The month of November is well and truly underway and this can only mean one thing… it’s almost time for Thanksgiving! To help ease the stress, we have put together some helpful tips to make this year run as smoothly as possible, allowing you to enjoy some well-earned rest.
Being organized at Thanksgiving starts with setting the table! This is a chore that can, and is best done the night before. Once the rest of the family have gone to bed, set everything up and this way you’ll have one less thing to do on Thanksgiving Day. Everyone will be super impressed waking up to an already set table!
It’s a great idea to choose a theme for your table, it gets everyone in the festive mood. If you’re stuck for ideas try simple but effective things such as spray painting miniature pumpkins in coppers and golds, decorating with pine cones, placing tall candles around the table, or using small potted plants and herbs as a centerpiece . These decorations will give your table that truly Fall feel!
To be super organized, you may want to add place markers for the guests at the table. This way when you’re busy in the kitchen you’ve still got some control. Also, it ensures certain family members don’t sit together and helps to keep any potential squabbles at bay! When you’re planning the seating arrangements, make sure to think about where the turkey is going to be placed, then sit the carver nearest to the turkey. It’s a no-brainer! A clever (and cute!) way to create homemade place markers, is to write each guest’s name on a small piece of card. Tuck the names into the pines of some pine cones, place each one on top of their designated dishes!
There are numerous Thanksgiving dishes that can be prepared at least a day in advance. Choosing a few foods to prepare before the day saves time and effort, and means all your attention is saved for the star of the show, the turkey! So, what to pre-prepare?
Start with potatoes. While mashed potatoes typically don’t freeze well, you can cook and mash them the day before. Make sure you add lots of full-fat dairy to them, that way when you come to slowly reheat it the potatoes won’t become watery. No one will ever be able to tell the difference!
Thanksgiving wouldn’t be the same without gravy, sometimes this finishing touch can cause an array of problems on its own. Is there enough dripping to add? Has it burnt to the bottom of the pan? Oh, wait did you forget about it all together?! Avoid the drama, make the gravy days or even weeks ahead and freeze it! Buy some turkey thighs or wings and roast them. Strip the majority of the meat and keep for sandwiches. Then use the bones and some root vegetables to brew a delicious stock. Let it reduce down for a few hours and you’ll have the perfect base. Make your gravy from this and freeze! On the eve of Thanksgiving Day, take the gravy from the freezer to defrost and on the day slowly reheat and add the dripping from the turkey.
Finally, stuffing can be frozen. Yep, that includes onion stuffing, special bread stuffing and even cornbread stuffing! Save yourself a ton of effort and make it days if not a week in advance!
You may not think it a great idea to fill up your guests before they get to enjoy the meal that you put so much time and effort into but, they’re a perfect way to keep everyone preoccupied while they wait. It also stops the constant questioning, “How long until it’s ready?” The trick is to select light food such roasted pumpkin seeds, smoked salmon on cornbread thins, Fall fruits, and baked breaded mushrooms. These nibbles are tasty but they’re not going to fill your friends and family up too much!
If you like to keep things simple but still want to make an impression on your guests, you need to make a Thanksgiving Party Punch! An Italian Spritz Punch is a refreshing, fruity beverage that will get the adults in the Thanksgiving spirit. Mix together 16 oz Galliano, one large bottle Aperol Bitter Orange, three bottles of Prosecco. Pour in some ice along with two sliced oranges, two sliced lemons and ½ a pint of raspberries and you’ll be onto a winner! A self-service punch bowl such as this saves you time again!
Remember, Thanksgiving is for everyone, including the people making Thanksgiving dinner! So, try out a few of our simple but effective suggestions this year and see how small changes can ease a big chunk of Thanksgiving stress! Finally, from the team here at NetCost Market: Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!