AT LEAST TWO WEEKS BEFORE (that's now!)
__ Finalize guest list, finalize menu.
__ Start eating down your fridge and freezer- gotta make some room!
__ Pre-make anything that can be frozen-- pie crusts, soups, stock and casseroles.
THE WEEK BEFORE:
__ Make your Oven Schedule for the day of (10-2: Turkey, 2-3: casseroles & biscuits...)
__ Make "prep lists" for each recipe.
__ Make One Master Shopping List (buy all non-perishables as early as you can.)
__ Make menus (or dish cards for buffet) and name cards.
__ Give the fridge a good cleaning and figure out where you're brining the turkey.
__ Make a list of who is helping you and what they're doing ("Tim is on drinks, Stacy is helping prep veggies, Mom & Dad are watching the kids while we cook.")
__ Clean House & bathrooms.
__ Do Laundry (including linens for table & napkins).
__ Take inventory of table settings, serving ware and utensils; clean or polish as needed.
__ Take inventory of kitchen tools: sharpen knives, locate baster and thermometer.
__ Finalize your "centerpiece" ideas if you're making one.
__ Check in again with everyone who said they were bringing something.
__ Go shopping for alcohol/drinks for guests (don't forget ice.)
__ Buy any extra serving ware you need, candles or decorations, and take home containers.
__ Use your Master Shopping List to buy any extra perishables you need.
__ Make a playlist or pick some music.
__ Prep all vegetables and put in labeled bags or containers (i.e. place cauliflower florets in "SOUP" bag).
__ Make brine for turkey, and drop it in and chill it as soon as you get it.
__ Cook as much as you can. Most dishes can be prepared up until baking and refrigerated: pie crusts, stuffing ingredients (don't add stock yet), soups, sides, breads, casseroles.
__ Make pumpkin pie purée from sugar pumpkin.
__ Finish the day by setting the table while you enjoy a nice glass of wine to relax after all that cooking.
__ Have a good cup of coffee and a morning walk.
__ Have someone else who is not helping in the kitchen to do a last round of tidying and checking in on the counters and bathrooms.
__ Dry off turkey, allow to come to room temp.
__ Fire turkey, wrap tightly in aluminum foil to rest and make gravy.
__ Fire casseroles and sides.
Enjoy your amazing meal!