For all you Canadians out there Thanksgiving is almost upon us and that’s plenty of reason to be excited. The holiday is a great opportunity to gather your loved ones and reflect on how much you have to be thankful for in your life. However, as anyone who has hosted a Thanksgiving dinner knows, it’s no walk in the park. There’s a lot that goes in to planning this much anticipated meal. If you’re hosting your first Thanksgiving dinner, it can be daunting to get everything right. But fear not, anyone can put on a lovely Thanksgiving. Just follow these easy tips and you’ll be a pro at hosting Thanksgiving.
Know your guests’ food restrictions.
Sometimes your Thanksgiving dinner involves only your closest loved ones and sometimes there are new faces at the table. This can somewhat complicate what is being served. You might have an idea in your mind of the typical food options for the holiday, but that doesn’t work for everyone. Before planning out your meal, be sure you know of any food restrictions from your guests. Offer vegetarian options, non-dairy options and gluten-free options. It might make for more work, but it’s important that everyone feels welcomed and comfortable at the dinner table.
Make an attack plan.
As with any daunting task, coming up with an effective plan for tackling the job always makes it easier. To achieve this, make a list of all the things that need to be done and do it well in advance. This can include everything from food to decorations to cleaning. Once you have this list, breakdown what is needed to accomplish it, like shopping, prep and cook times. This allows you to come up with a realistic schedule for addressing each task and ensure everything is ready on time.
Ask for help when needed.
As we said before, hosting a dinner like this is no small feat and requires a lot for work. But just because you are the host doesn’t mean you have to do everything by yourself. Thanksgiving is a time for loved ones to come together so why not come together in the kitchen to get things done. Don’t be shy about giving out orders and asking people to lend a hand. The whole thing will run a lot smoother and get done quicker with some helping hands.
Get non-food prep done early.
Of course, as important as the food is to Thanksgiving, we mustn’t neglect the other aspects of hosting. There will be cleaning and shopping and other prep that needs to be done before your guests come over. Be sure to put those tasks first on the to-do list to ensure they can get done and out of the way before things start getting too busy. Getting those smaller, beforehand items out of the way will make the rest of the day a lot more manageable.
Stick to the recipes.
Chances are that if you’re willing to take on the responsibilities and pressures of hosting your own Thanksgiving dinner, you have considerable confidence in your cooking abilities. That’s not something a lot of people can say and you should be proud of it, but when it comes to Thanksgiving dinner, now is not the time for experimentation. There’s too much to pay attention to and too much at stake to be going off the book. Best to stick to the recipes and you can perfect some of those more experimental attempts in the off-season.
Go easy on the appetizers.
One of the most common issues that comes up when hosting a Thanksgiving dinner making too much food. It’s hard to figure how many people will want seconds and thirds, and you certainly don’t want to make too little. This often results in overcooking, which isn’t a terrible problem to have, but it’s advisable that if you’re looking to cut down on some things, start with the appetizers. Thanksgiving is a big meal and there’s really no need to have a lot of pre-dinner snacks. It takes up a lot of time, fills your up before the real meal and is ultimately unnecessary.
That most important thing to remember when you are hosting is that you’re supposed to be enjoying Thanksgiving too. Yes, you’ll have a lot to do and it will likely be a little stressful, but that shouldn’t stop you from enjoying the quality time with you loved ones and getting to be a part of the fun.