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Thanksgiving Countdown

Waiting until the last minute to pull together a Thanksgiving feast is for those who like to live dangerously. A checklist, advance planning, and the right tools will let you greet the holiday season feeling prepared and confident. This countdown to Thanksgiving gives you a simple idea each day to help you get ready for the big feast. You can apply this countdown to large gatherings you host any time of year.

Day 1

Invite your guests. Send an email out this week for a general head count so you can start a menu plan. Cooking for a crowd? The Roasting Pan holds a 20-lb. (9-kg) bird or roast!

Get the Pan

roasting pan with rack

Day 2

Start gathering your recipe ideas. Why not start a new side dish tradition with Savory Mashed Root Vegetables? You’ll need the trusty swivel-action blade Vegetable Peeler for all your veggie side dish plans.

Get the Peeler

Day 3

Have a tear-free holiday season. The Food Chopper tackles onions in seconds. Get one now, so you’re ready for all your veggie prep.

Get the Chopper

Food Chopper

Day 4

A well-stocked kitchen and quality tools will make holiday meal prep much easier, and using the right knife for each job goes such a long way in getting your Thanksgiving meal prep done quickly and beautifully. Cutlery is an investment, so if you invest in one quality knife, we recommend the Chef’s Knife. It’s the one you’ll reach for most, and will do lots of heavy lifting.

VIDEO: Learn how to choose the right knife for the job.

Day 5

Make a playlist. Cue up your favorite tunes that evoke sweater weather, home, and gratitude.

Day 6

Plan your beverages. Have plenty of choices for the kids and consider a signature cocktail for the grown-ups. Stock up on a few Family-Sized Quick-Stir® Pitchers to serve them in style.

Get the Pitcher

Here are some basic rules to keep in mind for about 25 guests:

      • 2 gallons (8-L) of lemonade, punch, or tea if alcohol is being served.
      • 4 gallons (16-L) of lemonade, punch, or tea if alcohol is not being served.
      • 2 alcoholic drinks per person for the first hour and 1 drink for every hour after.
      • 1½ lb. (0.5 kg) of ice per guest.
Quick-Stir Pitcher

Day 7

Good knife skills will make you better, faster and safer in the kitchen. Practice your chopping skills ahead of the big day. Our Chef’s Knife has a special grip guide that will remind you how to properly hold the knife – making you better, faster, and safer in the kitchen.

VIDEO: Brush up on your knife skills 101! Watch the Key Tips Everyone Should Know.

Day 8

This week, decide what menu items you can make ahead of time and freeze. Soups and casseroles are good candidates. Leakproof containers will be your holiday BFFs before and after the big meal.

Get the Kitchen Storage

kitchen storage and organization

Day 9

Decide on side dishes. Will you go traditional or get inventive with dishes that will surprise and excite your guests?

Traditional:

Fresh Take:

Day 10

Consider vegetarian options for your menu.

spicy sesame cauliflower

Day 11

Use the Mix ‘N Masher to get a smooth consistency from your favorite mashed potatoes recipe. You can even make them now and freeze them.

Get the Masher

Day 12

Plan your desserts. Plan on a 3-inch wedge (⅙ of a 9-inch pie) for each guest – or one mini pie each! Stock up on dessert-making must-haves like Batter Bowls for mixing, Stackable Cooling Racks to save counter space, and a Pastry Blender for the perfect homemade pie crust. Here are 10 tips to avoid most common pie-baking problems.

Stock up on Bakeware

Day 13

Plan an activity for kids to keep them occupied while you prep next week.

See 7 Fun Indoor Activities

Day 14

Decide how you’re going to prepare your turkey, if you’re serving one. Brine? Roast? Deep fry? Make sure you have Meat Lifters to get your turkey safely to the table.

Get the Meat Lifters

Day 15

Turkey Thawing Tips: Refrigerator thawing will take 24 hours for every 4 lb. (2 kg) of turkey. Put your whole turkey breast up on a Half Sheet Pan. An 18 lb. (9 kg) turkey will take about five days to thaw in the fridge. Once thawed, that bird can stay in your fridge for four days before cooking.

Need Sheet Pans?

baster

Day 16

Basting Tip: Give the bird a one-time greasing with the Baster, then roast without peeking. The more you open the oven door, the longer the turkey takes to cook!

Get the Baster

Day 17

How do you know when the turkey is done? After about three hours in the oven, insert an oven-safe thermometer deep into the thigh without touching the bone. Start checking the turkey for doneness about 30 minutes before the recommended cook time. Your turkey is done when the temperature reads 180°F (80°C) in the thigh and 165°F (75°C) in the breast or stuffing.

Get the Thermometer

Day 18

Use the weekend before the holidays to clean the house and clean out your fridge. Three Everyday Cleaning Cloths outlast 15 rolls of paper towels.

Get the Cleaning Cloths

baster

Day 19

Write your holiday grocery list and get to the store. If you forget something, you’ll have a few days to run back out and get it.

Day 20

Assemble and bake your pie in a beautiful stoneware pie plate. The stoneware draws moisture away from the food so baked goods turn out light and crispy.

Get the Pie Plate

pie plate

Day 21

Send everyone home with a gorgeous, homemade thank-you gift: mini bundt cakes. Using boxed cake mix, these are incredibly simple and fast to make, while still being one of a kind, personal and made with love. Bonus: get the kids to help decorate the cakes and gift boxes.

Get the Mini Cake Gift-Making Set

Day 22

Super-charge your hostess reputation by making your own homemade compound butter. All it takes is 60 seconds and the Whipped Cream Maker. Tip: fill the Fluted Chocolate Mold with butter and pop it in the fridge. Everyone will get their own, beautifully detailed single-serve butter.

Get the Whipped Cream Maker

Day 23

Iron your tablecloths. Wash your formal serving dishes and pre-set the table. (Hint: Turn the glassware and plates upside down to prevent dust from settling on them.)

Get the Entertaining Pieces

Day 24

Chop, chop, chop. Prep as many fresh ingredients as you can. You’ll be giving your knives a workout, but luckily the Wooden Cutting Board will protect your countertops, and the acacia helps prevent knives from dulling. It’s durable, moisture-resistant and reversible. Use the welled side for cutting and carving, and the flat side for serving your beautiful turkey.

Get the Cutting Board

Day 25

It’s the big day! Serve a classic Rosemary-Herb Roasted Turkey as your majestic golden centerpiece, and enjoy spending quality time making holiday mealtime memories with your loved ones. We hope it’s full of joy, happiness, and plenty of turkey.

VIDEO: Learn how-to carve your turkey like a pro

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