Start Planning Today for a Stress-Free Turkey Day

In case you haven’t looked at the calendar lately, Thanksgiving is just nine days away. In other words, it’s time to panic.

No, check that. It’s time to implement your plan for a stress-free Turkey Day.

And it all begins by choosing your turkey. Now.

Buy a fresh or frozen turkey from your supermarket’s meat department. What size? Plan on about 1 pound per person, or 1½ pounds if you want leftovers.

Tip: A frozen turkey will need to thaw for at least 24 hours for each 4-5 pounds of meat. So if you buy a 20-pound bird, it will take four days to thaw.

Next, you’ll need to gather recipes for the side dishes. If you have family recipes that have been passed down through the generations, this is the time to get them out and dust them off. Certain dishes are likely to be conversation starters and revivers of great memories of holidays past.

After reviewing the directions, make sure you have all the ingredients on hand. Put together a shopping list for your next trip to the market.

And don’t wait to make that trip. Given the supply chain issues we’ve been experiencing this year, don’t assume that the market will have everything you need. Remember, others will be shopping, too.

In addition to the ingredients for your cooking, this also is the time to make sure you have a good supply of wines on hand. Go-to choices for Thanksgiving meals headlined by turkey are Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. If you’d like to offer additional choices, try Riesling and Gewurztraminer.

Meanwhile, open up one of your favorite bottles and sip a glass or two while making and freezing casseroles, rolls and pie dough. The less you have to do next week, the better.

And speaking of next week, we’ll offer a few more suggestions for keeping the stress level low in Thursday’s blog.

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