From now until Thanksgiving, we’ll be answering some of the most commonly asked holiday meal questions. Have one you’d like us to consider? E-mail us or join our weekly live Web chat on Wednesday from noon to 2 p.m. (Yes, you read that right — we’re expanding to two hours the day before Thanksgiving!)

For complete Turkey Day coverage, visit our Thanksgiving Central page.

Is it Thanksgiving yet? All the planning and shopping can make it feel like the entire month of November is devoted to Turkey Day. But we’re in the home stretch now! You might be itching to finally get into the kitchen, and you should. Pretty much everything, or elements of everything, can be made in advance for your holiday meal, meaning on Thursday you can, well, actually enjoy the holiday.

Here are general guidelines (with recipe suggestions) for some of the typical Thanksgiving components.

Cranberry sauce. Most cranberry relishes can be refrigerated for up to a week.


(Renee Comet)

Cranberry and Fig Sauce

Gravy. As my colleague Bonnie Benwick so eloquently explained last week, you can make your gravy (or most of it, minus the drippings) a few days early.


(Julia Ewan/The Washington Post)

Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy

Bread. Bake your bread or rolls a day or two in advance.


(Mark Finkenstaedt/For The Washington Post)

(Deb Lindsey/For The Washington Post)

Sweet Potato Rolls (left), Corn Bread Baked in Husks With Sage Cream

Pies. Most pies can be made two or more days in advance.


(Mark Finkenstaedt/For The Washington Post; styled by Lisa Cherkasky; tableware from Crate and Barrel)

(Allison Dinner/For The Washington Post)

Sweet Potato Pie (left), Caramel-Apple Pie

Turkey. Start brining the day before.


(James M. Thresher/For The Washington Post)

Bourbon-Brined Smoked Turkey

Stuffing. Advance work depends on the recipe. Some stuffings can be made wholly in advance; others should be made up to the point of adding the liquid. Reheat or finish baking on Thursday.


(Deb Lindsey/For The Washington Post)

FDR Chestnut Stuffing

More Thanksgiving FAQs:

How do I make the best, fluffiest, creamiest mashed potatoes?

Should I roast a turkey breast for a smaller dinner?

How can I make gravy in advance?

Should I roast a turkey breast for two people?

Should I brine my bird?

How big a turkey should I buy?

When should I buy a turkey, and how do I store it?

How do I make the perfect pie crust?