Thanksgiving is my favorite cooking holiday. Not going to lie, it's an awesome time to show off in the kitchen and I rarely get to cook large format meals. I pull out all the stops and I use every single leftover bit in a sandwich.
Instead of telling you what you should be cooking on turkey day, I thought it would be better to help you get through it. My cooking origin story goes like this: my mom asked me to help with Thanksgiving dinner when I turned 16. She told me to wake up at 6am and when I awoke, she was gone. She had to work at the hospital and I had to get the whole dinner on the table. The end of the story is that I did it and started watching Food Network as a result.
The point is: no one wants to panic on Thanksgiving morning. I put together these editable Google Drive templates for everyone to use and share with guests.
|>> Click here to view the Thanksgiving worksheets<<|
|To save to your Google Drive:
File > Make a Copy > Rename > Save
|To save as a PDF: |
File > Download as > Select PDF > Save
Once you've got it filled out, print it out or display it on an iPad in the kitchen so you stay on track.
Page 1: Organize the guests
- Open the Google Document and share with your friends, have them sign up to bring a dish.
- Do you have enough platters and serving utensils to accommodate the whole dinner? If not, ask a friend who isn't bringing anything to bring or buy disposable.
- Note that there is a column for heat source. Make sure you can fit everything into the oven when they need to be or get creative with warming solutions, like...
- In the microwave
- Wrapped in a blanket or winter coat
- Slow Cooker, rice cooker or steamer
- Short on fridge space? If it's cold outside, consider hosting your drinks in a cooler or (god forbid) in the snow.
- Any meats to be cooked can be out of the fridge for an hour to come to room temperature.
- Cheese can be plated an hour ahead. Watch out for sheep or buffalo milk cheese, they will sweat. Prepare to blot them like a greasy pizza or plate them last.
- Precut tubers like carrots or potatoes and store them with ice water if you can't fit them in the fridge.
Page 2: Lay out the schedule
- It really important to time your dishes. Figure out what can be made ahead.
- A good window of time to make gravy is while you rest the turkey, it will still be hot in 30 minutes!
- Think about the residual heat on the stove or in the oven, do any desserts need to be defrosted or held at a low temp?
Page 3: Plan your individual dishes
- Don't just read one recipe. Read many recipes and decide what steps you will take or if you're going to add a bit of flair.
- Document what you need to do and when.
- List all of the ingredients you have already.
- Manage shopping by grouping ingredients by store and department.
Finally, roll with it. People are going to bring different things if the store runs out. There might not be enough of one thing or another. A relative might have a strong opinion of how you're making your gravy. It's all ok, have a drink and I hope you treat yourself to a slice of pie!
Love leftovers? Or better yet, leftover sandwiches? Join me for the Put A Egg On It issue 11 release party and Leftover Special event. Not only will you be the first to get a copy of the newest PAEOI, you can bring all of your Thanksgiving leftovers and compete in a sandwich making contest. Full details here.