We have turned the page from October to November, which means it’s time to start planning Thanksgiving. More than almost any other holiday, Thanksgiving truly revolves around the kitchen and cooking, which means a lot of work. With good organization and preparation—and our list of helpful hints—your Thanksgiving can go off without a hitch!
If you want to focus on the food, but still have a house that feels festive, keep things simple. If you have an oak tree dropping acorns all over your yard, why not collect them (or pay the kids a few dollars to do it!) and display them in jars for a beautiful, natural table accent? Scented candles—think cinnamon, pumpkin, and the ubiquitous vanilla—are a simple way to add warmth. Another great scent tip: simmer cider on the stove with a few sticks of cinnamon. You get a cozy beverage and the house smells amazing!
Whether you are hosting a few friends, or you are cooking dinner for an army of relatives, a little preparation goes a long way. Some tips for a stress-free Thanksgiving Day:
• Start menu planning—now! Three weeks advance planning will help you with everything from determining any food allergies a guest might have, to grocery shopping for ingredients.
• Inventory your kitchen: Don’t spend more than you have to by purchasing things you already have on-hand—it’s a waste of money, and shelf space!
• Touch base with guests on what to bring—or not! If you are having a potluck, you will want to make sure you aren’t doubling up on dishes.
• Make things in advance that will store well in the fridge for a few days before Thanksgiving. Pie crusts, side dishes, desserts will all hold well in the refrigerator.
• Speaking of advance prep, how about chopping some of those veggies in advance? Onions, carrots, celery, garlic—these can all be chopped and stored for days in the refrigerator.
We’re sure you have a host of family favorite recipes at your disposal, but if you are on the hunt for some new dishes, here are some great websites to check out:
• The Food Network: All of your favorite Food Network hosts have recipes to spice up your Thanksgiving meal.
• Southern Living: A list of 70 side dishes that are sure to please!
• Live Better America: Find delicious, healthier versions of your favorite recipes.
With these helpful tips, we are sure your tables will be filled with delicious foods, your house with scrumptious smells, and hearts with love and thankfulness!