Yesterday, I successfully pulled off our pre-Thanksgiving. The plan was to eat dinner when Garrett got home from work (after 11:30pm ha).
Leading up to the actual day, I felt like I had everything under complete control. Recipes were picked out. I got everything I needed from the grocery store. And I had even spent time mapping out my timeline for cooking everything.
I got started mid-afternoon and basically didn’t sit down until we actually ate dinner. I definitely grew up “helping” my mom with Thanksgiving but looking back it was mostly whipping up a dessert, setting the table, or helping with a side dish. Basically, something super easy. Thanksgiving dinners are so much work. I knew it would be a long day, but I definitely was overly ambitious about the whole thing.
Miraculously everything turned out great. 

(Only one last minute trip to the grocery store and about four calls plus 16 text messages to my mom. Not too bad.)
I felt pretty relaxed about the whole process until I had to pull the neck out of the turkey. Then I started to doubt myself completely and felt like I should just throw in the towel. But I kept going, dressed the bird, stuck the thing in the oven, and crossed my fingers. 
The hardest part of the preparation was the timing of everything, figuring out what could be done ahead of time, what had to wait for something to get off the stove, what would stay hot with tin foil, what needed to go straight to the table.
Let’s just say, this year I will be extra thankful for my mom and dad who handle Thanksgiving like pros. 
Highly recommend this roasted turkey recipe and this mashed potatoes recipe (it’s unreal).


PS I made my mom’s zucchini bread too. I’ve officially crossed off Maine, the turkey, bread, and the addresses for holiday cards from my November bucket list. Still a ways to go!

PPS It took just as long to do the dishes as it did to cook everything, ha!

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Olivia Stieren

Very impressive!! I have yet to cook more than two dishes for Thanksgiving. I'm also terrified of cooking a turkey. Our place is truly too small to host our whole family, so we will be going to my sister-in-law's house again and I'll be bringing my homemade sweet potato casserole and baked mac and cheese!