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This timeline shows you how far in advance food preparation for the menu can take place. Following these tips allows maximum time with your guests and minimum fuss.
Up to 1 month before
- Prepare dry ingredients for step 1 of the cobbler. Store in an airtight container and freeze.
Up to 2 weeks before dinner
- Toast and chop nuts for cheese ball, place in a zip-top bag and freeze.
- Prepare dressing for vinaigrette slaw; cover and refrigerate.
Up to 1 week before dinner
- Prepare chicken marinade; cover and refrigerate.
- Prepare dressing (step 2) for potato salad; cover and refrigerate.
Up to 2 days before dinner
- Hard-cook eggs for potato salad and refrigerate.
- Slice celery. Chop onions and pickles for potato salad and place each in a zip-top bag.
Up to 1 day before dinner
- Marinate chicken in refrigerator, drain after four hours. Make sauce from reserved marinade; cover and refrigerate. Keep chicken refrigerated.
- Thaw nuts for cheese ball.
- Prepare cheese ball through step 1; cover and refrigerate.
- Prepare potato salad; cover and refrigerate.
- Prepare vinaigrette slaw; cover and refrigerate.
- Shuck corn; cover and refrigerate.
Up to 6 hours before dinner:
- Prepare cobbler, bake and cool to serve.
1 hour before dinner
- Grill chicken.
20 minutes before dinner
- Reheat remaining barbecue sauce.
- Roll cheese ball in nuts and arrange with crackers.
- Cook corn on the cob.