‘The Pioneer Woman’: Ree Drummond’s Secrets and Shortcuts For a Perfect Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is one short week away!

It’s time to start working on a battle plan for the big day. The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond, has plenty of tried-and-true advice for you to use to make your Thanksgiving celebration efficient, happy, and sane.

'The Pioneer Woman' Ree Drummond
‘The Pioneer Woman’ Ree Drummond | Monica Schipper/Getty Images for The Pioneer Woman Magazine

Find out what she considers the most important shortcuts and tips for a successful Thanksgiving meal.

Drummond’s shortcut #1: Start your prep work on Monday before Thanksgiving

On Drummond’s Oklahoma ranch, once Thanksgiving Day arrives, aside from cooking, no work is done anywhere in the vicinity.

“Thanksgiving truly is one of the very, very few days a year when there is no work,” Drummond told Parade in 2013. “I mean, zero work. Except, of course, this meal I’m making.”

Building up to Thanksgiving, Drummond cautions fans to take advantage of the last precious days before Thanksgiving to start planning and prepping for the big feast.

She reminds turkey day cooks to start chopping and dicing veggies for all those sides. Chopping now, Drummond notes, saves a world of time later.

Ree Drummond’s shortcut #2: Make your mashed potatoes the day before Thanksgiving

This is a huge time saver for Drummond, as she told Dash magazine in 2013. “I always make the same really creamy mashed potatoes dish. And the best thing about them is you can make them ahead. So I always make them the day before Thanksgiving and then I’m not peeling and boiling and mashing on the day of.”

“Another thing [I love] are my green beans and tomatoes,” Drummond shared. “I love them because they’re really colorful and also because they go with all of the other dishes so well.

Drummond’s shortcut #3: Do your Thanksgiving grocery shopping early in the week

The Pioneer Woman shared that part of planning for her involves making the long trek to her “local” supermarket.

“I do live quite a way aways from a major supermarket, so I really have to do my planning ahead,” she continued in her conversation with Dash. “I do my shopping usually the Sunday or Monday before Thanksgiving, so I can make sure I have everything I need. Because, if I’m in the middle of cooking something and I find I’m missing an ingredient, I’m out of luck.”

The mother of four recalled what she loved most about her own Thanksgivings as a child.

“When I was younger and I would help my mom out with the Thanksgiving meal, all I could think about was, first of all, eating. And secondly, going Christmas shopping the next day.”

Drummond’s secret to the best Thanksgiving celebrations

“Through the years, I really do take the concept of Thanksgiving seriously,” she opened up to Dash. “Even though there’s a lot to do with meal preparation, I try to keep it in my mind the ways that we are blessed.”

“We have freedom, we have health. And to realize and acknowledge that there are a lot of people who don’t have those things. I try to keep my mind in the game on Thanksgiving Day, and not have it be just about the food.”

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