Thanksgiving Entertaining Tips

Posted by Dil Gillani on Monday, October 29th, 2012 at 7:31am

Getting ready for Thanksgiving is exciting, but it can also be stressful, especially if you’re going to be hosting the event. With a little bit of help and preparation, though, all that stress can melt away. Here are some ideas to help make your Thanksgiving season as relaxing and enjoyable as it should be for both you and your guests.

Everyone Brings a Little Something

One of the best ways to take the pressure off as you prepare to host Thanksgiving dinner is to ask each of your guests to make a small contribution to the spread. You can still provide the main course, but letting each guest bring their favorite side dish, desert or appetizer is a great way to round out the menu while making sure there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Start Planning Early

Although there are a lot of ingredients you can’t purchase ahead of time, get everything you can way before the main event. Things like condiments, pickles, olives or anything else you use to complete your table can be picked up way in advance and that will really cut down on what you need to buy later on. Also, make sure you have enough table linens, place settings and serving silverware to accommodate the maximum number of guests that could attend.

Crowd Control – Send out Invitations Early

Knowing how many people you’re having and what they’re each bringing will make your planning infinitely easier. That’s why it’s so important to get your invitations out there as early as possible. Providing this kind of advance notice also makes it likely that more of the people you invite will be able to attend.

Organize Your Kitchen 

When the big day arrives and you need to start cooking, you’ll be in a much better position to coordinate your activities if you’ve taken the time to organize your kitchen ahead of time. That means putting all of the utensils, pots, pans, dishes and ingredients you’ll be using in easy-to-reach areas and clearing off space for prep work to take place. 

If you’re going to have other people helping you in the kitchen, make sure you know what they’re each going to be doing for you and that they have a clear space to work. And last but certainly not least, make sure you take your turkey out in time to thaw fully, and put it in the oven early so you can be sure it’ll be done at dinner time.

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