I don't have a lot of menu planning duties. We have, pretty much, the same traditional meal every year. So my planning comes down to my shopping, negotiating fridge and freezer real estate and tackling my do aheads.
For me, this year, the do aheads will be bread for the stuffing (it has the herbs baked in), pie crusts, soup base, dough for a cheese cracker, gravy, the ice cream base, the layers for a cake and the caramel sauce for the icing. When I get those ready I'm free to concentrate on the stuff that's done on T-Day or the day before. And that's important to me because everything we have for Thanksgiving is made from scratch.
Today I got started on applesauce for the cake batter, squash purée for the soup base and roasted turkey parts for the gravy.
How about you guys? What do you do ahead? What have you begun? When do you start getting serious?