The Countdown

1 week to 1 month ahead:
• Make grocery list. Shop for non-perishables.
• Visit wine shop to select wines.
• Prepare Coffee-Crusted Beef Wellingtons; freeze.
• Plan centerpiece and other table decorations.

2 or 3 days ahead:
• Take inventory of china, serving dishes, and utensils. Gather whatever pieces you'll need. Polish silver.

1 day ahead:
•Prepare Chocolate Tiramisù Charlotte; refrigerate overnight.
• Blanch and peel pearl onions, and prepare dressing for salad; refrigerate overnight.
•Peel and slice carrots; refrigerate overnight.
•Prepare Scalloped Greens without breadcrumb topping, and refrigerate unbaked overnight.
• Set the table, complete with centerpiece.

Morning of the meal:
• Prepare and bake Cardamom-Scented Sweet Potato Pie.

3 hours before the meal:
• Prepare and bake Cast-Iron Herbed Potatoes Anna.

2 hours before the meal:
• Add breadcrumb topping to Scalloped Greens, and bake; cover with foil to keep warm.
• Prepare Cabbage and Apple Salad with Roasted Onions.
• Prepare Carrots with Country Bacon.

45 minutes before the meal:
• Prepare Crab and Oyster Bisque; keep warm over low heat.
•Bake beef Wellingtons (do not thaw); finish sauce, and keep warm over low heat.

Just before serving:
• Reheat side dishes in the oven and on stovetop as needed.
•Garnish beef Wellingtons with herbs.

Just after dinner: • Brew coffee.
• Set out desserts for guests to sample.