Here's the order to cook your Thanksgiving dinner! (Start with alcohol.)

I'm going to give you the absolute, definitive order to cook your Thanksgiving dinner for the most success and least stress. There may be a few unconventional choices here, but stick with me and you'll see that your turkey day goes a lot smoother than years previous!


One note: This is the order that you should cook your items on Thanksgiving Day - the big show! More extensive prep work (such as thawing the turkey) has been assumed.


1. Drinks

Other lists leave drinks last. Let me get right on it. Your number one priority for Thanksgiving day should be having cocktails available. For your guests, yes - after all, other sins are forgiven when you get this first step covered. But don't forget - we put the air mask on ourselves first, before we can rescue others. Need some ideas? Here's a few links: Pumpkin Pie Martini, Apple and Gin Autumn Cocktail and Thanksgiving Cider.


2. Desserts

Honestly? I think desserts should be delegated, either to other family members or to the professional at your local grocery store. Sometimes creating more space for yourself means releasing. Consider releasing the task of desserts to others. Either way, have dessert cooked a couple days ahead, then re-heat the last 20 minutes of dinner.


3. Turkey

Here we go, the main course. Your huge piece of poultry will require the most time in the oven out of all the other dishes. Luckily, once you get it in there, you've got 4-5 hours of free time. To do all the other work.


4. Stuffing

Not a personal favorite of mine. I always pass. But if you're intent on cluttering your turkey, you should get started on this dish soon after you've begun to brown the bird.


5. Casseroles

Green bean, sweet potato - your side dishes should get your front and center attention about an hour to 1 1/2 hours before the turkey's ETA.


6. Macaroni and Cheese

I was aghast - absolutely aghast - to find that this essential dish had been left off other lists. For my list, I considered bunching it in with casseroles, but I truly believe that macaroni and cheese deserves a spotlight of its own. Start on it when you have the casseroles out of the way. Looking for the best recipe? Look no further.


7. Cranberry Sauce

The cherry on top, only a little more tart. When you can see the finish line in the distance, when Uncle Pete has taken off his socks, when the kids are wearing your last nerve and you've locked them outside, start this dish.


That's it! This is the absolute perfect order to cook your Thanksgiving dinner, and cherish every minute of it. Get that first step down, and you're off to the races.

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©2019 by Amber Shockley.