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What You Should Do Now to Prepare for Thanksgiving (If You’re Anxious)

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Photo: Claire Lower (Shutterstock)

They say fortune favors the bold, but I think it favors the anxious (like me), particularly when it comes to event planning. And what is Thanksgiving but an event? The “very detail oriented” among us tend to plan things “too far” in advance, but that extra bit of preparation usually pays off in the end.

If what I’m saying has you nodding along, I have some suggestions for actions you can take now—in the middle of October—to ensure your Thanksgiving is as fabulous as you want it to be.

Now is the time to test out recipes

This is a fairly obvious one, but the morning of turkey day (or even the day before) is not the time to try out a new pie recipe, put a “spin” on your classic rolls, or change up the stuffing. Experiment with all of that now. You’ll walk into the big day with extra confidence, and you’ll get to eat pie today, under the guise of research. You can also make a few extra pie crusts and toss them in the freezer, because you can never have too many pie crusts, especially if you are like me and have a penchant for fucking up pie crusts. (I just don’t respect them!)

Ferment something

Fermentation takes a while, but we have six (6) whole weeks until turkey time, which gives you plenty of time to make some fermented cranberry honey, fermented garlic honey, or some shio koji to smear on a holiday roast or vegetables (for a funky palate cleanser). You could also use this time to make a seasonally inspired kombucha—perhaps cranberry or apple or pumpkin. (Is pumpkin spice kombucha a thing? I bet it is.)

Get thee to the thrift store for servingware

Quick, before anyone else thinks of it, get to your local Goodwill or Goodwill-like establishment and raid the shelves for serving platters, serving utensils, gravy boats, cheap wine glasses, casserole dishes, big ol’ stock pots, tablecloths, and coffee mugs (for serving coffee with pie). I have found a lot of beautiful pieces at Goodwill for very few dollars, so at least check your local thrift store before paying full retail.

You should also dip into the restaurant supply store for knives, cutting boards, knife sharpeners and honing rods, baking equipment, and takeout containers (for leftovers), but that’s less likely to be picked over.

Stock up on popular nonperishables

I’m not one to pay attention to “the supply chain,” but it seems unstable at best. If you know you’re going to need canned pumpkin, or Jiffy baking mix, or frozen pastry, or French’s fried onions, or any other nonperishable Thanksgiving staple, go ahead and grab them during your usual shop and stash them away. It will help spread out the cost of The Big Meal, and you won’t have to worry about that pesky supply chain sabotaging your menu at the last minute.

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