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Turkey Prep: Getting Ready for the Perfect Thanksgiving Day Feast

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, now is the time to put together your to-do list for planning the perfect Thanksgiving Day feast. If you’re hosting, there is a lot to prepare—from the turkey to the sides, sauces and pies, you’ll want everything to be perfect. At Nick’s of Calvert, we are your one-stop shop for everything that you need to prepare the perfect turkey and all other dishes for the table. Here are some tips and ideas for getting ready for the perfect Thanksgiving Day feast. We have fresh turkeys ready for pick up today, so reach out to us to learn more about how we can help with the perfect bird.

10 Days-Two Weeks Before Thanksgiving 

Planning for the perfect Thanksgiving Day feast starts weeks in advance. If you haven’t yet begun your preparations though, not to worry—you still have some time! Two weeks to 10 days in advance, you should:

  • Finalize your guest list. One of the most important parts of planning your Thanksgiving Day meal is ensuring that you’ll have enough food for all who attend, which means being clear about your guest list and how many people you’ll have at your dining room table.
  • Order that bird. Once you have a good idea of how many people will be joining you for Thanksgiving, it’s time to order your turkey if you haven’t already done so. At Nick’s of Calvert, we have you covered. Visit our butchers or call us directly to get your turkey reserved today.
  • Plan your menu and make your list. Now is also a good time to plan out your menu and make a shopping list. Knowing what you’ll serve in advance and what you’ll need to do to turn your dream menu into a reality can ease stress when cooking day comes. Be sure to note if any of your guests have any food allergies that you’ll need to accommodate.
  • Get any cooking gear. Whether you’re a master chef or a novice cook who’s preparing Thanksgiving dinner for the first time, review your recipes to make sure that you’ll have everything you need for smooth preparations on Turkey Day, including things like a turkey baster and thermometer. 
  • Pick up your non-perishables and drinks. One way that you can cut down on tasks that you have to do the day of Thanksgiving (and to ensure that you won’t run into any store closures before you have everything you need) is to pick up any non-perishables that you’ll need for cooking, as well as beverages, well in advance of the actual holiday.

The Countdown: 3, 2, 1…. 

As the holiday approaches, remember that you don’t have to do everything on Thanksgiving Day! In fact, there are plenty of things that you can do in advance of the holiday, including cleaning dishes and setting the table, setting up chairs, and creating room in your fridge for the food you plan to serve. When that’s all done, consider adhering to the following three-day countdown schedule to make sure everything’s perfect on Thanksgiving Day itself.

Three days before…

Three days before the holiday, defrost your turkey. Don’t wait too long to defrost the turkey, or you’ll have a frozen bird on Thanksgiving morning! The best way to defrost the bird is to place it in the fridge—avoid a countertop thawing if possible. Or, come into Nick’s today to order your fresh turkey so you won’t have to worry about the time it takes to defrost a frozen bird.

Three days out is also the time you should head to the store to buy all your perishable ingredients. If you wait until the day before, you may be competing with other frantic shoppers. Since you already cleaned out the fridge, you should have plenty of room to store everything.

One-two days before…. 

With only one or two days to go, it’s time to start prepping dishes, baking some things in advance, and getting the table ready. Apple and pecan pies won’t keep as well as pumpkin pie, so if you’re baking all three, do the apple and pecan a single day ahead of the holiday, but know you’ll be okay prepping your pumpkin pie two-three days in advance. You can also make reheatable sides, like casseroles, in advance, too. Cranberry sauce can also be made in advance and will heat up well.

With only one day to go, it’s time to brine the turkey. You can get all the turkey brining ingredients you need at Nick’s of Calvert.

Thanksgiving Day

On Thanksgiving day, start early. Get the turkey into the oven on schedule and prepare your other dishes while the turkey roasts. In the morning, chill any beverages that should be served cold. Finally, and most importantly, remember to enjoy yourself!

Visit Nick’s of Calvert for All of Your Thanksgiving Day Feast Needs 

At Nick’s of Calvert, our team is here to help you prepare for your Thanksgiving Day feast. We have everything you’re looking for, from the perfect turkey to sweet potatoes to cranberries and more. Visit us at 930 Costley Way or call us at (410) 414-7105 to learn more.