With Thanksgiving quickly approaching many of our readers may be getting that familiar sense of jitters and nerves. Although this holiday is a time of joy and excitement, the obligations that come with hosting can definitely cause undue stress. This year, we've put together a list of tips and tricks so that you can throw the perfect traditional Thanksgiving dinner without any strain! So take a deep breath and follow along …
When you first start to plan your Thanksgiving celebration, it's understandable that your mind immediately goes to the food. However, it's not just the food that needs to be prepped! You will be pulling out serving dishes that need to be washed, extra silverware, or counting your napkins to make sure you have enough. Spread out these prep tasks the week before so you have plenty of time to iron tablecloths, wash serving dishes, and set the table the night before. Spreading out this work makes it seem a little less overwhelming when it comes to the day of celebration.
Thanksgiving is a time to come together and enjoy quality time spent with family and friends! However, most hosts find themselves sequestered to the kitchen while, at the same time, trying to entertain their guests. Let friends and family bring some of their favourite Thanksgiving dishes and get the holiday back to its potluck roots! Also, never be afraid to delegate parts of the meal that stress you out. This makes sure things get done and you have the bonus of being able to socialize while being productive. As a quick tip, make sure your guests are bringing items that don't require using the oven. Mashed potatoes can be brought in a crockpot, while appetizers, drinks, rolls, whipped cream, and pie are easily covered by those who don't cook.
Although you may enjoy concocting new and exotic recipes for your guests, Thanksgiving is not the time to create extra work for yourself. This holiday is all about the classics, so stick with the tried-and-true! This also bleeds into the concept that "everything has to be made from scratch". There is absolutely nothing wrong with buying a few pieces of the meal, especially if it makes for a more relaxing day. Don't be afraid to buy the rolls, appetizers, desserts, or anything else that stresses you out.
If you can, try to have wine chilling in the fridge or a pitcher of sangria ready to be poured. If everyone has a drink in their hand, they won't care if dinner doesn't happen exactly when you planned. This way, if you need your space, you can hand guests a glass, get them socializing, and keep them out of the kitchen. We suggest a festive Thanksgiving cranberry cocktail consisting of simple syrup (made with leftover cranberries), vodka, club soda, and juice from a few limes!
Of course, it goes without saying that the turkey is the most time-consuming activity of Thanksgiving. However, what if you had it done the day before? If you're not looking to present the entire turkey on the table, you can have all that time you would have spent fretting over the bird back; choosing to spend it with your guests instead! Cook your turkey the day before, carve it and place it in your crock pot with a coil of tin foil to elevate the meat. You can then use the bones to make a fantastic stock for your gravy and use some of it in the bottom of the crock pot for when you reheat your turkey. This makes sure the meat stays moist and no-one will be the wiser.
If you decide to use any of these tips, we're sure this holiday will be less stressful and will help you to throw the perfect traditional Thanksgiving celebration. Of course, our most important bit of advice is to relax. From all of us at Marina Homes, have a lovely Thanksgiving!