Start with 250 turkeys. But buy them in May, because the avian flu was briefly threatening the world’s turkey supply, with some predicting a shortage come Thanksgiving.

Throw in 1,800 pounds of potatoes and 2,200 pounds of yams that are peeled by machine but finished by hand by one woman with lightening quick speed. She does nothing but peel and slice for days on end to prep for America’s most gastronomically decadent day.

Then there’s the pie ­– close to 2,000 of them ranging from rhubarb and cherry to classic pumpkin and apple pie. They’re baked for three 18-hour days straight by a team of four bakers who also crank out thousands of muffins and rolls.

A crew of about 60 are needed to make Thanksgiving for several thousands.

It’s a tradition 90 years in the making at Highland Park Cafeteria (save for the few the short spell the Casa Linda landmark was closed). For some of the 1,700 who attend, waiting in line for up to an hour-and-a-half for a robust family feast is an annual tradition. Several hundred others order catered meals, which likely feed thousands of local residents each holiday.

“They’re like family when they come here,” said owner Jeff Snoyer.

Highland Park opened in 1925 and feeding dozens, then hundreds, then thousands, for Thanksgiving has been apart of the restaurant’s rich history for the 30 years Travis Moody has been apart of it.

“We’re very organized,” he smiles while a swirl of workers move rhythmically and deliberately behind him.

“They’re like fish at the aquarium that are always moving but never bump into each other,” jokes Snoyer as he snakes through the day-before-Thanksgiving rush.

Happy Thanksgiving, Advocate readers! We are grateful for all of you. And just think, as you tackle your ever-growing pile of holiday dishes, remember, at least there’s not 5,000 of them, along with more than 10,000 pieces of silverware and 200 pots and pans.