Food & Drink

Thanksgiving Day Punch List

Excerpted from What’s a Hostess to Do? by Susan Spungen (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2013. Photographs by Susan Spungen.
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You’ve been up to your elbows in flour for what seems like weeks. The kids set the table three days ago. The stuffing and sauces are all standing by, and all through the house wafts the heavenly scent of pie.


If all goes well, all you’ll need to do tomorrow is roast that bird and boil up those potatoes. To ensure a day that’s (relatively) free of hectic runs to the convenience store, check out this shopping list of frequently overlooked T-Day necessities. Pro Tip: You’ll want to stock up on these before the doorbell starts to ring.

1. Crunchies and munchies. Given the T-Day bingeing that lies ahead, there’s no sense in getting ambitious with your appetizers. But many of us show up starving (having virtuously skipped breakfast and lunch), and with the turkey an hour or so away you’re going to need something to keep the guests from perishing. Keep it simple—nuts, olives, crudités, and dip should do the trick.

2. Nonalcoholic drinks. Uncle Saul is bringing the wine and you’ve already stocked up on beer. Grab some cider or other juices for the kids, along with some sparkling water for the table.

3. Paper towels. There will be spills. There may be blood.

4. Ice. When the drinks are flowing, the ice always runs out faster than you think it will.

5. Toilet paper. You’re welcome.

6. Coffee and tea. For the post-bird coma.

7. Sugar and milk. For the coffee and tea.

8. Eggs. For the morning after.

9. An extra pair or two of dishwashing gloves. Guests always offer to help with the dishes. Let them. (Don’t forget the dishwashing soap.)

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