It’s the big week…Thanksgiving!
Are you stressed? Are you excited? Are you gathering last-minute recipes?
No matter what you’re feeling, you’ve come to the right place!
I hosted Thanksgiving for the first time last year, and I feel like I came away some helpful tips. Trust me, there IS a way for you to survive Thanksgiving and really enjoy it. I believe! Will you believe with me?
My 3 Thanksgiving tips:
1. Divide & Conquer
I was very lucky that my first year to host Thanksgiving brought with it several kitchen helpers (my in-laws and husband). It made me realize that yes, this meal is a little crazy when it’s up to one person to make it happen. So, divide and conquer. Take 1 or 2 dishes yourself and ask family to help make the others (or visitors to sign up to bring things). Unless you’re really into doing Thanksgiving on your own, share your cooking responsibilities. It will help lighten your load and still get everything on the table.
2. Keep it Simple
I was listening to the recent Thanksgiving episode of The Sporkful, and I totally agree with Dan that the great thing about Thanksgiving is the traditions. The reason most of us love the T-day meal is because it’s filled with same dishes we loved when we were young. Most of us only eat those dishes once a year, so I suggest sticking with the classic. This will also help you stay away from trying too many new things and stressing out about the unknowns. And don’t feel like you need to do 10 different dishes. Make your family’s favorite 5 and do those well.
3. Forget Perfect
While you’re keeping it simple, throw perfection out of the window. A perfect Thanksgiving is not a real Thanksgiving. It’s just like a community, imperfect but beautiful. Focus on the fact that you’re sharing the table with special people, and don’t freak out if the mashed potatoes aren’t piping hot. Everyone will love it. I promise!
Another great Thanksgiving tip: Make stuffing and a lot of it!
Stuffing/dressing is my favorite dish, and my family has a fabulous Cornbread Stuffing recipe. It’s filled with herbs and seasonings, and it’s just moist enough and delicious topped with gravy, sharing a plate with every other side dish you love. (For a great homemade cornbread recipe, I like this one.)
I also cooked this stuffing in the slow cooker for my work’s Thanksgiving meal this year, and it worked well. Whether you’re cooking in the oven or the slow cooker, it is a classic (for a reason).
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