This post was originally published on November 17, 2011.

Wow, the last three weeks have gone by so quickly!  Not only am I very excited to celebrate Thanksgiving — we have a super fun crew joining us this year — but I am looking forward to some one-on-one time with the kids.  They are all going to help me this year.  They just don’t know it yet.  I used to get all of them in the kitchen Thanksgiving morning to help me with pies or trimming green beans or whatnot, but two of my beauties have taken to sleeping until noon on days off.  However I had a stroke of genius, which is to tack my Thanksgiving to-do list on the refrigerator and have everyone sign up for three tasks.  I’m asking my husband to help too, to set a good example, of course.

I have a crazy work schedule until Sunday, so I’ll start getting busy then.  Here’s what my schedule will look like from Sunday until we eat on Thursday at 4:00 pm (-ish):


Go grocery shopping for most perishable items, bread for stuffing and food for remaining dinners this week.

Make cranberry sauce (I used to make applesauce on Sunday, too, but my friend Caitlin is bringing it this year.)

Arrange tables and chairs

Write out placecards for table (a good job for one of the kids)

Dinner:  orange and rosemary-glazed chicken, brown rice and broccoli


Make salad vinaigrette

Pick up turkeys and dry brine

Make bread cubes for stuffing

Make ice cream

Dinner:  tacosblack beans and salad


Shop for last perishable items from farmer’s market

Buy flowers and put together table arrangements

Set table (I’ll set one place setting and have one of the kids do the rest.)

Wash and dry greens (salad)

Chop walnuts (salad)

Seed pomegranates (salad)

Shred gruyere (tart)

Defrost chicken/turkey stocks

Dinner:  Spice-rubbed salmon, sauteed spinach, baked sweet potato “fries”


Chop onions for soup, stuffing and roasted vegetables

Prep beets (salad)

Blanche green beans (salad)

Slice zucchini (tart)

Make soup

Steam, bread cauliflower

Blind bake crust (tart)

Herb oil (tart)

Make stuffing

Prep vegetables for Maple-Mustard Roasted Veggies

Trim and halve Brussels sprouts

Make sweet potato gratin

Set up for coffee and tea service

Check powder room

Dinner:  pantry pasta with chickpeas

Before bed:  make sure garage refrigerator door is closed!


6:00 am wake and shower

Make cornbread (small oven)

Make pumpkin pies (large oven)

Bake coffee cake (small oven)

Make gingerbread (large oven)

9:15 Take turkeys out of refrigerator

All desserts must be out of large oven by 10:30 am

Make apple pie (small oven)

10:45 turkeys go in large oven breast side down at 425 degrees

11:25 turn oven down to 325 degrees and flip turkey breast side up

12:00 reheat soup and serve with cornbread

tidy up kitchen

get dressed and dry hair (a girl’s gotta look good!)

Put mixing bowl and beaters in freezer for whipped cream

Chop fennel (salad)

1:30 Peel potatoes and make mashed potatoes; keep in bowl, covered, over pot of simmering water

2:15 zucchini tart in small oven

2:30 fry cauliflower and heat tomato sauce; serve hot

3:00 serve hors d’oeuvres; start testing turkey temperature

3:00 – 3:30 take turkey out of oven

Put vegetables in large oven at 400 degrees

Make gravy

Reheat stuffing in small oven

Bake sweet potatoes in large oven

Make Brussels sprouts with turkey bacon and dates

Chop apples for salad, dress salad

Light candles, pour water in glasses

3:50-4:00 Carve turkeys

4:00 Dinner is served

After dinner:  whip cream (do not overbeat!), coffee and tea, sparkling water

Make notes on what to remember for next year.  Next year??!!

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  1. I agree with Stefanie! 😀
    You are beyond amazing….an inspiration!! I will maybe attempt one pie!! Happy Thanksgiving! Yours sounds magnificent!

    • Yes, Rafaela! Make a pie! It will be fabulous 🙂 Have a lovely Thanksgiving!

      • I may just go the gingerbread route…which looks and sounds delicious. Unless you have a suggestion on how I may make the pumpkin pie dairy-free? I know I can use coconut milk, but not sure about the pie crust…I imagine pie crust is tricky and there may not be as tasty a way to go about making it non-dairy?

        • Easy — just use Earth Balance sticks and don’t add additional salt to the crust! Gingerbread is amazing, though!

          • Thank you! Ok maybe I will be ambitious and try both…the gingerbread IS a must!

  2. Wow. Just wow. I’m thoroughly impressed!! Question – how do you make your mashed potatoes? Amateur question, I know.

  3. Pamela, you are amazing! My one question…It’s not on the schedule, at what time do you have your first cocktail??? 🙂

    • Haha! After I finish teaching my last class on Monday night!

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