It has begun….I spent the day (not feeling so great…those kids and their germs!!!!)shopping for my Thanksgiving menu.  There is something very pleasant about that for me.  It’s a tradition….I really do enjoy the shopping.  The stores are packed with other shoppers but somehow waiting in the long lines…being bumped all over the place….rude people who clearly believe they are the only people on earth preparing for a holiday this week….none of it really bothers me.

I think it’s because while I so enjoy Thanksgiving…on Friday the real show begins.  You see on Friday…while the rest of the folks (here in the United States) is shopping for the those special black Friday deals I spend the day taking down all the Fall decorations that have been up since the end of September.  They all get neatly packed away in their labeled boxes with snapping lids.  By Friday night all the Christmas decorations are down from the attic and we will have begun to lay them all out.  By Saturday we begin the process of decorating this house so heavily it looks like the elves themselves live here.  We love every single minute of it.  No more mulled cider….we change over to homemade egg nog and hot chocolate with homemade marshmallows.  The music played most of the day (as per my Mother-in-law) is Christmas carols from every artist with a Christmas album. Rod Stewart has a new one out…I know that because my Mother-in-law bought it today.   The usual fight over Johnny Mathis vs. Nat King Cole will be had…I will declare victory (Nat King Cole is my guy) and I will play Johnny Mathis to show I am a good sport.  It’s tradition!

Before I can get to any of that….I need to make Thanksgiving dinner….

I had quite a few emails from readers asking if I would post my prep list so here it is….Oh, if you missed the menu for this year you can find it here.

Thanksgiving 2012 ~ Prep list


10am ~ Organize my recipes in order of prep

11am ~ bake the apple caramel pound cake for school (deliver at 1pm)

11am  ~ Culture the cream for the butter

11:30am ~ Make the cranberry orange chutney

12:30pm ~ pick up last remaining items on my grocery list (except turkey which is picked up on Wed)

1pm ~ pick up 8 bottles of wine from Total Wine (Sauvignon blanc and Pinot noir)

3:15pm ~ pick up kids

4:30 ~ Make the vanilla bean ice cream

6pm ~ make dinner

9pm ~ polish silver and iron table-cloth and napkins (kids are sleeping so this is much easier)


9:30am ~ pick up Turkey (I ordered mine from Whole Foods as usual)

10am ~ set up cooler filled with ice for the turkey (I have a huge fridge but still never have room for the turkey)  The ice is kept in sealed bags so the turkey can sit in the homemade brine we like to make without getting  water-logged.

10:30am ~ begin food prep

     Make the bread dough for the stuffing

     defrost and drain the spinach for the spinach feta puffs

     Peel the pearl onions and make the parmesan cream sauce ( seal the sauce in a separate container until Thursday)

     cut the carrot, celery and onions for the stuffing

     Shred the cheese for the gougeres

     Toast and mince the pecans for the gougeres

     Make the butter

    Trim the brussels sprouts

     Peel and slice the potatoes (store in water with a bit of lemon)

     Make the filling for the spinach puffs

8pm~ Set the table


7am ~ Bake Pumpkin pie

8:30am ~ Bake the Cranberry Tarts

10am ~ Bake the apple tart

10:45 ~ make the Parker house rolls but don’t bake (they will be bakes after the turkey is roasted and resting )

12pm ~ assemble the pearl onions in cream

               Assemble the pommes Anna

1pm ~ Roast the turkey

4pm ~ finish side dishes

5:30 ~ Open 4 bottles of wine (2 white 2 red)

         ~ Finish baking off the hors d’ oeuvres

6pm ~ guests arrive  ~ Serve hors d’ ouvres

6:30pm ~ Turkey now resting

               ~ Make all the sides hot and bake the rolls

7:15pm ~ Serve dinner

9:30 ~ Serve Dessert and Coffee

Clean up and a good long sleep…..tomorrow Christmas Season begins!!!!!!

I wish you all (those her in the states that is)  a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving.  I also wish you the patience and sense of humor required if you will spend your day with people who can make you crazy.  I no longer have those problems…in a past life….whew!  It was rough!  Now, I get to spend my day cooking for people I truly enjoy and my evening eating a good meal and drinking good wine with those people.  Thanksgiving indeed!


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8 Responses to Thanksgiving Countdown…..the prep list

  1. Maria says:

    Oh my you are super organized. Im so amazed, I admire organized people, I always believe that being organized is half the battle.

    Wish you have a fantastic dinner and a wonderful start of Christmas season. Nothing beats opening those plastic crates and remembering one has those wonderful ornaments! Love it!

    Btw, penelope is a beauty.

    • Tamatha says:

      I try really hard to be as organized as possible. the truth is I still fall short of my ultimate goal of complete organization. I keep trying though. I adore seeing our ornaments each year. Some of them bring tears to my eyes. They mean so much to me.

      I wish you only good things surrounded by people you adore. I can’t wait to share all the Christmas goodies. Will you share yours too?

  2. Charlotte Moore says:

    If I read all correctly from Tuesday until Thursday night you seem to work non stop. Wow!!! I am tired just reading what all you have to do. Hehehe!! I think you need about a 2 hour massage one day real soon.

    You are truly organized that is for sure. How nice that must be. I am about certain things. Wish it was all things. Haha!!

    Hope you feel better soon.

    • Tamatha says:

      Yes you did read that correctly. I was so tired by Friday I could barely speak. However, now I feel much better and am so excited to get Christmas going!!!!! I can’t wait to hear about all you will bake too!!! You blew my mind with that last bake-a-thon you had.

      On a separate note, how is you grand baby? She has been on my mind since you told me what happened. I hope beyond words that she will have a full recovery. I will keep a positive thought for her.

  3. Susan says:

    I love your organization–we have that in common and my lists are made. The funny thing is that will just be three of us for dinner and dessert, but I’ll cook and bake like there’s 20:-D Happy Thanksgiving!!

    • Tamatha says:

      Happy Thanksgiving to you too!!! Taking the time to make a wonderful meal from scratch takes the time and effort it takes not matter for how many, at least that’s what I have found. I make a fuss even when it’s just my Hubby and myself. Why not? We are worth it! I hope you had a the best meal ever :)

  4. Alyssa Ozzi says:

    You are awesome. That apple cake was amazing!! I know I told you probably a million times today but I had to tell you one more time:)

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