Yes, It's Time to Think About Next Thanksgiving

Don't forget to make notes so you're even better prepared for next Thanksgiving. (Photo by Thinkstock)

Don't forget to make notes so you're even better prepared for next Thanksgiving. (Photo by Thinkstock)

Congratulations! You have hosted a glorious and delicious Thanksgiving meal. (Or, hey, maybe you just barely survived — that deserves props too.) And hopefully, the dishes are almost done. If you are like us, it takes a few days to get caught up on all the dishes and cleaning and leftovers.

But you're not quite "done" with Thanksgiving.


If you hosted or cooked anything at all for Thanksgiving, there is one additional task that I'd like to recommend from one home cook to another.

It's easy to think we will always remember what we did, but I have found that with holidays and big meals, I often forget what I made, how much I made, what people ate, what I liked, etc.

So, this year I'm taking some time to make notes. I have a spreadsheet where I've been keeping track of the menu for the past couple of years. But it's incomplete. And things change from year to year. For example, we had a different number of people. My son's food allergies have changed, so my recipe tweaks were different. I made different dishes. My son's ability to help changes. 

Using my spreadsheet document and my Evernote file for Thanksgiving, I want to make sure I take notes about the holiday. I'll note things like: 

  • What recipes I actually ended up making (with links!)
  • Cooking times and temps if I didn't follow recipes
  • How much I made
  • How much was left over

I will also include notes to myself about things I'd like to tweak next year … For example, this family does not like stuffing enough to warrant two different kinds. So, next year I will make just one and probably add a little more chicken stock. 

In my day job, I'm a fan of reviewing the process for a project and making notes for next time, so why not apply this approach at home?

I hope you and yours had a wonderful Thanksgiving full of good food, good cheer and good wine. And I hope you'll make things easier on yourself next year by documenting what you did this year.