Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and we still have all this Halloween candy left over! Well, why not take some of those spooky goods and turn them into something the whole family will love this special holiday!
Of course, Thanksgiving dinners can be stressful, but the best solution to getting things done quick and efficiently is too plan it all ahead of time. So, as we hang up our Halloween costumes and throw on our aprons, it’s time to give ourselves a head start on putting together that traditional turkey dinner.
While welcoming your guests into a home heavily scented with freshly baked turkey and roasted ham is effective, entertain them with a little more by showing off your creativity and crafting skills! After all, the dinner table does not have to be the only main attraction for your traditional dinner this year!
Put up some festive decorations and pull together a unique fall themed household! For some ideas, why not purchase some reusable plastic pumpkins to place around the living room, or maybe light a couple of candles in the dining room that go along with the seasonal color scheme. You can also take on a more DIY approach and start from scratch; put together a fun turkey centerpiece out of crafting paper, or make a wreath out of fake pine cones and leaves for your front door.
Give yourself a couple of weeks in advance to think about and write down what you need to make for your thanksgiving dinner. Its, unfortunately, quite common for many people to shop at the last minute without properly laying out what they need, and because of this they only grab what they see and what they want. Planning your menu ahead of time will also allow you to pick out all the best items before the big rush (last minute shoppers), and everyone wants the biggest bird on the market this time of year!
Some popular Thanksgiving delights you may want to look out for this year are greens, bread buns, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, and corn on the cob. Remember, the longer you put off the list, the less time you will have to both obtain and prepare everything you need!
3. The Turkey
The main course to what you can only hope to be a wonderful meal with you and the family. Why is this a separate bullet on the list you ask? Well, there are a few things you need to consider before purchasing this favored holiday dish.
Dinner might not always come out the way you want it to, but when it comes to turkey on Thanksgiving Day, it is the dish your guests will be looking forward to the most. That being said – make sure you have all the necessary tools to prep your turkey with – a meat thermometer, a turkey plaster, and of course, the proper seasoning.
A couple of other tips you should know about before starting on your turkey is to make sure the bottom of the roasting pan is layered with vegetables, such as carrots, onions, potatoes, and celery, before placing it all in the oven. Doing this will increase the hot air circulation around your turkey, giving it that crispy, golden look we all know and love; the vegetables themselves will also bring flavor to the turkey’s juices and gravy.
One of the most important traditions on this beloved holiday is spending time with the people you love most – family, friends, loved ones, and even pets! However, it can be pressuring trying to accommodate the needs of your visitors.
Make sure to approximate who’s coming over before even thinking about prepping your meal, that way you will have the time to make any adjustments needed to accommodate those who show up, such as the amount of seats and silverware you will need. If you like, you may also prepare a little extra food for them to take him if they wish to do so.
5. Table Set up
You don’t need fancy dishware to have a nice thanksgiving, however, there are still some key elements you should maintain whiles spreading the holiday spirit!
Dress up your table with a full tablecloth to hide all those old stains and scrapes. Some pattern ideas to use can be plaid, gingham, or burlap. As for the table setting: place your turkey platter in the center of the table under a nice place-mat; the other side dishes should separately be placed about around the turkey. Next, place the napkins to the right or left side of each guest’s plate, each napkin should contain a dinner fork, spoon, and knife (only use a spoon if you are serving soups). You may also set your napkin inside the guest’s plates. Finally, make sure the cups are also placed to the left or right side above the plate.
If your not looking to spend a lot of money, paper plates and plastic silverware will work just as efficiently!
6. Kitchen Prep and Cooking
Be aware of any allergies your guests might have (spices, drinks, etc.), that way no one gets hurt or worse. When you are preparing your food, don’t be afraid to make a little extra along the way. Someone might ask at the last minute to join your thanksgiving dinner, and even if they don’t you will always have leftovers to enjoy the next day!
Have all your dishware washed and dried the day before the big dinner so that you can give yourself more time and space in the kitchen when cooking. I also recommend that you set out the ingredients you would need to prepare your meal the day before actually preparing it, that way you know exactly were everything is and won’t waste your time looking for something you could have sworn you recently purchased.
7. Games and Activities
When everyone is done eating, relax and enjoy one another’s company!
Sit down and have meaningful conversations; catch up with what’s been going on in your lives. If talking isn’t your thing, then why not play a few board games or watch a couple of your favorite movies/tv shows (NFL football is especially popular this time of year). Monopoly, Life, and UNO are one of the more popular group and family games you can play with. For larger gatherings you can play pictionary or charades, perhaps even go outside and start a soccer or football game. Thanksgiving is not just about the food after all, so why not encourage your guests to try out a few of these fun games!
8. Health and Safety
Unfortunately, 2020 has been a year many of us are going to find difficult to look back and think fondly about. With the stay at home order and constant health threats that surround us, it might no be possible to put together the Happy Thanksgiving many of us grown accustomed to. There are, however, extra precautions you can have while enjoying the holiday with others!
If the day shows promise of sun and steady clouds, have a nice thanksgiving dinner outside and enjoy the fresh air. It will be a nice change of pace after being stuck inside for so long! You can also leave out a fresh bottle of hand sanitizer for everyone to use when needed. If you or someone you love is at risk of being compromised, have a virtual dinner with them instead! No matter where you are in the world, there is no better feeling then being with the person you cherish the most, even if it is from behind a computer screen.
Look out for one another and take care of yourselves as well! Times might be tough, but through this wonderful holiday we are all given the time to finally see family, and that in itself is a plan worth every penny.