Countdown to Turkey Day: November 14

Heather says:

We have just over a week to go.  Have you purchased everything but the produce?  If not add that to today’s homework.

Today take your menu and recipes and figure out a loose schedule of preparation.  To help you along here are resources for menu items that can (and should) be made prior to Thanksgiving day.

Make Ahead Possibilities:

Don’t forget when arranging your cooking schedule to allow time for pre-made foods to thaw.  The last thing anyone needs is a roomful of hungry and crabby relatives who want to know why dinner wasn’t served on time.


  • Turkeys need to rest about 30 minutes before carving.  This will free up your oven for several dishes that need last minute heating.
  • While a whole turkey makes for a beautiful presentation, carving the bird in the kitchen will allow other foods to be heated in the oven during this time.  Rely on a centerpiece for a pretty table setting.  Once the bird is cut it is relatively unattractive, anyhow.
  • Unless you want to be like Ivy, keep your hot foods hot and your cold foods cold.  The FDA has advice on the danger zone for bacterial growth.


  1. Bobby-Ray on November 17, 2007 at 11:32 pm

    To Rachel and Margo, I like to make Chicken Roll-Ups as an alternative. You could use turkey instead of chicken. Here’s my recipe:

    Chicken Roll-Ups

    1 ½ cups minced cooked chicken
    ½ – ¾ cup gravy or 1 tin cream of chicken soup
    biscuit dough
    1 egg

    Mix together to make a paste that is easy to spread. Set aside. Prepare biscuit dough as per package or from scratch. Roll on floured board to 1 inch thickness to a size of 10 x 15. Spread chicken mixture to within ½ inch of edge of dough. Roll up as a jelly roll, moisten edges with an egg wash (1 egg beaten with a little water or milk) and press to seal. Place on cookie sheet. Use remaining egg wash to paint the whole roll-up. Using a sharp knife make a slit per serving. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 mins, reduce heat to 350 and bake for another 15 mins. Makes 7-8 servings. You could heat up a tin of cream of chicken soup and use as a sauce when serving Serve with a garden salad and or potato salad and you’re good to go.

  2. Margo on November 14, 2007 at 11:28 pm

    love the side dish ideas!

  3. Rachel on November 14, 2007 at 4:51 pm

    Ooh, I was just going to send you a question about this. We’re probably going to miss the actual dinner due to travel, so someone suggested that I make and freeze some stuff before and maybe roast a chicken or something (not a whole turkey) when we get back. I’d like to have chicken, stuffing/dressing, some veggies, mashed potatoes. The basics of the traditional meal. Any suggestions on what to make ahead and freeze? It must be reheatable in the oven or on the stovetop, because we don’t have a microwave.