Now that you have your Thanksgiving Dinner Menu set, it’s now time to shop! Though this can be a tedious task to many, it’s actually quite simple if you follow how I shop for my Thanksgiving Menu. Here are some easy tips to follow to make sure your shopping expedition goes smoothly and stress free!
You’ll first want to look through your kitchen cabinets, pantry, and fridge to see what items you already have that will last you through Thanksgiving Eve (when you start your prep work for your dinner party).
Tip #1: Make a list of all items that you need, listing each item into it’s category of
E. Meats (or other proteins)
I. Pre-made items (i.e. frozen pie crust – if you are not making one from scratch, any syrups or extracts you might need when baking, sweeten coconut flakes, canola, vegetable, or olive oil, or boxed/bagged stuffing -if you are not making them from scratch, etc.)
J. Kitchen Supplies *Note: This is very important because some recipes you will be using will call for items you might not have. If you don’t have a food processor, a blender works just as well in a pinch. Aluminum baking sheets or pans can also be used for the turkey or any items you are putting into the oven. Pots and pans you will need, but don’t feel as if you should go out and buy them all if you don’t have as many as you need. Ask your guests who are coming early to help out with the cooking to bring a pan or pot. If it’s an informal dinner party, they won’t mind..and it’ll make them feel more at home!
K. Serving Platters and Bowls *Note: If you don’t have enough for all the dishes you are planning on having on your menu, again, you can ask you guests to bring one from their home. Mixing and matching creates a fun table-scape when the dinner is set.
Tip#2: Shop for items that are non perishable or won’t spoil while it sits in your pantry or fridge/freezer (i.e. canned pumpkin, brown sugar, spices, frozen spinach, canned corn, corn meal, vanilla extract, aluminum foil and aluminum baking pans/sheets, etc.) These items are usually always in stock at your local grocery or food store. This is also a good time to go shopping for the wine or other spirits on your list. If you shop for them in advance, you can cross them off your shopping list and leave the fresh items for 3-5 days before Thanksgiving.
Speciality or seasonal items around this time of year are usually well stocked in the stores, but just to be on the safe side, get your bag of fresh cranberries (for the chutney, relish, or sauce) in advance. They keep well in the fridge until you need them for Thanksgiving Day.
Tip #3: If you are ordering any baked items from your favorite bakery instead of baking it yourself, make sure you have placed your order by now. Most catering companies and bakeries in NYC allow orders to be placed up until the beginning of the 3rd week in November. That’s when they place their orders with their vendors for fresh fuits or other items they will be using for their baking needs for their client’s Thanksgiving orders. You can pick up the baked goods you’ve ordered on Thanksgiving Eve.
Tip #4: After shopping for all your items, place them aside where you (or others in your house) will not mix them up with the other items you shop for weekly. Just to be safe, I also always label mine with stickers marked “THANKSGIVING” (a permanent marker works just as well).
Tip #5: If you are using any recipes, print them out and place them in a 1″ binder or folder labeled THANKSGIVING. This will come in very handy when you do your check list 3 days before Thanksgiving.
NOTE: Visit me tomorrow to read more about shopping for your fresh items for your Thanksgiving Dinner Menu and Check List Day!
“Eating is Believing!”