Thanksgiving 2012: Planning for the Perfect Holiday Meal

Every week leading up to Thanksgiving Oak Forest Patch will share tips and ideas to help you plan for the perfect holiday.

If the food website Epicurious is to be believed, if you haven’t already started planning for Thanksgiving six weeks before the Nov. 22 feast, you are already behind. (I must be doomed.)

Not to fret, we are here to share some planning tips leading up to Thanksgiving Day to help you pull off the perfect meal for friends and/or family.

Thanksgiving is about the food, but it’s also about the kind of meal you hope to serve. Will it be a casual event or more formal? This is decision No. 1, according to Epicurious.

Once you’ve nailed down the feel for your Thanksgiving meal, you need to create your invite list and send out invitations. You need to know how big that turkey needs to be, right? Local stationary shops have invitations perfect for mailing. Because while e-vites are quick and simple, isn’t it much nicer and official —and let’s be honest, fun—to receive an invite in the mail.

Taking into account the type of meal you hope to create—more casual may include the Campbell’s green bean casserole, versus haricote verts or brussel sprouts. Decide how much time you wish to spend in the kitchen, what you can make yourself and what you will purchase pre-prepared. Stores like Whole Foods, Jewel and Dominick’s will sell you the entire meal. Online stores, such as Williams-Sonoma have turkeys you may order—at a price.

Or, make it easy on yourself and stop in at your local Jewel-Osco or Food 4 Less to order your turkey in advance. There's no deadline to order in advance at Jewel-Osco.  

Once you know what you want to cook, have the turkey ordered, the invitations sent and RSVP’s received, then you can start making your cooking plan for what will get done at what time, Epicurious says.

Have tips of your own on how to tackle the Thanksgiving meal? Or, have a special recipe you’d like to suggest? Share them in comments.

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