Thanksgiving is supposed to be this fun, family event where you enjoy one another and say thanks, and it is. Often times though, it can become stressful. Don’t let it though!! Have a plan y’all! And if you’re new to cooking a Thanksgiving meal, just call for help! I was on the phone with my mom and grandma numerous times when I cooked my very first Thanksgiving meal, at the age of 17.
First thing you need to do is know your Thanksgiving menu. This will help you determine what can be made ahead of time, etc. Here is what we are having….
- giblet gravy
- Mash Taters
- Creamed Corn
- Green Bean Casserole
- Macaroni & Cheese
- Deviled Eggs
- Ribs or Brisket (we are undecided)
- Pumpkin Pie
- Pecan Pie
- My grandma’s banana pudding :)
We keep the menu pretty simple every year. Now that you know your menu, you can decide what to make ahead of time. I’ll be making ALL the desserts two days before Thanksgiving. The day before Thanksgiving, I’ll be preparing & refrigerating the green bean casserole. I’ll also boil & peel all the eggs for the dressing, gravy, and deviled eggs. Finally, I’ll make the cornbread the day before also. That will help ease Thanksgiving day so that I can enjoy more time with my family vs nonstop cooking. I’ll admit though, I miss those days when I was a little girl, traveling to Stanton with my grandma. All the family over there would prepare and cook on the day of and it was such a joyous, family experience. I have some great memories watching them cook and eating celery sticks dipped in ranch dressing. If I could replicate it, I would, but it’s really only me cooking for all the men so I just assume get as much done as I can so I can watch some football and hang with my kids.
Another important meal prep tip, is to have plenty of the foil pans and paper goods, especially if you’re like me and don’t want to wash a lot of pans and dishes! I absolutely don’t mind using real plates and washing them, however, this year I’ll be using good quality paper plates and solo cups. We aren’t fancy people and the plate is the last thing my guys are gonna care about so if it helps make cleanup easier on me, then I’m gonna go with it. I already bought all this stuff at Walmart and because the foil pans were on sale elsewhere, I was able to price match, and didn’t even have to take my ad in. Gosh I love that. It kept me from going all over town, you know? Anyways, don’t forget to have plenty of trash bags and to-go containers too! You want to be able to send leftovers home with folks and keep trash from overflowing.
What meal prep tips do you have to share? I’d love to learn something new or see if we share the same ideas!
Disclosure: I am an official Walmart Mom. Walmart has provided me with compensation and gift card in return for my time & efforts to create this post. Opinions are my own, always.