Are you hosting your thanksgiving this year for the first time? Or would you consider yourself a veteran party host? Hosting and cooking this great American meal is a big milestone for a cook, but it can also cause anxiety and nerves. Here are some essential tips that will help your day go off without a hitch.
- Never turn down help. If your friends and family offer to bring dishes that are vital to the meal then let them! It will help with your stress overall on the day of and they will show off their cooking skills as well.
- Make as much ahead as possible. The last-minute rush is one of the most stressful parts of the day. When you are planning your menu, look for dishes that can be made ahead of time. If you are in charge of cooking all of the dishes, start the casserole and pies earlier in the week then cook them the day of.
- Don’t experiment with new recipes. Thanksgiving is all about the classics, so stick with the classic recipes. Leave your brain to focus on the turkey.
- Start early on the non-food prep. The food isn’t the only thing that needs prepared. You are probably pulling out serving dishes that need to be washed, extra silverware and napkins. Do all of that the week before. Double-check your serving plates and utensils and iron your tablecloth if needed!
- Set the table the night before. It will make you feel so much better as you are running around doing the prep work to see a nicely set table. It will give you the peace of mind that when all the food is ready, your table is ready too.
- Have the beverages ready to go. Have the wine chilling in the fridge or a premade cocktail ready to be poured. If everyone has a drink in their hand, they won’t care if dinner is served an hour later than planned.
- It is okay to buy parts of your meal. Do you have a great bakery? Buy the desserts from it. Do you hate making gravy? Buy some before. There is absolutely nothing wrong with buying a few pieces of the meal especially if you want a more relaxing day before hand.
- Relax, have fun and enjoy the holiday. People are there to enjoy a good meal and one another’s company. Do not feel stressed about entertaining. Ask for help, laugh and remember the turkey can rest for an hour while you finish everything else. Find gratitude in the busy, messy, loud and delicious holiday.
Most importantly, be thankful for the food on the table and the people surrounding you! After all that is what the holidays are about, enjoy!