By now, all of the leaves have changed colors and are starting to fall from the trees in many regions throughout the country. Fall is slowly beginning to turn into Winter, but before we start getting out the winter coats and waiting for the first snow to fall, its time to think about the Thanksgiving meal.
Whether you’re hosting Thanksgiving for the first time, or have been having the festive holiday at your house for years; whether you are planning a fancy affair or request that your guests show up in their sweatpants (elastic is never a bad idea for Thanksgiving), here are five steps that you can take to ensure Thanksgiving success in your home!
1. Devise a plan: Write a list of everyone that’s coming. Create a menu and a grocery list. Make yourself a to-do list. Take this step and come time for the big day, you’ll be ready and won’t forget anything (or anyone).
2. Make the staples: Everyone expects to have turkey, stuffing and some pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving. If you want to test out a new recipe or two, include the staple Thanksgiving dishes and your guests are sure to be happy and, of course, full!
3. Plan ahead: Maybe you want to cook your turkey the day of, but there are plenty of Thanksgiving foods that you can cook in advance and store in your freezer. This will spread out your cooking, ensure you have plenty of room in your oven, and enable you to relax and enjoy the day just as much as all of your guests!
4. Drink stations: Our Fourth Thanksgiving tip comes from Adrienne Hasty, our cooking expert from Positively Cooking. “If you are anything like me, and too many bodies in the kitchen (while you’re cooking) makes you want to scream, set up a separate drink station (maybe with a couple appetizers on it) away from the kitchen. This way, while your guests are arriving and you are simultaneously tying up loose ends for your feast, your guests can congregate and chit-chat separately to keep additional stress off you.”
5. Relax: Whether it’s your first time hosting Thanksgiving in your home or your 20th, we know that cooking for and hosting a big group of people can be stressful. Just remember that Thanksgiving is a time for family, friends and good food. Some of the day’s events will be out of your control, and even if you do something crazy like forget the cranberry sauce, everyone will forgive you. So, relax and make sure that you get to enjoy the day as well!
And, as a bonus tip, Adrienne adds, “If you drop your turkey… the 5 second rule definitely applies!”