The Lexingtonienne



Nothing makes me laugh more uproariously (or maniacally?) than when someone comes into my kitchen on Thanksgiving Day and says, “You must have been cooking all day!” All day? Hahaha! Try all week.

Below is my Thanksgiving schedule. The festivities commence this week. (I know, can you believe Thanksgiving is next week already?) For those of you who are endeavoring to host the feast for the first time this year, I thought you might want to take a peek at the system that works well (for me, at least) year after year.

And for those of you who are planning to be someone’s Thanksgiving guests this year, I have some tips coming your way soon as well. 😉

Pumpkin bread appetizer with cinnamon cream cheese
Turkey (Hubba Bubba handles this – hooray!)
Cornbread dressing
Mashed potatoes
Sweet potato casserole
Southern-style green beans
Cranberry Jell-O salad*
Creamed corn
Broccoli casserole
Homemade rolls
Chocolate chip pecan pie

*It sounds like a joke, but this is a favorite in my family because it is WAY better than cranberry sauce! I’ll show you how to do it next week.

FRIDAY (as in, this Friday)

  • Make and freeze pumpkin bread.
  • Press tablecloth and napkins.
  • Make Thanksgiving playlists on the iPod. (I usually do one playlist for cooking and hanging out, and a second, instrumental playlist for during dinner.)
  • List out menu and choreograph which items go on the stove, which go in the oven, and which go elsewhere. You may need to get strategic so that you have enough burners and enough room in the oven. It is better to think about this now than to run into problems on Thanksgiving Day.


  • Take inventory of pots, pans, and serving dishes. Make list to buy disposable pans as needed to supplement.
  • Make grocery list.
  • Check stock of supplies such as foil, paper towels, and toilet paper… stuff you don’t want to run out of on Thanksgiving Day! 🙂


  • Make rolls and freeze.


  • Clean off kitchen counter to maximize space.
  • Clean out fridge and freezer.
  • Go grocery shopping.
  • Make cornbread for stuffing.


  • Make sweet potato casserole. (Store in fridge.)
  • Make cranberry Jell-O salad. (Store in fridge.)
  • Prep green beans. (Dice onion and ham, wash and prep green beans so that everything is ready to throw into the pot.)
  • Set out pots, pans, casserole dishes, and serving dishes that will be needed for Thanksgiving Day. Put post-it notes on each to assign. (ex: a tray for pumpkin bread, a dish for broccoli casserole, etc.)


  • Make creamed corn. (Store in fridge.)
  • Make pecan chocolate chip pie.
  • Prep broccoli casserole. (Slice cheese, crumble crackers.)
  • Prep veggies & herbs for cornbread stuffing. (Dice veggies, chop herbs, store in Ziploc bag.)
  • Make cinnamon cream cheese for pumpkin bread.
  • Set the table.


  • Thaw pumpkin bread. (Early in the day.)
  • Remove rolls from freezer, allow to rise, and bake. (Again, early in the day.)
  • Set green beans to simmer.
  • Assemble and bake broccoli casserole.
  • Make mashed potatoes. (This is the only dish, except gravy, for which I do everything the day of.)
  • Assemble and bake cornbread stuffing.
  • Reheat creamed corn. (I reheat mine in the crock pot to free up a burner on the stove.)
  • Bake sweet potato casserole.
  • Make gravy (This is the only thing that HAS to be last minute.)
  • Enjoy the day and have fun!

By now you have probably diagnosed me as having OCD, and perhaps you would not be wrong. But by the time Thanksgiving Day arrives, I feel prepared and cool as a cucumber… and that makes it such a fun day. For me, every little bit that gets done in advance makes a big difference!




  • Comment by Julie — November 17, 2010 @ 3:40 pm

    THANKS!! I’m glad you did this, and that I could print it out and at least THINK about being organized this year!!! Julie in Louisiana

  • Comment by Rachel — November 17, 2010 @ 6:43 pm

    I’m with you I’ve been working on menu planning for 2 weeks and now it is down to the ‘shopping’ phase. Thanks for the reminder about serving dishes. I need to get mine packed up as I am cooking the entire meal @ my home and serving it at my aunt’s. Like Thanksgiving prep isn’t difficult enough! I’ll definitely be adding making a playlist to the plan next year.

  • Comment by Maggie — November 17, 2010 @ 6:44 pm

    WOW…..I’m tired just reading you schedule !! We’re having 17 people for Thanksgiving….I guess I should start thinking about it !!! But. the most important thing is that we have so much to be thankful for…especially family members like you !!

  • Comment by alana — November 18, 2010 @ 5:04 am


    Thank you so much for this post! Every day I look forward to learning something new from you and can’t thank you enough for how much you have taught me about cooking! I’m helping my mother-in-law cook this year and I don’t know what I would do without your helping me prepare with being organized and having great recipes!

    Hope you and your family have a very Happy Thanksgiving!!!

    Thank you again!!!

  • Comment by lori — November 18, 2010 @ 5:35 am

    Very helpful!! When I was told this was up, I hesitated to look, I am already in a panic, but think I can handle it now. Thanks Hannah!!!

  • Pingback by Easy Weeknight Dinner: Hot Roast Beef Sandwiches - The Lexingtonienne — November 18, 2010 @ 12:27 pm

    […] sense to me. But as you know, I start my Thanksgiving preparations a week in […]

  • Comment by laser vision — November 18, 2010 @ 7:15 pm


  • Comment by Katie Rickard — November 19, 2010 @ 11:38 am

    I can’t wait to see your Thanksgiving schedule next year with little E.B.D in tow. It’ll be all “unwrap the Pillsbury crescents, open the can of Cranberry sauce, and pick up pumpkin pie from Costco.” Looooove you.

  • Pingback by The Good Guest on Thanksgiving - The Lexingtonienne — November 19, 2010 @ 1:55 pm

    […] this week we talked about my annual test of organization and preparedness — the Thanksgiving week schedule. But if you are not hosting the meal this year, you still play a crucial role in accomplishing the […]

  • Pingback by Thanksgiving Dinner Playlist - The Lexingtonienne — November 19, 2010 @ 2:04 pm

    […] to me as “Type A” — requested a peek at the Thanksgiving playlist I mentioned in this earlier blog post. When selecting music for a dinner playlist, I like to stick with a loose theme. This year […]

  • Pingback by Fall, and a Thanksgiving Playlist - The Lexingtonienne — November 19, 2013 @ 3:54 pm

    […] Hubba Bubba and I are hosting a small family celebration this year, and I’ll be using my own Thanksgiving Schedule to get organized. I don’t have any *new* Turkey Day recipes to share this year, but if […]

  • Pingback by You Need This Thanksgiving Schedule - The Lexingtonienne — November 16, 2016 @ 9:58 pm

    […] What’s up, turkeys?! I owe you a real update, my friends, but for now I’m popping in just in time for Thanksgiving to re-publish my tried-and-true Thanksgiving schedule. […]

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.