16 November 2011

Type-A Thanksgiving

By: Jessica B.
Tagged: Food

Last month, I posted that my SIL and I are making Thanksgiving dinner for the first time. Grandma loving has passed us the torch and when she did it, it felt like it was in the distant future.

Except now I’m saying, holy s*t it’s November and Thanksgiving is just a week away!!

I’m extremely excited about making the meal, but also, as an anal retentive, Type-A, hyper-organized, people pleaser (which could also be hashtaged, #reasonswhyimsingle), I am nervous.

So to ease my nerves, I’m channeling my PR/Type-A-ness and moving in to an organized, Project Manager role for this meal.

That included starting an email chain with my SIL to share recipes, menu options and timing.

She also mentioned creating an “oven schedule” to ensure everything we prioritize what needs to cook and be reheated. I nearly wept in joy when I read that. She gets me.

So here is our near final menu:

  • Turkey (going with pre-cooked this year)
  • Stuffing
  • Mashed potatoes and gravy
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Butternut squash soup
  • Fruit salad (break up all of the veggies)
  • Green bean casserole
  • Corn and wild rice salad
  • Dinner rolls
  • Cranberry chutney (still in negotiations)

After reading over this list again, I will not need to eat for a month.

Like I said, it’s near final so there may be a few changes still but I’m very happy with this. I’m also salivating over the thought of succulent turkey.

Now, I’m off to dig up more recipe options and start building that cooking spreadsheet. You know you work in PR when…

Do you plan ahead for big meals?


  1. Love it! I can’t wait to hear how your planning goes!

  2. katelin says:

    oh man that all sounds delicious. and love all the planning and schedules, it just makes more sense that way. luckily for now i’m only in charge of one dish and i think that’s about all i could handle for now, haha. but yay, good luck!

  3. Sounds yummy! I am a total scheduler. Big fan of picking the eating time and then working my way back. Take note of the various cooking temps too!

  4. Lil' Woman says:

    You can’t mention a line up like that and expect us not to drool, that sounds sooo good!

  5. If I were to ever be in charge of a large meal (which is leaning on the side of NEVER) I would totally be like you in preparation. However, this year, the only way I’m preparing for next thursday is by making sure I have a stretchy pair of leggings.

    Good luck with your Thanksgiving dinner!!

  6. Erin says:

    I love this post :-)

    I’ve never been that detailed when cooking but there have been times I realized after the fact that I should have been. This year, though, I think we’re getting our Thanksgiving dinner from a restaurant. Should be interesting…

  7. A Super Girl says:

    I LOVE squash soup. My mom has a great recipe where it’s served in shotglasses (makes it more of an appetizer than an entree) and it’s topped with asiago cheese and croutons. Yum!

  8. Molly says:

    Good luck with the prep and meal! I bet it’s going to be awesome!

  9. Jenny says:

    Here are a few helpful hints I have learned over the years of throwing a Thanksgiving Party, you might want to use for your holiday dinner.

    You can make the mashed potatoes ahead of time and keep them warm, but not gluey, in a crock pot on low. If you think they are a bit thick add butter or half and half.

    Here is a recipe for Cranberry Sauce I have found and really like and so do my guest — http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/cranberry-fruit-conserve-recipe/index.html. You can make it ahead and then take it out and serve.

    With regards to the stuffing, I make it ahead and put it in muffin cups. I reheat it in the muffin cups, so everyone gets some of the crispy and soft stuffing. I did this last year for the first time and it worked out really well.

    If you want to reheat your turkey without it getting too dry, slice it, and put it in a foil pan. Add chicken or turkey broth to keep it moist and cover with foil.

    I too understand an “oven schedule.” I have a spreadsheet on when items need to come out of the refrig and when they need to go into the oven.

    I hope your dinner comes out great and I look forward to reading about it.

  10. Elizabeth says:

    Good luck with that! This is my year to be lazy, lazy, and just enjoy whatever comes our way!

  11. TC says:

    I watched the Voltaggio Thanksgiving special and they said it’s all about the planning and staging – plus they reco’d cooking with someone else to help get everything done, so it sounds like you’re pretty good to go!

    Also, Mikey V was looking mighty fine…especially when he was deep-frying turkey and adding butter by the stick to the mashed potatoes #lovethatman