Many of us look forward to Thanksgiving for a day of family fun and devouring a delicious dinner. Are you hosting the feast this year? Whether you’re a seasoned veteran of the Thanksgiving meal or a first-timer looking to impress your guests, these tips can help take the stress out of this scrumptious holiday.
Start your stuffing early. Dry bread is the key ingredient in a great stuffing, so start letting it dry as early as Sunday. Cut up your bread and place it on baking sheets out of the way for two days of prime drying time. You can then make your stuffing as early as Tuesday and check that off your list.
Offer a signature cocktail. While wine and beer are Thanksgiving staples, make a fun signature drink that the adults can enjoy while watching football, cooking or socializing before the meal. Include the kids by making a virgin batch as well! We recommend trying ourBourbon Apple Cider recipe for an autumn-themed drink. Simply remove the bourbon from the recipe for a kid-friendly version!
Stick with the classics. Pumpkin pie, apple pie, pecan pie…these are the desserts your guests look forward to every year. While it’s fun to experiment, attempting to make a pumpkin crème brulee or any other “fancier” version of the classic dessert spread could lead to disaster. With so much food being prepared and served, pies are easy to make the night before and a surefire crowd-pleaser.
Consider a buffet. Are you hosting a large number of people? It’s always tricky trying to fit in enough chairs at the table, so don’t clutter it with serving platters of food. Set up a food buffet on your kitchen counter or island while keeping condiments like butter, salt, pepper and gravy on the table. Bonus tip: set up your table on Wednesday so you can not only admire its beauty for longer but check another task off your list in advance. Keep in mind that spills are bound to happen to pre-treat any stains and wash your linens as soon as possible after dinner.
Delegate, delegate, delegate. Never turn down help! The host doesn’t need to make everything, so pick what you want to make and assign out the rest. Your guests will be more than happy to bring a family recipe or their favorite pie. For those guests that don’t like to cook, have them bring the wine, whipped cream or dinner rolls. In addition to delegating tasks, make a list of everything you need to do before dinnertime and post it somewhere in the kitchen so that you can check things off. Use your phone alarm for key moments.
Have fun and relax! We know, it’s almost inevitable to not be stressed out when hosting Thanksgiving, especially for a large group. But remember that this is time to spend with your friends and family, so try to slow down and cherish that time. Things might not always go as planned, and that’s okay! Go with the flow, laugh and remember that it doesn’t have to be perfect. The company you’re with is what really matters.