TURKEY TALK: Thanksgiving prep, community dinners, and recipe inspiration! (videos & more)

It’s easy to get overwhelmed heading into the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

While we all try to focus on the time spent with friends and family – getting everything organized and ‘ready’ can make the holiday stressful.

For hosts there’s the cooking, cleaning, and decorating you needed. However, experts point out that a good plan of action can save those individuals a lot of stress.

Even those who aren’t hosting can benefit from some of Thanksgiving tips and tricks.

1 – Start Early

Don’t wait until Thanksgiving Day to start getting things in order. Begin on Tuesday – getting all of the essentials checked off the list. Whether it’s cleaning, organizing, or hitting the store – do it early – rather than waiting until Wednesday or Thursday.

2 – Delegation is Key

An easy way to minimize your stress and keep your Thanksgiving as manageable as possible is to accept help from family and friends. If your guests offer to bring something for the meal, don’t be shy about accepting. It allows you to cross items off your to-do list without doing any work at all.

3 – Light Menu Items

Remember we mentioned preparing ahead of time – as possible? Condiments may not be as important as the main course, but no Thanksgiving meal is complete without delicious gravy or cranberry sauce. Instead of rushing to make them while you’re roasting the turkey, save yourself a headache and prepare these dishes ahead of time.

4 – Freezing IS an Option

What would Thanksgiving dinner be without mashed potatoes? But they’re a pretty time-consuming dish to prepare on the big day. The good news is that potatoes are another great candidate for freezing because the fat in the milk and butter protects the frozen potatoes. Simply prepare your favorite mashed potato recipe with full-fat milk and butter, and freeze them for up to a month ahead of time. For the big day, thaw the potatoes in the fridge overnight. Reheat them on the stove or in a handy slow cooker.

5 – ‘Make-Ahead’ Dishes

Instead of preparing your vegetable sides on Thanksgiving Day, choose some creative veggie casseroles that you can make up to three days in advance and keep in the fridge until it’s time to bake them. Classic green bean casserole is always a hit on Thanksgiving and is a perfect make-ahead option. For the best tasting casserole, leave off toppings like fried onions or cheese until just before you put the dish in the oven.

6 – Chop, Dice, & Set the Table

Save yourself some trouble by chopping and dicing onions, celery, herbs, and other garnishes the Wednesday before the holiday so you don’t need to rush on the big day. Also, don’t be shy about putting out all of the place settings, glasses, and silverware the day before, so your table is ready as soon as you’re finished cooking the meal.

Local Events & Happenings on Thanksgiving

– Thanksgiving Day Buffet at Veraisons Restaurant
– Celebrate Thankgsiving in Aurora
– Burdett Presbyterian Church hosts FREE Thanksgiving Dinner
Salvation Army Community Dinner – Free – (Auburn)

Seneca Falls Elks Lodge hosts Thanksgiving Dinner
Canandaigua Elks Lodge hosts Thanksgiving Dinner
– Canandaigua Turkey Trot
Supper Special – Auburn VFW – 5 to 7 p.m.
Varna Community Dinner – Free (Ithaca)

More events are always available at the FingerLakes1.com Community Calendar.

Stories, tips, and tricks for Thanksgiving

Quick food safety tips for Thanksgiving Dinner
Tips for making a great Thanksgiving Dinner
– The Grub Street Guide to Faking a Perfect ‘Homemade’ Thanksgiving
– 6 time-saving Thanksgiving cooking tips
– 9 Hosting Hacks for a Worry-Free Thanksgiving Dinner
– Thanksgiving prep that will save you time, money, and stress
– Why the Tuesday Before Thanksgiving is the Most Crucial Cooking Day

Adding mead spices up cranberry sauce
How to safely fry a turkey on Thanksgiving
Why to avoid pouring grease down your drain
Over-eating? Quick tips to avoid it holiday season
Budgeting during holiday season to avoid ‘spending blues’
Thanksgiving food and dogs: What not to feed your pet from a holiday table

Staying safe in the kitchen on Thanksgiving


Craving some inspiration? Check out these Thanksgiving recipes!


The Perfect Turkey
How to cook a turkey (video)
All turkey recipes (including leftover ideas!)
Perfect turkey gravy (video)
Stuffing vs. Dressing (the showdown)
– Grandma’s green bean casserole
Yummy sweet potato casserole
Perfect mashed potatoes
Simple butternut squash
Cranberry sweet potato casserole
No fail corn pudding
All must-have side dishes for Thanksgiving


Perfect Pumpkin Pie
Grandma’s Apple Pie
Irresistible Pecan Pie
Easy homemade pie crust
Iron skillet apple pie
Sweet potato pie
Pumpkin pecan cheesecake
Perfect pumpkin roll for Thanksgiving
Holiday cake balls for quick consumption
White chocolate and cranberry cookies
Best sugar cookies
Thanksgiving Desserts for non-bakers


Doing some shopping after Thanksgiving Dinner? Here are some holiday shopping safety tips from local law enforcement!


Also on FingerLakes1.com