Thanksgiving Countdown: 5 Days

Our Thanksgiving tradition has evolved over the years, but the last 10 or so years, we have joined forces with a family friend to share the workload and the fun! As we mentioned earlier in the week, we always invite people who are without a “home” for dinner. It really has made things fun and interesting over the years. Plus, when you split things up, it gives us the opportunity to experiment with some new dishes. The weekend before Thanksgiving is a great time to get organized and start on your shopping. Planning out your menu, make-ahead dishes and timeline will also help keep the stress at a minimum for the week. Check out our menu (in progress) below.

Thanksgiving Menu 2011


  • Shrimp Cocktail
  • Relish Tray
  • Bacon Wrapped Duck with Jalapeño and Cranberry BBQ Sauce
  • Dove Nuggets
  • Spiniach and Artichoke Dip with Pita Chips
  • Holiday Brie with Crackers and Apples
  • Stuffed Grapes


  • Roasted Turkey
  • Turkey Roulade
  • Stuffing
  • Mashed Potatoes with Celery Root
  • Citrus Green Beans
  • Cranberry Sauce
  • Cranberry Relish
  • Rolls
  • Cider Gravy
  • Onion Jam
  • Asparagus
  • Squash Casserole


  • Pumpkin Pie with Vanilla Whipped Cream
  • Pecan Pie
  • Chocolate Roulade with Pumpkin Mousse Filling
  • Ginger Snaps

**The items in green were added after Thanksgiving and this represents our final menu with lots of appetizer additions.

What we do from here is to decide who will be making what dishes. Next, pull out any recipes you will need and make a list of all the ingredients you will need for each dish. Then, double check what you have on hand for both equipment and pantry items. Finally, go shopping! Thanksgiving preparation can feel overwhelming but if you do one or from two things a night, it really helps!

A couple tips if you are up for it:

  • Our friend makes copies of each recipe so they are within reach while cooking. Keeps your cookbooks from getting icky. ~Mary
  • I am neurotic and start by listing things by dish and then reorder them by section of the store in a spreadsheet. It really helps make shopping more efficient. ~Kelly

Next steps: Make a plan for the week.



    • It always feels like you can do more, but attempting organization helps! We will post the Turkey Roulade. It is something that Mary did for the first time last year and it was AMAZING! Think boneless turkey breast with stuffing. It seemed to stay more moist than the actual turkey and was great for leftovers. ~Kelly

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