What to Do Two Weeks Before Thanksgiving
The second week of November is weird. Looms for Thanksgiving, but it’s too early to buy perishable goods. You could probably do absolutely nothing to get ready this week and be in perfect order, but this is a great time to set yourself up for stellar success.
If you haven’t planned out your menu, haven’t made any purchases for non-perishable items, haven’t made sure you have enough food and table settings, or ordered a turkey, you should go ahead and do it all . With all of this under control, it’s a pretty cool week ahead of you. Here are a few things you can do two weeks before Turkey Day to make your holiday stress-free.
Do a quick clean
If your refrigerator, freezer, and pantry are similar to mine, they probably aren’t ready to handle the full Thanksgiving ingredients and leftovers. Open the refrigerator, remove everything from the refrigerator (put perishable food in the refrigerator if it takes a while) and wipe the inside with a multi-purpose cleaner. If shelves and drawers are protruding, remove them and wash them in the sink with hot, soapy water. Dry and replace.
Next, pay attention to the food. Throw away anything that is expired or moldy and put anything that is on the verge of being “tainted” in the sorting box . Write “EAT ME FIRST” on the box so that you actually eat it. If you have good food but just don’t feel like it, consider donating to a free refrigerator or similar program in your area (or get your kids or partner to eat it).
Don’t forget the condiments, even if they mostly live in the doorway. (The door can accommodate all sorts of Thanksgiving ephemera.) Expired salad dressings, separate hot sauce that’s been in there for five years, homemade pickles you don’t like that you only keep because someone else made them for you – throw them away all this. Wipe off any sticky spots or stains.
Rinse the freezer in the same way. Throw away baked-on food in the freezer, you are never going to eat, and then , if necessary, thaw the whole thing . Once it’s clean and frost-free, dedicate some of the vacated estate to Thanksgiving. Aside from the turkey, you’ll need room for anything you decide to prepare ahead of time, such as pie crusts, cranberry sauce, gravy, or homemade broth.
Finally, raid the pantry. If, like me, you have more than five (5) different types of chips, consider getting the high and pouring them into one large bowl. If you have a lot of boxes of crackers, try them out to identify stale ones, and then throw them away as soon as they are identified. Eat not stale with cheese. If you have a lot of canned or dried foods that you no longer enjoy, consider putting them in the pantry (or feed your kids and / or partner).
Make a tiny piece of cooking
This is a great week to cook and freeze a few things that you know you’ll need. If you want homemade turkey broth but are (obviously) not ready to make the Big Bird (not the big bird, which is a doll and tastes bad), take turkey wings and use them as a base. The wings contain a lot of collagen, which makes them extremely rich and satisfying. (You can also add other animal bones for flavor.) In addition to the broth, you can pre-cook the gravy (no dripping from the pan!), The Cranberry Sauce (with rum!) And the pie dough , all of which freeze and thaw very well.
It’s also a good week to try out any new recipes, especially if you’re swapping out time-honored classics for something “sublime” or “more exciting.” Thanksgiving is nostalgia and menu changes can be intimidating to guests, especially if you’re replacing a main player (like a classic cornbread dressing) with something a little experimental (like a savory brioche pudding), so try it yourself to see he deserves his place at the table.
Preparing for guests
None of your cleaning this week is perfect until Thanksgiving, but it’s a good week for deep cleaning or any necessary renovations to common areas or rooms (if someone is staying with you).
Repairing a sink that doesn’t drain properly in the guest bathroom, washing the guest sheets, deep cleaning all bathrooms, removing stains from the living room sofa are all you can do to make Turkey Day (and Turkey Week) a little less chaotic. This is also a good time to make sure you have enough chairs for everyone to sit on. I never have enough chairs.
Try and relax
I’m worried about over-preparation, making lists to calm her frayed nerves, but I also understand that this method of preparing for Thanksgiving may not be so calming for others. If you’re a seasoned veteran host who prefers to fly, I’m sure you can handle it. Whatever happens, a semblance of Thanksgiving dinner will land on the table, and your guests will be grateful even if the turkey dries up a little. Anyway, everyone is ready for side dishes.