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Traditional Thanksgiving Preparation Schedule

Everyday Food, November 2003

This schedule is based on the Traditional Thanksgiving menu. Thanksgiving day will be much easier if you prepare as much as possible one to two days beforehand. Here’s how to make it happen.

1 to 2 Days Ahead

Make Chocolate-Pecan Tart; refrigerate, covered.

1 Day Ahead

Make Quick Cranberry Sauce; cover, and refrigerate. Prepare Cornbread or Apple Stuffing without baking; cover, and refrigerate. Choose side dishes. These can be made ahead: Butternut Squash with Sage, Roasted Brussels Sprouts, and Wild-Rice and Sausage Dressing. Refrigerate, covered.

4 Hours Ahead

Put turkey in oven.

3 Hours Ahead

Start basting turkey. Make dough for Sweet-Potato Biscuits, and place in pan. Cover, and refrigerate.

1 Hour Ahead

Remove turkey from oven. Bake Cornbread or Apple Stuffing (if cold, increase cooking time up to 15 minutes).

45 Minutes Ahead

Make Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes.

40 Minutes Ahead

Make Glazed Pearl Onions.

35 Minutes Ahead

Make Green Beans and Portobello Mushrooms. Make Perfect Gravy. Bake biscuits.

20 to 25 Minutes Ahead

Reheat any sides made ahead in 350-degree oven, covered.

Just Before Serving

Carve turkey. Remove cranberry sauce from refrigerator.

During Dinner

Reheat tart, if desired.