If you are hosting this great American tradition for the first time, it’s common for you to get confused. Read on to know how you can pull off a great dinner easily.
If you are getting all stressed out about hosting Thanksgiving dinner this year, well, you’re not the only one. Many people fear going through the whole process, expecting it to be tedious and chaotic. Nerves can get the better of you, making you anxious and tense. We have gathered a list of essentials for you, points that will make the daunting task seem simple. So read on to know how you can be more organized, and even manage to enjoy the whole process by the time your Thanksgiving dinner is on you.
Start by Making a List
You can be a lot more organized if you have a list of everything you need to do from prepping to putting the things in the oven to the time that dinner is served.
Hang up this list in a place where you can easily spot it. You can try setting alarms and reminders on your phone when the time comes to begin a particular task on your list, like putting your turkey in the oven and taking it out. Making a list in advance and counting backward to decide when you should start will certainly ease a lot of the pressure that forgetting things at the last minute puts on you.
Try to Prepare Some Dishes in Advance
You need to avoid the last-minute rush while preparing the meal, as it is inevitably stressful. One good way to do this is by going through your menu items and figuring out what dishes you can prepare ahead of time. While it might not be possible to cook entire dishes completely beforehand, you can actually try to peel off pieces such as toasting the breadcrumbs or the nuts.
Casseroles or pies can be made the day before and be reheated on Thanksgiving Day. You can also prepare cranberry sauce quite a few days in advance. If you have a busy schedule, you can try to prepare an item each day after you get home from work. This will put you quite a bit ahead when it comes to Thanksgiving Day.
Start Preparing the Non-Food Items Early
There are other things that need to be prepared apart from food. You need to ensure that the dinner goes off without a hitch, so it’s natural to count the napkins and pull out extra dishes or silverware. All these things can be done the week before, saving time near the end and also allowing you ample time to double-check all the utensils and wash and iron the tablecloths if needed.
You can spread out some of these non-food prep tasks over the week, such as ironing the tablecloths a week in advance and bringing out and washing the china on another day.
Check to make sure all the serving pieces are in good shape. You can choose to go grocery shopping on one day and clean the house on yet another. As the day comes nearer, you can start setting the table and prepping the kitchen. Spreading the work out in this manner over time will make the whole undertaking seem a lot less overwhelming.
Try to Set the Table the Day Before
Fussing with getting the table to look perfect on Thanksgiving Day is the last thing you need to be doing. You will probably feel a lot more accomplished if you can manage to set the table the night before.
If you are doing it the night before, you will have time to think through who you want sitting where and also get the place settings and utensils where they need to be. All this will pay off, as it is a bit embarrassing to rummage around in your cupboard for cups and plates in front of your guests.
Arrange for the Drinks
What Thanksgiving dinner is complete without cool drinks such as a Thanksgiving margarita to entertain your guests? So have a pitcher of sangria chilling in the fridge ready to be poured. If you are running a bit late serving the dinner, entertain your guests by putting a drink in their hands. You can go with club soda, vodka, lime juice, and cranberry simple syrup. The guests won’t feel bored socializing with a delicious cocktail in their hands.
You Can Buy Parts of Your Meal
There is absolutely nothing wrong with not making your entire meal from scratch and buying some pieces ready-made. For instance, you can buy pies from a bakery you love or get the gravy from a specialty store. Trying to whip up the entire meal on your own from scratch is just too much to take on, so feel free to make it easier on yourself by buying the appetizers or rolls.
Get Help If You Can
Potluck is a common tradition during Thanksgiving, and that is a saving grace for many. You can ask your family and friends to bring certain items, and also ask them to help out with the meal prepping that stresses you out most.
You are the host, but that doesn’t mean you have to take care of the whole dinner by yourself. You can delegate some of the dishes that are not your specialty by asking your guests to contribute them. You can also ask your spouse, friends, or members of the family to help out.
Traditionally, the host is in charge of preparing the turkey and gravy, so ask the guests to bring items that don’t need to be put in the oven. Delegate appetizers to someone who is known to always arrive on time. Guests that normally don’t cook can be asked to bring pies, rolls, drinks, or whipped cream. Maybe get some vegan desserts to make things more interesting.
Thanksgiving dinner is a wonderful tradition that is a joyous gathering of friends and family. It does not mean that you need to get so overwhelmed preparing for it that you miss out on all the fun while the dinner actually takes place.
Follow these tips to make prepping for the dinner more efficient and stress-free. Have a great time with your friends and family this Thanksgiving and be sure to make many happy memories for the future.