It's time to start planning for your Thanksgiving! Just a few days away! Sit down TODAY with your notebook and start making your plans.
First make a menu. Be sure you have things from all the food groups...meat/protein, vegetable, fruit, dairy and something sweet. Ok, OK, so dessert isn't a food group! But, for Thanksgiving, it should be! Keep in mind any dietary problems that have to be accommodated. If someone has diabetes have some sugar free sweets and drinks for them (you can buy sugar free cookies, chocolates, or make sugar free cakes), if someone has a food allergy try to accommodate, or at least provide them an alternative. If someone is on a diet, provide attractive substitutes to the calorie laden riches.
Delegate dishes to others for help. Maybe your mother would make her banana pudding and your aunt would bring the potato salad. Maybe your children could help in making simple dishes like the crudites and relish trays. Don't be afraid to ask for help.
While you are making a menu go through your coupons to see if you have any that can help save you money.
Once the menu is determined, and the coupons selected, make your shopping list. Remember, Mothers, your children need to learn how to do these things too. So if they are of the age to be able to help in your planning stage, then by all means include them. Let them suggest menu items, go through the coupons, or help in making the list of what each invited guest can bring. Sit around the dining table and let them see the planning stage and participate.
Make a list of things you can do ahead of time. For instance, on Monday, take the turkey out of the freezer and put it in the refrigerator. Tuesday, make the this. Wednesday make the this and that. Anything you can do ahead of time really helps you on Thanksgiving day!
Go shopping and buy only what is on your grocery list. No impulse buying! Stick to your list and you will save money. The minute you buy something that is not on your list, you've blown your coupon savings.
After your planning, you are ready to pull out your silver and sort and polish. Aren't you glad you don't have as much silver as these ladies!?! Modern women don't like silver since you have to polish it to keep it pretty. Too much trouble! But I still like a few pieces of silver (or, in my case, silver plate) to make the table shine. I found out that if you polish regularly then you don't have to work so hard at it. As soon as it gets that little gold sheen to it, polish and it's very easy. Remember, every time you polish silver, you are rubbing silver off. Silver is a soft metal and polishing literally rubs silver off. To keep silver from tarnishing as quickly, remove it from air. Mine stays in the china cabinet and the doors close securely. This has helped keep it from tarnishing as fast. Also, I've read that wrapping your silver in felt silver cloth slows tarnishing. So keeping your silverware in a wooden silverware chest lined with silver cloth, or buying or making silver bags for your silver can really help.
Next, is to wash your Thanksgiving china. Whatever you use for Thanksgiving needs to be washed unless it's your everyday china. I have a thing for china. And I have a set for all the seasons like Spring, Winter, Christmas, Fall, Summer. This is my Fall or Thanksgiving china. My Mom used this china with her Amber Depression glass dishes. It was a great match. I didn't get the Amber Depression glass dishes but I did get this china. Once you've washed it, set it back in the china cabinet to keep it dust free for the week. Or set your table and cover with a sheet.
After washing your china, be sure to wash the crystal you will be using.
Now wash your linens. Iron and fold them. Since you are this far ahead of yourself, do a Google search and try folding your napkins real fancy! Kids might like to help with this too. Make it a 10 minute project where all of you take a couple of napkins and learn to fold them into a fancy masterpiece!
Tomorrow we will talk about some more planning tips.