•Set the table now so you won’t have to worry about it later.
•Set up a coat rack with extra hangers.
•Do any remaining baking, including apple or pecan pies.
•Buy salad greens and perishable vegetables. Wash lettuce leaves now, dry well and store by packing them in paper towels in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.
•If you ordered a fresh turkey, pick it up from the butcher.
•Calculate your cooking time (and cooking order) for the big day.
•Figure out what can’t be cooked along with the turkey in the oven, either in terms of temperature or space. Plan to cook those things before or after the turkey is done, or on the stovetop while it’s cooking; better still, make them today.
•Prepare stuffing for the turkey (if you’re stuffing the turkey) or the dressing to cook on the side.
•Prepare vegetables for cooking-clean, peel and chop. Cover the ready-to-go vegetables and put them in the refrigerator. Boil potatoes and mash them; they can be reheated just before serving.
•Stuff the turkey and get it in the oven according to the schedule you calculated yesterday.
•After the turkey is in the oven, you should have a little time to relax away from the kitchen.
•Just before the turkey’s done, begin cooking fresh vegetables, and get anything else that needs to go into the oven ready (stuffing, store-bought rolls, etc.)
•Put a foil tent over the turkey. You now have about an hour to do the remaining cooking.
•If you have a pan of stuffing/dressing on the side to bake, put it in now.
•Warm whatever needs to be warmed, including mashed potatoes, rolls, soups and casseroles.
•Cook frozen vegetables.
•Make the gravy.
•Put all the food on the table or buffet. Don’t hesitate to press guests into service to put food in bowls, open wine bottles and dish up the cranberry sauce.
•Get a plate and eat! Don’t spend the meal running back and forth to the kitchen and end up missing out on the Thanksgiving feast you’ve created.