Yesterday, I was floating in Long Island Sound in the kayak that my uncle bought me as a college graduation gift … or it feels that way at least. In truth though, that day was nearly three months of yesterdays ago.
Yes, folks, time is flying and it’s flying faster than fast. We’ve kissed summer goodbye, rounded the corner into autumn. The apples have come and gone and the leaf peepers are back to Sundays on the couch watching football. Now, we are closing in on Thanksgiving.
So what does that mean? With only nine days to go before Thanksgiving Day in the United States, it’s time to kick Thanksgiving dinner planning into high gear. Not sure where to start? I’m here to help.
Thanksgiving Planning Timeline
9 days in advance: Plan a preliminary menu. Order specialty items such as pies or special turkeys, as necessary. Begin testing any new recipes you want to use. You should never, ever, ever test out a new recipe on the big day. It’s bound to fail miserably like my southern butternut squash custard a few years ago. Blech.
7 days in advance: Confirm the number of guests.
5 days in advance: Finalize menu. Beginning cleaning house for guests.
4 days in advance: Grocery shop for whatever possible. Make a plan for when everything will be cooked and where.
2 days in advance: Finish the thorough cleaning of your home. Decorate and set the table, if possible.
1 day in advance: Finish any last minute errands. Cook any make-ahead sides that you will be serving.
Day of: Get cooking!
Sarah Walker Caron is a cookbook author, freelance writer and founder of Sarah’s Cucina Bella. She is the author of four cookbooks including The Super Easy 5-Ingredient Cookbook and One-Pot Pasta, both from Rockridge Press. A single mother to a tween and a teen, Sarah loves nightly family dinners, juicy tomatoes plucked fresh from the vine and lazy days on the beach. She also adores reading and traveling.