Thanksgiving day time line

You've prepared all month long for this day, don't worry , it will go smooth just take a deep breath, stay calm and follow this time line.

Thanksgiving day time line

Photo by Terri P.

  • Prep Time


  • Total Time


  • Servings



  • Turkey

  • Mashed potatoes

  • Sweet potatoes

  • Stuffing

  • Cranberry sauce

  • cranberry apple salad

  • assorted desserts


Dinner at 3:00 Dessert at 6:00 Wake up early. Collect your thoughts and get ready to start your day. Take the Turkey out of the refrigerator. Set at room temperature for at least one hour but no longer then two. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Move oven rack to lowest level. Fill the cavity of the Turkey with the apples, onions and lemons that you have already prepared.(last night) Rub the entire Turkey with olive oil. Salt and pepper the whole turkey and add any other herbs you may like. Dampen a large piece of cheese cloth and lay it over the entire Turkey including the legs and wings. This will insure a perfectly brown Turkey. You will be able to baste the turkey right through the cheese cloth. 8:00 Put the Turkey in the oven. For a 25 Lb Turkey 4 1/2 to 5 hours. Take out all the food that is waiting in the refrigerator and set at room temperature. 9:00 baste turkey. Combine 1 stick of melted butter and about 2 cups chicken broth. This is what you will use for basting through out the cooking time. Put the already thawed mashed potatoes in foil pans. 9:30 Potatoes go in the oven uncovered. 250 dregees Stir often. At this time take a few minutes to do some of the extras around the house. For example; fill your candy dishes, put pretty hand towels in the bathroom, set the flower arrangements in their designated places. 10:00 Baste turkey. Get all the condiments ready. Mustard for the ham, butter, olive or relish tray. Etc. Get out plates, silverware, napkins. Set on buffet table. 11:00 Baste turkey. 12:00 put the stuffing in the oven for 45 minutes at 350 degrees uncovered. When the stuffing is finished, hold in a crock pot on low to stay hot until dinner. While the stuffing is in the oven, start setting the buffet. This should be easy because you have already staged the buffet earlier this week. By now the potatoes should be about ready. Put in a large pot to stay warm. Put ice and drinks in cooler Get coffee pot ready. 1:00-1:30 Turkey should be about ready, it should reach 170 degrees with a internal thermometer. take out of oven and let rest for 20-30 minutes. 1:30 put the ham in the oven on 200 degrees to heat slowly. Cover with foil. Keep in oven until dinner Now its time to start carving the turkey , placing meat on a large platter cover tightly with foil. Make gravy. Keep warm on stove. Quickly clean up the turkey mess so that its done before your guests arrive. This way there is room for the things that your guests bring. 2:00 sweet potatoes go in oven for 25 minutes. cover with foil and bake another 15 minutes. So... Now you have, the turkey on a platter wrapped in foil and ready for the table Potatoes staying warm on the stove. Stuffing warming in the crock pot. Ham heating in the oven, and the sweet potatoes in their finial bake. soon Your guests will start to arrive. They may need to put something in the oven or the refrigerator so be prepared to accommodate them. Put the cranberries in the assigned dish and on the buffet table. Put the cranberry apple salad in bowl and on the buffet. As each guest arrives put their dish on the buffet table or in the oven to stay warm. Turn coffee pot on. Its almost 3:00 Now is the most intense part of the day. The ham needs to come out of the oven and on a platter. Potatoes in a serving dish and on the table.Stuffing in a serving dish, gravy in gravy boat. People want to help so let them. Give each of them a dish to bring from the stove to the table. By now all the food that you made and that others have brought should be on the buffet table. 3:oo Its time to Gather everyone together. Give a few simple instructions and say a blessing. LETS EAT. 5:30- Start bringing out all the desserts. Make more coffee and whipped cream. 6:00 Time for dessert. Its a little easier to let dessert time be self serve. Set out all the dessert options and some paper plates and let everyone help themselves. After dessert your guest will start to trickle out. So now it is time for you to relax with your lingering guests. Pack up a few to-go boxes for any one who wants one. They all contributed to the meal so they deserve some leftovers. The long day is almost over. You don't have to clean to much tonight it will all be waiting for you in the morning and you worked really hard today. As the last guests are leaving turn on the outside Christmas lights(my favorite part of the day). Finally its time go to bed-- another great Thanksgiving has come and gone. GOOD JOB! And now... Get ready for Christmas. UGG !!!


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