What Can We Do Two Weeks in Advance of Thanksgiving?11.11.2021
It’s a strange week for November. Although Thanksgiving is coming up, it’s too early to start shopping for perishables. While you could do nothing and still be fine, this week is a great opportunity to make a strong start to your Thanksgiving preparations.
You don’t need to plan your menu, shop for non-perishables or order your turkey. You’ll have a very relaxing week if you do all that. These are some things you can do to make your holiday stress-free two weeks before Turkey Day.
- Do a quick purge
If your pantry, fridge, and freezer are anything like ours, then they won’t be able to hold a Thanksgiving dinner’s worth of leftovers and ingredients. Open the fridge and take out all food items. If it takes a while, put them in a cooler. Finally, wipe down the interior with an all-purpose cleaner. Pull out drawers and shelves that are rusted and dirty and wash them in hot soapy water. Then dry them and put them back in their original places.
Next, you need to pay attention to the food. You can throw out anything that is moldy or expired and place anything that is on the brink of going bad in a triage container. To eat the food, write “EAT ME FIRST” on the box. You can donate food you don’t want to eat to a local free fridge, or make it available to your children and/or partner.
Even if the condiments are mostly stored in the door, don’t forget about them. The door can store all sorts of Thanksgiving ephemera. You can toss the expired salad dressings, separated hot sauces that have been there for five years, and the homemade pickles that you don’t enjoy that were made for you by someone else. Any spills or sticky areas should be cleaned up.
In the same way, purge your freezer. You can throw away any frozen food you don’t intend to eat, and then defrost it if necessary. After it’s cleaned and freed from frost, you can dedicate some of the space to Thanksgiving. You will need room for any other preparations you make ahead of time.
Then, go through your pantry. You might want to get high and combine all the chips into one large bowl if you have more than five (5) varieties of chips. You can taste the crackers to determine which ones are stale and toss the rest. The non-stale crackers can be eaten with cheese. You can donate any canned or dried food you don’t like to food pantries, or give it to your children or partner.
- Cook a little bit
It’s a great week to prepare and freeze some things that you know you will need. You can make your own turkey stock by using turkey wings instead of the big bird. The collagen in wings makes it a rich, satisfying stock. You can also add other bones from animals to enhance the flavor. You can also pre-make gravy without any pan drippings, in addition to stock. Your cranberry sauce with rum, your pie dough – all of these can be frozen and defrosted very well.
It’s a great week to try out new recipes, especially when you’re swapping out a well-known classic (like cornbread dressing) for something more innovative (like savory brioche bun pudding).
- Get ready for your guests
You won’t be able to keep your house spotless through Thanksgiving, but it is a great week for deep cleaning and repairs in guest rooms or common areas (if you have guests).
You can make Turkey Day (and Turkey Week!) a bit more manageable by fixing the leaky sink in the guest bathroom, washing your guest sheets, deep cleaning the bathrooms and cleaning the stains from the couch in your living room. You should also make sure that you have enough chairs to seat everyone. We can never have enough chairs.
Although we are anxious over-preparer, we make lists to soothe our frazzled nerves. However, we recognize that this method of Thanksgiving preparation may not be as soothing for others. You can still host a successful event if you are a veteran host who prefers to do it spontaneously. It doesn’t matter what, the Thanksgiving dinner will still be there. Your guests will appreciate the effort, even if it is a bit dry. Everyone will be there for the side dish.