Thanksgiving Dinner Hosting Plan and Menu
Thanksgiving is only a few days away and I just found out that I am hosting! This was sprung on me at the last minute to pull together! First things first- make my to-do list, including menu and timeline, as well as the schedule for setting the table, shopping, etc.
- Make guest list
- Make menu
- Make shopping list (include cheap plastic containers to send home left-overs with guests)
- Plan seating arrangements (any extra tables or chairs needed?)
- Plan any games or activities for guests (isn’t there football on that day?)
- Plan any additional festive decorations
Okay, so there is the overall strategy. Now on to the menu!
Turkey (1.5 pounds of whole turkey per person- this takes into account the weight of the bones and stuff. Each person doesn’t actually eat that much.)
Ham ( .5 pounds per person- for a boneless ham; .75 pounds per person for bone-in ham)
Stuffing (go off the per servings on the stuffing bread box)
Cranberry Sauce (use the per serving on the can as a guide as to how much)
Candied Yams (figure 3 servings per large yam)
Mashed potatoes ( 1 large potato per guest)
Green Bean Casserole
Rolls (figure 1.5 per guest; as the guys will usually grab 2 and the gals 1 each)
Pumpkin Pie w/ whipped cream (for dessert, figure 8 servings per 9 inch pie)
The Action Plan
- Week before:
- Get final guest count
- Create specific shopping list based on guest count
- Go shopping.
- Bring out any special dishes for the dinner and wipe them down if necessary.
- Put frozen turkey/ham in fridge to defrost.
- Sunday or Monday night before Thanksgiving
- Set up table for dinner- adding folding chairs, tables, ect.
- Press linens
- Dress tables with linens, napkins, centerpieces
- Fill Salt and Pepper shakers
- Find nice butter dishes
- Get the real silverware out and polish if necessary
- Tuesday night.
- Shop for any last minute items- including additional guests.
- Wednesday night.
- Set the table.
- Make the pies.
- Set dough in fridge to rise overnight.
- Put jam and butter in serving dishes in the fridge.
- Put cranberry sauce in serving dish (if making homemade version, make today)
- Prepare any appetizers (cut veggies for snaking, make veggie dip, make chip dip, etc.)
- Bake yams, cool completely and set in fridge overnight
- Thanksgiving day
- Bake rolls (heat up in oven just before serving)
- Prepare Turkey for oven and get in oven (time for being done at 3pm).
- Serve appetizers for snaking
- Prepare candied yams for oven (place in fridge)
- Prepare green bean casserole for oven (place in fridge)
- Ham in oven (timed to be done at 3pm)
- 2:15- 2:30 pm
- Yams in oven
- Stuffing in oven
- Green bean casserole in oven
- 3 pm
- Take turkey/ ham out of oven.
- Start boiling potatoes (for mashed potatoes)
- Start putting butter, jam, etc. on table
- Make gravy
- 3:15 pm
- Take out yams, stuffing and green bean casserole out of oven, turn temperature up for rolls
- Rolls in oven
- Start carving turkey, ham for serving
- Get all the food on the table
- 3:30 pm
- Rolls out of oven and serve.
- 3:40 pm
- Sit down and eat
- Make the hubby and kids clean the kitchen.