When I hosted...I never woke up early because I didn't serve Thanksgiving dinner until a "normal" dinner time...5:00pm.
i would do all the baking on Tuesday. Assemble all casseroles and as many side dishes as possible on Wednesday. I had a separate roaster for the turkey...so they would be cooking in the garage on Thursday leaving my oven and stove top free to cook all the sides and make the mashed potatoes and gravy from scratch that day. It was really easy.
oh...and on Thanksgiving morning I would make Belgian Waffles for DH and the kids. After that was cleaned up I would start my cooking for the holiday.
It's been a while since I've hosted a gathering but in our family everyone brings something to the dinner so I didn't need to be up early prepping/cooking. I've never had to do the turkey~ my mom or cousin always cooked it.
I was up until 2 the night before cooking and up again at 7am doing other kinds of prep. My dh smoked 1 of the Turkeys this year and he was up at 330am.
I pre-made dessert then got up at 6:30 and started cooking around 7.
I started making little things like graham crackers and ginger snaps for crumbs for the crust of my cheesecakes and other prep ingredients last week. I made my rolls on Monday and froze them...I made most of the dinner on Wed and the remaining stuff Thursday am....I got up at 6 ish, but that is because it is my norm, there was no rush at all. I didnt even have to get the turkey in until 11.
I am all about make ahead recipes.
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