into your home, there’s always potential for humiliation of some kind or another. Let’s take a moment to reduce that.

If you don’t have kids and there will be children, not baby goats -although baby goats are possibly more fun and slightly less destructive- visiting, plan for their entertainment, unless you WANT them juggling your breakables, pestering the dog, and digging through your nightstand -anyone remember the movie Parenthood with Steve Martin? Keep any potentially embarrassing personal items under lock and key. The list of embarrassing personal items includes dirty underwear, as you KNOW this will be the time the dog decides to drag those out to the living room and I guarantee it won’t be a nice pair. Who’s a good boy? Not you, puppy, not you. On that note, remember to empty the bathroom trash daily now, too.

What other suggestions do you have to reduce the chance for embarrassment while hosting company?

If you’re just joining in on the annual Turkey Day Countdown here at Home Ec 101, you may want to read back through the other posts and play catch up.

So far, including today, we have:


A note about thawing your frozen turkeys:

Frozen turkeys need a full 24 hours per 4lbs to thaw in a 40°F refrigerator. Once thawed the turkey can be held for up to 72 hours.

For example, an 18lb turkey will take 4 days to thaw and should be used by the 7th day. Thanksgiving is 1 week away, so it’s time to start thawing those 20 plus pound turkeys. Don’t forget to keep that turkey in the very bottom of the refrigerator and in a pot or pan to prevent any cross-contamination through drips  and spills.

If you are picking up a fresh turkey, it should be cooked within 3 days of pick-up, so play it safe and pick it up on Tuesday or Wednesday.

For more tips on getting ready for Thanksgiving check out Butterball’s Thanksgiving Blog <—I wrote stuff over there, too.

What are you looking forward to most this Thanksgiving?

¹Calm down, I don’t actually believe that, it’s just fun to write. Call it dramatic license or warped sense of humor.


  1. Deneicer on November 18, 2012 at 11:11 am

    Hi Everyone ~

    I find it a good rule of thumb to not only keep a few staples in the kitchen but in the bathroom, too. I put a few things under the cabinet (or closest to the commode) that people may be embarrassed to request. Like: pads, liners, tampons, baby wipes, extra rolls of tissue, a square tissue box filled with plastic bags and a diaper or two. I keep a small plastic box under the sink labeled “Take it if you need it.” It is uncomfortable for a guest (especially a shy or young woman) to come ask for products because Auntie Floe came to visit early.

    For a large gathering I usually keep an extra roll of tissue in plain sight…. on the back of the commode or on a shelf within arms’ length.

  2. rachel_w on November 16, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    Yes those people do still exsist! But the silver doesn’t need much cleaning because we use it regularly throughout the year. One of my minor chores I do every few weeks is polish the silver pieces on display and the ones in my silver service that are looking a bit tarnished. I only have one set of silver so it gets lots of use (usually a few times every month) but some people, like my mom, my grandma, and a few of my cousins have multiple sets (or a lot!) so theirs gets more tarnished just from lack of use. But yes, there are still people who enjoy setting a pretty table, silver and all. My cousin does a great blog, many of her posts featuring her beautiful table settings. If you ever have the time it’s

    I love your sense of humor this post. The fates, kids juggling breakables, invasive parasites etc. Love it. So funny!

  3. Joquena on November 15, 2012 at 8:41 pm

    Any tips for being a good guest? I’m not hosting and I’m going to my husband’s family this year. I have a completely different diet than everyone else and don’t want to be offensive but I basically can’t eat any of the same foods!

    • Dr Alice on November 16, 2012 at 1:33 pm

      1. Bring your own food and let the hostess know you’re going to. You don’t need to make a big deal of it, just do it.
      2. Offer to do something to play along, i.e., bring a pie or a side dish even if you can’t eat it, or offer to keep the kids occupied/clean up the kitchen.
      3. Just enjoy hanging with the family and if anybody points out what you are eating, just smile and brush it aside (a minor white lie can’t hurt. “My terrible gastritis, maybe next year,” etc.)

  4. Joyce on November 15, 2012 at 10:54 am

    I use my cooler with a couple of blue ice paks to thaw my turkey. It works very well.

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