Well, hi November. I know that we are all trying to figure out how we got to November, but since we are here lets talk about Thanksgiving. Its never too early to get ahead on Thanksgiving and no matter how well you plan, lets face it Thanksgiving is stressful. What to make, what to buy and who to invite are just a few problems in Thanksgiving planning . To ease your mind, I put together 8 tips to prepare you for a fabulous Thanksgiving.
8 Tips For A Fabulous Thanksgiving
1. Grab A Pen & Paper: A fab Thanksgiving dinner starts no other place than a pen and paper. You can plan your entire Thanksgiving from start to finish IF you write it down. You can start by forming a rough draft of people to invite, fab food to buy, a seating chart if your fancy, and any other detail you will need to get through Turkey day fabulously. A list can be made up to 2 weeks to a month in advance, just to make sure everything turns out fab.
And if you find yourself staring at the list and are not moved by anything on it? Rip it up and head to a restaurant!
3. Review & Shop In Your Home: Look around your home and see if your fantasy Thanksgiving can even happen. Our eyes are usually bigger than the actual space we live in, and you will be in for a rude awakening if you cant fit everyone in your home for dinner. Can your home accommodate everyone being comfortable on the big day? Can your kitchen crank out all the food you want to eat fabulously? Also, shopping in your home will help with your budget. Go through your kitchen cabinets to see what you already have so you don't waste money buying double. That saved money can be used for Black Friday gifts
4. Mo Money Mo Money: Speaking of a budget, planning plays a roll in purchasing as well. Once you map out what you want to do for Thanksgiving (notes, selection, theme) you can start to look at money. Food wise, its great to look out for weekly circulars at your local grocery stores and whole sale clubs. Buying early in the month and buying in bulk (i.e. butter, flour, sugar, loose spices, onions, carrots) saves you the hassle of running to the store last minute. Decoration wise, its time to see if you have and/or need to buy matching plates, glasses and utensils, etc. Check your local $.99 cent store for everything from drinking glasses, small decorations and table accents, to help keep your wallet fabulous.
5. Eating Fabulously: The time has come for deliciousness. Food is a critical part of Thanksgiving and you want to make sure that your guests eat fabulously. If your on a budget and having a few friends over, swap out a gynormous and costly turkey for single turkey parts (i.e breast, legs, thighs). Your budget can be cut in half by buying 1 item that can be made into 2 or 3 dishes. One loaf of bread can turn into crostini's, stuffing and bread pudding. For a non-traditional dinner, swap out the turkey for a duck or hen, and have fun with sides like cumin seared cauliflower , duck fat brussel sprouts or roasted broccoli.
6. Prep Time: From working in a restaurant, I know that prepping is a major component of serving a successful meal. Keeping that in mind will also help you have a successful and quick Thanksgiving dinner. With the bulk items you just bought, chop all the same veggies at the same time, even if they will be used for different recipes. This will cut down on chopping each veggie for each item. But if you are planning to have a decent size meal, also remember the following:
- Cranberry sauce can be made up to a week in advance
- Gravies, soups, and dips can be made 24 hours in advance and re-heated
- Make fresh pie dough a few days before and freeze. Defrost the day before you need them
- Cut up bread a day before so it can become perfectly dry in texture for stuffing
- Assemble your casseroles a day before
7. Take The Night Off: If you don't even want to fathom the hassle of Thanksgiving this year or you want to try something new, put on your fab parka and head to a restaurant! Tons of restaurants offer coursed Thanksgiving prix fix menus (plus wine!) at affordable prices. This gives you a chance to check out that new fancy restaurant you have had your eye on and not have to stress over putting away leftovers.
8. Relax, Relent, Release: My last and final tip is to RELAX! Planning can be stressful but Thanksgiving is also a time to enjoy friends and family and most of all to be thankful of all of the fabulousness that is present in our lives. No matter which way you chose to tackle Thanksgiving, be sure to do it fabulously!