Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be a frenzy

The Perfect Turkey PlannerThanksgiving doesn’t have to be a frenzy of last-minute preparations… this Thanksgiving Planner will guide you through the holiday! For delicious Recipes search


  • If you’re ordering a fresh turkey, do it now; if you’re buying a frozen turkey, you still have time, but don’t wait until the last minute. Remember: It’s best to allow four to five days for it to thaw. Refrigerator thawing takes 24 hours for every 4 pounds of turkey! Cold Water thawing, with the turkey in the wrapper, takes 30 minutes for every pound of turkey. Be sure to use cold water and change the water every 30 minutes.


  • Start defrosting the frozen turkey in the back of the refrigerator, where it is coldest
  • Compose a shopping list and purchase all non-perishables. Wait until the day before Thanksgiving to buy salad greens, fresh bread, or seafood
  • If you’re baking pies for dessert, make the dough for the crust, roll it out, lay it into pie plates, and freeze.


  • Make the cranberry sauce…A couple of days in the refrigerator will give the flavors time to develop.
  • Homemade stuffing often calls for stale bread; cut and cube the bread now, and set the cubes out in a single layer on a baking sheet


  • Pick up your fresh turkey
  • Prepare the stuffing but leave out any raw eggs until you stuff the bird
  • Prepare the stuffing but leave out any raw eggs until you stuff the bird
  • Defrost pie dough; assemble and bake pies.
  • Peel the potatoes, then refrigerate them in a pot of cold water.
  • Make side dishes that require baking, such as casseroles, and reheat them tomorrow, or assemble them today, and cook them right before dinner
  • Set the table tonight or first thing in the morning

THANKSGIVING DAY: DINNER AT 4:30 P.M. (One 14 to 16-pound turkey)

  • 10:30 a.m. Remove the turkey from the refrigerator, allowing it to sit for ninety minutes to two hours at room temperature. If your stuffing recipe calls for eggs, add them now
  • 12:00 p.m. Preheat the oven, and stuff the turkey
  • 12:15 p.m. Put the turkey in the oven, basting it every half hour.
  • 1:00 p.m. Make the mashed potatoes. Closer to dinnertime, place them in a heat-proof bowl and set them at the back of the stove over simmering water.
  • 3:15 p.m. Check the temperature of the turkey at the thigh. If the thermometer reads 180°F in the dark meat and 170°F in the breast, remove the turkey from the oven. If not, check the temperature every fifteen minutes until the bird is done. Once the bird is done, check the stuffing to see if it registers 160°F. If the stuffing inside the bird has yet to reach 160°F, remove the stuffing from the cavity of the turkey, place in it a casserole dish and continue cooking until 160°F is reached.
  • 4:00 p.m. The turkey will need to sit for thirty minutes prior to carving. Take advantage of the break to make the gravy.
  • 4:30 Call everyone to the table. Enjoy your feast!
  • CIA Napa Valley
  • Court of Sommilier Masters
  • Talk Radio 790 KABC
  • Modern Luxury