It never fails. You make your list to shop for Thanksgiving. You go to the store. You realize you forgot to put a few things on your list. You make another short run to the store. And then, on Thanksgiving, you realize you forgot one or two other things.

Here’s a list of things that I and some of my Facebook friends seem to find ourselves needing every Thanksgiving. I thought it might help if I put this list out there so others might see it and say, “Oh, ya, I’m going to need that” and add it to their list before it’s too late.

  1. Twine and a heavy needle to sew up the turkey. I’m one of those crazy people who risks stuffing the turkey. Many years, I realize I forgot to buy cooking twine and a heavy needle to sew the stuffing into the turkey. Then there’s a mad dash around the house looking for the heaviest needle in my sewing kit and some sort of string or twine.
  2. Ice. If you’re having a lot of people and a lot of drinks, extra ice is always good to have on hand.
  3. Tin foil (preferably recycled). Even if you don’t use tin foil regularly, it comes in handy to do things like tent the turkey while it’s resting and cover the pies in the fridge.
  4. Containers to send home leftovers. It’s great to save containers throughout the months of October and November to send home leftovers in, but if you didn’t, you’ll need something. Even if you don’t like the idea, think about it. Would you rather purchase a couple of sturdy containers that can be reused over and over or allow food to go bad in your refrigerator because you have too many leftovers for your family to eat?
  5. Corn starch. Corn starch doesn’t clump as easily as flour in gravy. If you don’t keep any in the pantry year-round, you might want it for Thanksgiving.
  6. Poultry seasonings. Yes, you can make your own poultry seasonings, and if you have all the dried herbs and spices necessary, you should. But if you usually use a store-bought poultry seasoning mix, make sure you have enough.
  7. Dish detergent. You don’t want to run out of either dishwasher detergent or dish soap with all those dishes you’ll need to wash at the end of the day, right?
  8. Paper towels – I don’t usually have paper towels for everyday kitchen use, but I always buy a roll of recycled paper towels for Thanksgiving to make it easy for my guests who jump in to help in the kitchen. They don’t have to ask where my rags are; they can just grab a paper towel to help clean up.
  9. A lighter or matches – If you’ve bought special candles for the dining table or the mantle, make sure you have something to light them with.
  10. Toilet paper – You’re going to have extra guests for several hours. It’s one thing you really don’t want to run out of!

Do you have anything to add to this list?

Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

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