Preparing the meal ahead of time

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Master Chef
Oct 17, 2004
Southern Illiniois
I'm wondering if any of you have started cooking for Thanksgiving yet?

Since I can't spend all day in the kitchen anymore, this evening I will be making my oyster dressing. My recipe calls for letting it stand in the fridge overnight, so I will bake it and put it in the freezer tomorrow.

Tomorrow evening, I'll fix the mashed potatoes and the streusel topping and filling for the pear crumb pie.

Wednesday, I'll help Kim get the turkey "shot up" and seasoned, and get the dressing out to thaw in the fridge.

Thursday, I'll throw the pie together (using refrigerated pie dough), bake the dressing, heat up the mashed potatoes and jarred gravy and Pillsbury frozen dinner rolls.

My daughter is bringing the green bean casserole and pumpkin pie, so I won't have to deal with that.

Every year I have this dilemma as to whether I should freeze the dressing, since it's only for a couple of days, but since it has oysters in it, and we want to enjoy the leftovers, I always do.


Chef Extraordinaire
Nov 4, 2004
I'll make the pies a head of time but the rest will be done on Thursday. I like the smells that all the foods make while baking together. Plus since I have two ovens.... It's easier to get things cooked all at once.

Andy M.

Certified Pretend Chef
Sep 1, 2004
I'll be making most of the sides and the pies ahead of time and prepping the turkey and brining it. On Thursday, I'll roast the turkey, finish the stuffing and make the potatoes and gravy.


Executive Chef
Aug 31, 2004
Raton,NM, USA
:) I make a few things ahead I already made the apple onion stuffing and since I make a lot I freeze in separate ziplocs for later. Tomorrow I will make a chestnut stuffing and freeze for a couple of more meals as well and I will make my cranberry sauce. Wednesday I will make a pumpkin pie, Thursday I will make turkey,gravy the sweet potatoes and heat up stuffings and make salad I'm skipping green beans this year since the salad is so good. I bought those soft parbaked rolls today, I know I can make great rolls but as I said before it's a childhood thing and I must have them. Pretty simple but again it's just DH and me and I love all the things I'm making. Don't want to waste good stomach space on potatoes etc that I have anyway all year long.:):);)


Executive Chef
Jul 10, 2006
northern NJ
You don't have to freeze it, Constance. Put it in the coldest spot of the refrigerator.

Even though I have all this time on my hands, I still do lots of things in advance. It makes for a less stressful day. Plus, this year, Lou and I are going into the city to see the parade for the first time.

Last night I made the lemon creme mold, the sausage stuffing, the apple sauce and the cranberry sauce. Today I'll start the bread doughs, the crust for the pumpkin tart, the filling for the cream puffs and brine the turkey. Wednesday I'll make the puff shells, finish the pumpkin tart, gather the ingredients for the steamed chocolate pudding, make the hard sauce, and over see the production my daughter is doing with her homemade ravioli.

Thursday will be parade first, then the final stages of cooking, whatever my daughter hasn't worked on while we were out.

I cannot say I've ever done it all in one day.
May 25, 2006
We're traveling to my daughter's this year, and my job is to make desserts. I'm taking Dump Cake, Apple Cobbler, and two Pumpkin Pies. Originally, I'd planned to take two Apple Pies as well, but it seemed to be too much, even for 16 people. Does this look like enough? The Dump Cake and Cobbler will be in 13x9 pans..


Senior Cook
Dec 9, 2006
Southern California
I make cranberry relish ahead of time, it tastes better when I do that. Also, did the prep work for gravy - make stock with turkey wings. Have never made the stuffing ahead of time, good idea. Oh, and I make my creamed corn the day before too.

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