Thanksgiving Prep: Taking The Pressure Off With Online Shopping

Houston, we have a problem. Ok, ok, it’s not a big one, but earlier this week we were panicking a little. Despite knowing the necessity of being well prepared for Thanksgiving to go smoothly, we left our preparations pretty late.

As we mentioned a couple of months ago, you cannot just wake up on Thanksgiving morning and throw together a meal and expect it to go smoothly. Neither can you leave everything until the day before. Which is why this weekend we prepared our herb butter and then spent quite a few hours cleaning the oven. An update on the latter, by the way — the heavy duty cleaner (Lakeland Oven Mate Oven & Cooker Cleaning Gel) was a fantastic find and got our oven sparkling clean and all ready for the bird.

But by mid week we still hadn’t made our big shopping spree which involves getting all the items which have a longer shelf life, like flour, sugar, butter, and spices. The early shopping is important for a number of reasons. First, we don’t want to leave everything until the last minute and risk having to run from one place to the other to search for some hard-to-find ingredients. Second, since there isn’t a large supermarket close t us, there will be items that we can’t find locally. Third, we don’t want to have too much to carry back home. And finally, we want to be prepared.

By Wednesday we still hadn’t done any shopping, except getting a brining bag (yes, we brine our turkey!) and a pumpkin that will be turned into delicious pumpkin pie. It was time to get cracking. We got out our recipes and determined what we need, then broke the ingredients into three lists — what can be purchased immediately, what needs to be bought on Tuesday for Wednesday’s early cooking, and what needs to be left until the last minute.

Since the vast majority of items on our early shopping list are packaged goods, we decided to place an online order from Ocado. we had shopped once before and it was a good experience. They also had the majority of items we needed, except for a couple of things. Crisco vegetable shortening is out of stock and we’ll have to find a substitute. And since they didn’t have any low sodium chicken stock, we’re going to have to make our own, which, to be honest, isn’t that big of a deal and will leave the apartment smelling pretty amazing. But otherwise it was pretty easy.

There was one issue. While Ocado allows you to choose an hour window for delivery, this was 90 minutes late. Unfortunately this was also the case the other time we used this service, although not so much. At least this time around the driver did call about 30 minutes after the due time and said he’d be another half an hour. While this was frustrating, we understand that traffic in London can be quite a nightmare and will try to choose a late delivery slot next time.

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