If you're anything like me, you have already started to plan your elaborate Thanksgiving table setting. I begin to prepare the table when I start selecting a menu.
To ensure maximum cook time in the kitchen, set the table as early as you can, preferably days before Thanksgiving. Put everything — tablecloth, placemats, plates, silverware, etc. — in its place on the table. Sort serving platters and decide which one will hold potatoes, vegetables, and cranberries. Write the name of the dish on a post-it and place inside the specified serving platter. As you prepare the food, you will easily find the proper serving dishes.
If using your regular everyday table for the Thanksgiving meal, gather all of the components to the tablescape in one place. Thursday morning delegate a trusted family member or friend to set the table while you cook.