Prepare menu for Thanksgiving. Choose which dishes you plan to make. Buy turkey today if you are planning on getting a large frozen bird. Buy some extra turkey pieces to make stock. Refrigerate turkey to begin defrosting process. To be safe, allocate 24 hours of defrosting time for every 4 pounds of turkey.


Clear out refrigerator to make room for holiday dishes. Shop for all food and beverages except fresh produce. Clean oven. Sharpen carving knife. Check dishes, silverware and linens.


Make stock for gravy and refrigerate. Make and refrigerate cooked cranberry sauce.


Shop for salad greens and other last-minute items. Set the table or, if you need the table on Wednesday, get everything ready. Plan a centerpiece. Make dough for pie crust.


Make your choice of Belgian endive, corn pudding, macaroni and cheese or party potatoes; cover tightly and refrigerate. Make uncooked cranberry sauce, place in airtight container and refrigerate. Make dessert.


Chill wine, if necessary.

Make stuffing of your choice. If you are making the cornbread stuffing, do not add the eggs until ready to bake. Make sweet potato puree, cool and refrigerate. Remove turkey from refrigerator about half an hour before roasting. Remove the giblets. Roast turkey, starting 3 or more hours before mealtime, depending on size and roasting method. While turkey is roasting, finish setting table.

Clean and prepare green beans. Make sauce for endive dish. Rinse greens and prepare salad. When turkey is done, remove from oven, cover and let it rest for about 30 minutes. Adjust oven temperature to 325 or 350 degrees, depending on which side dishes you have selected.

Bake or reheat side dishes. Dress the salad.

Make the gravy.

Carve the turkey.

Serve, give thanks and celebrate.