Thanksgiving 2021 is completely different. This was to have been the first time that I opened my home for a holiday lunch in 20 months. I proceeded with caution. Only 4 relatives were able to be invited. Everyone is fully COVID vaccinated with booster… except one person. But, we will take precautions. As we are in a pandemic, I will do temperature checks on guests on arrival. Social distancing will be enforced. Masks must be worn while eating. To go trays will be packed early.
Note: Here is an update! The Winter Surge got worse within a few days, so I had a major change in plans.
Create A Things To Do List
I tend to be very organized. For many years, I have always done a Things To Do list to make sure I don’t forget any food item, to space cooking dishes and to organize things.
I keep this on my computer even though my menu seldom changes. My dishes are delicious and family members enjoy. I avoid trying new stuff on them. My TTD list includes the menu, grocery shopping list, house chores to be done and schedule for cooking… which covers about 2 to 3 days.
Pre-Thanksgiving Day Cooking
No need to do everything at once. Some dishes can be cooked ahead of time. It is a good idea to spread dishes out over time. It works great for me.
Unexpectedly on Tuesday morning, the local news announced that FREE turkeys were being given away at my favorite nearby supermarket. I made a quick beeline there within a few minutes. NOW, my menu changed completely. I got a big 24-pound turkey! Yippee!!! It’s a huge frozen turkey so I had to thaw it in cold water.
Potato salad and cornbread are my most difficult and complex dishes. Both take a lot of time but are very delicious!
Cooking starts at midnight with prepping and roasting the huge turkey. By 5am, it was time to bake the ham.
Folks know that I am an early bird. So, lunch is ready at noon. Hence, meats are cooked before guests arrive.
My Full Thanksgiving Menu
- Roasted turkey
- Baked ham
- Cornbread dressing
- Potato salad
- Garden salad
- Dinner rolls
- 7UP cake (store brought)
Hoping everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving!