Make Ahead

5 Quick Things to Check Off Your Thanksgiving Prep List Today

November 12, 2016

When your to-do list gets overwhelming (figure out life; buy a car; move cities; change jobs), you need a few things to swiftly cross off (brush teeth, take a 10-minute walk, call a friend).

In that spirit, here are 5 easy things you can do today—yes, today today—to clear a bit of Thanksgiving prep off your plate. (None involve turning on the oven.) They come from our Thanksgiving checklist email series, which you can subscribe to right here.

Photo by Bobbi Lin

1. You have a menu. (No? Our Thanksgiving Menu Genie is waiting.) Organize your shopping list by when to get what, by where to go on each excursion, and—bonus points—by area of each market.

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2. Prioritize what might run out (like canned pumpkin, fresh cranberries, or jarred chestnuts) and get those today.

3. Buy the wine now, too. And add on an extra bottle—for yourself while you plan and for insurance. It won't go bad.

4. Assign someone to say grace or give thanks. (Or, if that someone is you, spend a few minutes thinking about what you'll say.)

5. Any ends of bread that are too short and squat to turn into toast? Start a bag in the freezer of your scraps—these will become stuffing later (no "oven-staling" necessary).

Want more tips like these (and some words of encouragement, too)? You still have time to sign up for our handy Thanksgiving checklists and pep talks—you'll get four delivered to your inbox in time for the Big Turkey Day.

What Thanksgiving tasks are you getting out of the way this week? Tell us in the comments!

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1 Comment

AntoniaJames November 14, 2016
What I'm doing this week, and next: Valencia oranges appeared last week in NoCal, so I made my annual batch of marmalade for my dear old dad (Rachel Saunders' 3-day recipe, found here on Food52, the best marmalade recipe I know).
Other than some turkey-related activities finished last week and some baked goods now in the freezer, I'm not actually doing that much this far in advance, mostly due to the nature of what I'm serving. I broke down all tasks - basic project management -- and then mapped out all activities from Monday through Thursday, with expected times required. I'll spend 1.5 hours or less on each of Monday and Tuesday evenings, 2 hours on Wednesday and 2 hours on Thursday, total, after hiking Mt. Tam. Dinners have been worked out for that week (already in the freezer ) so it's altogether quite manageable.
I offer this in the spirit of helpfulness and as a constructive contribution to the site, in the hope that those who read it might consider some of my strategies, and have a more pleasant November. ;o)