Prepping Your Thanksgiving Feast Pt. 1

Autumn table setting


Today I hit the stores to grocery shop for my Thanksgiving photo shoot. I realized about half way through that getting ready for a photo shoot of Thanksgiving foods is exactly like getting ready for Thanksgiving itself. And, just as preplanning and preparation are key to a successful food photo shoot, they are also your secret to having a low stress Thanksgiving.

When I get ready for a photo shoot, I start my pre-planning with the same basic steps:

1. Gather Recipes.

I choose and print out from my computer and put them in a folder. If it is a recipe in my head I just make some quick notes on what ingredients I need and the quantity. This should be done two weeks (or more) ahead.

2. Make a grocery list.

Include all recipe ingredients and garnishes. Include drinks  as well and any “as is” foods like bread. Make sure to include quantities of each ingredient. Paper clip this list to the top of the folder. Highlight any food items that can be bought ahead. You can also keep any other important information in your folder like flower or centerpiece orders, important phone numbers or your guest list.

3. Shop.

Shop for the highlighted non perishable food items or items that have a long shelf life. Take your entire folder to the store with you in case you need clarification on an ingredient on your list. Keep the list visible on the outside of the folder. This can be done about a week in advance. If you can, keep your ingredients separate from your regular household food. This will save a lot of time finding ingredients once you are ready to cook.

4. Choose serving dishes and utensils.

Pick wisely for each recipe you are making. Don’t forget dishes for appetizers, a basket for bread, your butter dish, coffee creamer and sugar bowl, and salt and pepper shakers. Get everything out. I like to place sticky notes on each dish with which recipe is going in it. I also place the correct serving utensil with each dish. Lay them out, see how they look together with the chosen table cloth and napkins. You won’t have time to do this on the big day. This also helps you on the day of the event if others are assisting you who are not familiar with your plan. Also, make sure all your plates, napkins and candlesticks are clean and ready to go. This can be done anytime after choosing your recipes.


What  is your pre-Thanksgiving feast routine?  Comment below!