Thanksgiving’s exactly 15 days away, and if you’re planning to host a feast at your abode, you’ve probably already figured out the guest list, and maybe even the pre-ordered your turkey based on the size you’ll need. Then there’s the obvious (and arguably the best) part: figuring out what dishes are going to make it onto your 2017 Thanksgiving menu.
Might we make a suggestion? Take a moment to step aside from the obvious planning of the menu and shopping list, and make sure you haven’t overlooked any Thanksgiving Day essentials. Here are a few that we’ve learned from (read: forgotten) in past years, so that you don’t have to.
- Ice. There’s nothing worse than opening the freezer to discover empty ice trays, so make a note to pre-fill and pre-freeze those ice cube trays in advance. If you’re serving a large crowd, add bagged ice to your shopping list; freeze ice blocks for punch several days ahead. Here’s a pro tip: Fill your molds with distilled water for beautiful, clear cubes free of streaks or cloudiness.
- Storage containers. You’ll want storage containers to store the ingredients you’ve prepped in advance of the big day, as well as to house whatever remains of the meal. Hosts should stock up on disposable takeout containers to send friends and family home with a taste of the Thanksgiving feast, too.
- Napkins. Whether you plan to use beautiful linens or embossed paper ones, don’t forget napkins—this is one evening when paper towels simply won’t cut it.
- Painter’s tape. It may sound random, but this stuff comes in ridiculously handy. One of our editors likes to use it to tape printed recipes to her kitchen wall! Another turns to it for labeling everything from marinades and vinaigrettes to reheating instructions on leftovers. Don’t forget a good permanent marker, either.
- Cook’s tools that you use only once a year. Chances are that you use your turkey baster, carving board and knife, fat separator, gravy boat and kitchen twine but once a year, so double-check that they’re in good working order. The same goes for your meat thermometer—you may not use it all that often, but you’re going to depend on it when you pull that bird out of the oven.
While most of this can be picked up at your local grocer, here are a few of our top Williams Sonoma picks for the essentials listed above:
- Storage containers: Zyliss 6-Piece Glass Food Storage Set
- Turkey baster: Glass Bulb Baster
- Carving board: Williams Sonoma Ultimate Carving Board
- Carving set: Wüsthof Classic Carving Set
- Fat separator: Cuisipro 4-Cup Fat Separator
- Gravy boat: Porcelain Gravy Boat with Warming Base
- Kitchen Twine: Cotton Cooking Twine
- Meat Thermometer: Williams Sonoma Dual Probe Roasting Thermometer
Line these ducks turkeys in a row before November 23 (and be sure to download our Thanksgiving checklist while you’re at it). Trust us: You’ll feel that much more confident going into dinner.