16 Nov 9 Tips for a Sensational and Stress-Free Thanksgiving Dinner
Invite your guests. Then try to get a final head count before you begin grocery shopping so you have an idea of how many people you’ll be cooking for. Remember that it’s always better to have more food than not enough. Thanksgiving leftovers are the best!
Purchase your supplies. Make your grocery list. Be sure to write down everything on your menu including main courses, side dishes, appetizers, snacks, beverages, and desserts. Then get your recipes out and write down everything you will need to prepare them. Don’t forget important nonfood items like paper towels, hand soap, dish soap, and dishwasher detergent. Once your list is complete, head to the grocery store to purchase your supplies.
Declutter your home. Take a walk through your home, decluttering as you go. Collect extraneous items in a laundry basket and stash in your closet until after Thanksgiving. Send toys back to the kids bedrooms or playroom. Clear all unnecessary items from flat surfaces, including coffee tables, end tables, desks, kitchen/dining room tables, and countertops.
Give your home a speed cleaning. This is a busy time of year, and you may not have the time to give your house a thorough cleaning. That’s O.K. Just make sure you tackle the main areas of your home that will be visited while guests are there. This includes the kitchen, living room, dining room, and bathrooms. Sweep and vacuum. Polish furniture. Clean mirrors. Wipe down flat surfaces, especially the countertops and tables where food will be prepared and served. Disinfect all surfaces in the bathroom. Read 10 Last-Minute Ways to Get Your Home Ready for Thanksgiving.
Remember to thaw the turkey. Remember that a frozen turkey will need about five hours per pound to thaw, so a 15-pound bird will take about 3 1/2 days to thaw. You can keep it in the fridge for a couple of days after it’s thawed. If you buy a fresh turkey, keep it refrigerated until you are ready to cook it.
Start cooking early. Don’t leave all your cooking and baking for Thanksgiving Day. Many dishes can be made ahead and kept in the refrigerator until it’s time to heat them up. Check out the Food Network’s Make-Ahead Thanksgiving Recipes and Tips.
Gather necessary household goods. Take the time to determine what you need for Thursday’s dinner. Then locate and gather all the dishes, cutlery, glassware, and linens you will need for your meal. Make sure everything is clean, polished, and ready to use.
Accept help from family and friends. Guests love showing their appreciation for their host and hostess. Accept their help graciously by letting them bring food and beverages to your home. After dinner, welcome volunteers to the clean-up process so you have more time to spend with your guests.
Supply entertainment for the kids. If children are in your Thanksgiving Day plans, make sure you are prepared with fun activities for them. Remember that kids eat fast, while adults like to linger at the table enjoying their meal and each other’s company. Outdoor sports, movies, board games, and arts/crafts will keep kids busy and happy.