So you’ve decided to host Thanksgiving this year! Are you in panic mode yet? If this is your first time hosting the big dinner, don’t worry. With a bit of planning, you can pull off Thanksgiving with minimum work and worry. It’s just about two weeks until the holiday. There are many things you can do now to make Thanksgiving week a breeze.
Number one: schedule the house cleaning. Yes, it costs a bit- but not as much as you think. The time it will save you is well worth the price. Besides they do a great job! Get referrals from friends or family. We can help too; we have great house cleaners to send your way.
Make a master list. I’m a paper person so I use a legal pad, but any electronic device will do and then you can save it. If you can, have guests bring one item each from the menu: a dessert, appetizer, or side dish. Start with creating your menu. List each dish on the left with every ingredient and the amount needed on the right. Include spices (make sure your spices are fresh), milk, butter, etc. Check off things you already have; circle or underline items you need. This will be your shopping list too. Buy as many non-perishables as you can this week and check them off. It’s a good idea to buy your liquor now too. Prices are good all month. Do a signature drink you can make before guests arrive. Have cider and sparkling water on hand along with soft drinks as a non-alcoholic alternative. Order your fresh turkey now; some specialty birds sell out quickly. I stick with a frozen Butterball. I’ve tried others but in my opinion, the fancy brands are not worth the price.
Clear off the dining room table. Gather your serving pieces for each dish; utensils too! Make sure you have utensils for those bringing dishes also. Are you having a sit-down dinner or buffet? Guests will need TV trays to eat a big dinner. Make sure you have enough, along with extra folding chairs. If you are doing a buffet, you will need chafing dishes. Amazon and Walmart have sets around $100 but you can also rent or borrow from someone. Now is a good time to upgrade your current cooking tools to ease the cooking process.
Next week we’ll talk about preparation for the week before the big meal.
KATHLEEN WEAVER-ZECH & DEAN’S TEAM CHICAGO