Is it time to start planning for Thanksgiving dinner?

Why yes, yes it IS! It’s November now and Halloween is past; that means we can start looking ahead to the Next Big Food Event. (Does it sometimes seem like we live from one Big Food Event to the next sometimes?) It’s time to start remembering all our traditional Halloween favorites, collect recipes, and even start shopping (!) for the Thanksgiving Feast.

I LOVE Thanksgiving food. Mind you, I couldn’t cook a Thanksgiving dinner every week or even every month, but I love the annual reveling in traditional favorites.

I usually start by brainstorming a list of all the must-haves for the quintessential Thanksgiving Dinner. For ME, the list looks like this:

I’m sure that Laura’s list looks slightly different and yours will too. Over the next couple of weeks, we’ll be sharing the specifics and the recipes for the dishes on The List.

After you’ve made your list, you’ll want to start looking for recipes. If you browse through the Holiday Recipe category here in the Kitchen, you’ll find a lot of favorites. We’ll be adding a few new ones this year, but the ones listed are definitely our standbys.

After you find your recipes, you can start making your shopping list. I like to start early so that I can spread the expense of a lavish special meal over several weeks. More important, there are some stores that start putting sale prices on the key components of Thanksgiving dinner early.

If you plan to buy a turkey, check out your local grocer for specials. All the stores have them. In our town, one of our stores offers a deal for “frequent-buyers.” Since this store is “my” market, I’ll work on accumulating all the turkey points I can. In some parts of the country, turkeys are loss-leaders. I don’t quite understand why this is different in different parts of the country, but I will say that I miss living in CO and getting their $4 turkeys. When we lived there, I’d have a dozen turkeys in my freezer by the end of November!

I also buy 80 pounds of sweet potatoes each year. My husband ordered these from a local grower for me and picked them up. Not only will they be components of our Thanksgiving dinner, they’ll get top billing in a lot of other meals over the next year.

Right now is a good time to buy a pie pumpkin. Halloween is over but many stores still have pumpkins if you want to buy a fresh one. I LOVE using fresh pumpkin for my pies…a whole lot of other goodies!

It’s also a good time to be shopping around for table decorations. I like to keep my decorating simple and basic; it’s not too early to shop for gourds, squash, and pumpkins if you decide to go that direction.

All the work of Thanksgiving dinner is still to come, but it’s definitely not too soon to think about the menu, the decorations and the guest list.

Stay tuned for recipes!


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One thought on “Is it time to start planning for Thanksgiving dinner?

  1. Our holiday table always has homemade pickles on it. In fact I think it’s a requirement. Usually dill, bread and butter and beet pickles. 80 pounds of sweet potatoes? I’m impressed.

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