Your Ultimate Guide to Hosting Thanksgiving by Susie Sproule (Our Mom!)

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This week we sat down with our mom, Susie Sproule, to get the inside scoop on what it takes to host Thanksgiving, and we are so excited to share with you! Typically, she hosts about 40 people and she makes it look absolutely effortless. We sat down with her to learn how exactly she plans not only the day, but the week leading up to Thanksgiving. She doesn’t gatekeep anything either! She shares everything from her grocery list to the exact time the turkey goes in the oven, and even our top-secret family gravy recipe! Don’t forget to right click (or tap and hold) to save any images for easy reference! We hope you enjoy this post as much as we did sitting down with her.

Thanksgiving Menu

  • Turkey

  • Ham

  • Dressing

  • Mashed Potatoes

  • Gravy

  • Sweet Potatoes

  • Lefse

  • Olive + Pickle Tray

  • Cranberries 

  • Creamed Corn

  • Coffee + Hot Apple Cider

  • Pumpkin + Pecan Pie

  • Widmans Chocolates

  • Ice Cream Dessert


Susie has guests bring things like squash, Special K Bars, and a ham glaze.

Susie's Week of Calendar

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Susie's Shopping list

3 Days before Thanksgiving

  • This is the grocery shopping day 

  • Organize all groceries at home by recipe. The more organized the easier!

  • Get all your cookware needed out

  • Set up Coffee and Apple Cider Bar

2 days before Thanksgiving

  • 9AM Prepare the Brine

    • combination of apple cider, water, fresh rosemary leaves, garlic cloves, kosher salt, sugar, pepper corns, bay leaves, 3 orange slices w/ peel

  • Fully submerge turkey + set outside

  • Clean house and bathrooms

  • Get out linens + set tables



1 Day before Thanksgiving

  • 8 AM remove turkeys from brine + start cooking (add olive oil and butter under the skin, salt+pepper)

  • Cook 2 Turkeys @400 degrees for 4 hrs

  • Prepare dressing (stuffing) in a big pan.

    • The dressing is made up of 5 bags of Sage+ Onion Cubed Stuffing, 3 yellow onions, diced, 2 celery heads diced

    • Sautee together with 5 sticks of butter

    • add one box of chicken broth

    • put bread crumbs in large rectangle baking dish

    • add one pint of whipping cream over bread crumbs, spread evenly

    • Add sauteed mixture, stir really 

    • Salt + Pepper to taste

    • Cover with foil and put in fridge to cook tomorrow. 

  • Peel potatoes while turkey cooks.

    • Boil, then mash with butter + whole milk. Put in big pan.

    • Top with cubes of butter and cream

    • Put in fridge for tomorrow.

  • Take out turkey and let them set for 30 min. Carve turkey. Separate dark + light meat into one big pan & refrigerate.

  • Make bone broth

    • Take separated turkey bones and add to big pot with the leftover potato starch water

    • add 1 chicken broth box

    • Boil low for 4 hours

    • Add 3 large carrots, celery, onion

    • Set outside for gravy tomorrow.

  • Make squash (x3) put in fridge

  • Brine Dad’s turkey (to be de fried tomorrow)

  • Do all dishes!

Thanksgiving Day

Susie's Gravy

Here is an inside look at our family chat on Thanksgiving morning. The gravy is no joke in this household. It's all hands on deck!  

After the meal is enjoyed and the kitchen is tidied up, we like to bundle up for a walk around our neighborhood.

Now that everyone has enjoyed a lovely walk, its time for round two! This is when we will take out the buns, leftover meats, potato chips, and set up our sandwich assembly line. We will then round out the evening enjoying some dessert, football,  and a round or two of our family favorite game, Left, Center, Right

Q&A with Susie

What Advice would you give someone who is hosting Thanksgiving for the first time?

“Have a place for everyone to sit. Whether you need a smaller kids table, card tables, whatever it may be. Have a seat for everyone to enjoy their meal. This will allow you to relax from unnecessary messes or spills, and will allow you as the host to also get a moment to relax and enjoy their company at the table." 

*A kids table, card table, or folding chairs are another great thing to delegate to a family member to drop off earlier in that week.

What is the Sproule Thanksgiving dress code?

“We don't necessarily have a dress code, but we do all end up dressing up. My girls have gifted me with some adorable aprons, so I will wear that while I'm in the kitchen. After the big meal around 1PM, we all change into comfier clothes for our walk and evening game night.”


What do you do with all of your Thanksgiving leftovers?

“I buy disposable to-go containers and load them up for every family to take with them at the end of the evening. Nothing is wasted.”

Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours!

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1 comment

Surprised to find all the preparations listed in detail. Wow. What helpful lists and ideas for the serious entertainers.

Ingrid Helton

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