Thanksgiving 2012: Planning for the Perfect Holiday Meal

Every week leading up to Thanksgiving Glen Ellyn 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 shop Papier Girl has 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 local market McChesney & Miller and order your Ho-Ka (Howard Kauffman) turkey. You have eight days left to get that order in, according to the McChesney & Miller website. You can order online as well. 

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.

Share your thanks this holiday

The Glen Ellyn Food Pantry is holding its Thanksgiving Meal Appeal in an effort to provide Thanksgiving meals to more than 600 families this year.

The food pantry is seeking sponsors for its Thanksgiving Meal Boxes. This year, the organization will distribute 660 meal boxes (450 large family; 170 small family), Executive Director Susan Papierski said. That number is 110 more meal boxes than it distributed last year.

A $40 donation provides a family of four with a Thanksgiving Meal Box, purchased from Northern Illinois Food Bank, which includes a turkey and sides dishes. The nonprofit provides a food gift card, which allows families to buy the perishable items they will need to complete their holiday meal.

Learn more about the Pantry's meal appeal. 

Donations can be made online, or mailed to Glen Ellyn Food Pantry, 493 Forest Ave., Glen Ellyn IL 60137.

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