Hosting Thanksgiving Day is Grandma's job, right? Not anymore! Now you have the privilege of hosting the feast of the year. When we were children, we would play for what seemed like hours while the men watched football and the ladies all talked at once while preparing the food. The children were served first, and we tired to finish before the adults could sit down. It's in the kid code.
For the last few years, my sister and I have shared the duties of hosting Thanksgiving. There are a few things I've learned watching my aunts and mother cook in the kitchen. I've learned a little from trial and error, too. Hosting a holiday is a big job, but with a little planning your Thanksgiving will be a big hit.
Cook the Day Before
Cooking desserts the day before will free up the oven. Other dishes such as salads, potato salad, and casseroles are perfect for cooking the day before.
Prepping for the Food
Some dishes have to be cooked on turkey day. Shave off some of the prep time by chopping all the veggies ahead of time. Gather all the seasonings you will need for each dish. Place recipes where they are easy to find. Whatever you can do before the big day, do it.
Divide the Menu
No one expects you to cook for an army by yourself. Divide the menu with your guests. Ask if they have a favorite dish they would like to bring. Keep track of who is bringing what items. You don't want to end up with three dozen rolls and no other sides.
Prep the Refrigerator
When your family and friends bring their delicious dishes, they will need a place to put them. Clean out the refrigerator to make room. This is a great time to clean out the freezer as well. You will need extra ice for Aunt Susie's Sprite addiction.
Keep It Simple
The dishwasher and sink will be full of dishes by the end of lunch. Keep it simple by using festive paper plates, paper napkins, and plastic utensils. The less dishes you have to wash, the more time you have visiting with your family and friends.
Around the holidays you are constantly cleaning. When you host a gathering, the cleaning only intensifies. Check out this post for ideas on keeping your house ready for guests. Another option, is to hire a maid service for one day the week of Thanksgiving.
Hosting Thanksgiving can be fun when you plan ahead. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!