So you offered to host Thanksgiving Dinner this year, and now you’re panicking and stressing out about everything that needs to be done? Take a deep breath, we are here to help! Whether this is your first year hosting or you’ve been doing it for years, these tips can help you have a stress free Turkey Day stuffed with fun and great memories!
Do as much as you possibly can the night before, so you’re not stressing out about having enough time to get everything done the day of. Set the table and double and then triple check that you have everything you need. Plan out your menu ahead of time so you don’t miss anything. Any dishes that can be pre-cooked and then reheated before dinner is served should be made the day or night before – think casseroles, pies, and cranberry sauce!
Do accept help
If your friends or family members offer to bring side dishes or help you cook, take them up on their offer! Have the kids or anyone you don’t trust in the kitchen help out by bringing drinks, setting the table, or tidying up. Don’t be afraid to get help from your local grocery stores and restaurants too! It’s totally fine to go store-bought on some of your Thanksgiving dishes. If you know a really great bakery or you love the brussel sprouts at that place down the street, order up! You want to be able to enjoy the holiday too, and you’ll never be able to if you try to do it all on your own.
Don’t mess up the main event – tips for cooking the turkey
Unfortunately, if you’ve agreed to host Thanksgiving dinner, you can’t rely on anyone else to cook the turkey for you. Fear not though, if this is your first time hosting and roasting a turkey, it’s not as hard as it seems. You should have already begun thawing your turkey, but if you haven’t, don’t panic. Kitchn has instructions for cooking a turkey that is still a little (or a lot) frozen. If you choose to brine your turkey make sure you remove the neck, giblets, and tail from the turkey and rinse it well before soaking it in the brine. It will need to soak for 12 to 18 hours, so this is something you should do the day or night before too, leaving time for the turkey to dry before you put it in the oven. When it comes to roasting the turkey, it’s actually quite simple – set your oven to 325 degrees and cook as directed. For more tips and detailed instructions Food Network has a great list of turkey recipes for Thanksgiving!
Be prepared to deal with difficult guests
When you get the whole family together it can sometimes be impossible to avoid the drama. We all have that one weird uncle, drunk aunt, or an annoying sibling we always end up fighting with! Keep guests entertained and happy by setting up some games for them to play. Cornhole or horseshoes in the backyard is great if the weather is nice, or have a deck of cards handy if you’re in cooler climates. Set the kids up with a movie or some fun arts and crafts to keep them busy. The men in the family will probably be happy as long as you have football on the tv. And of course, make sure you have plenty of beer, wine, and cocktails to go around – if not for your guests’ sakes then for your own!
If all else fails and your Thanksgiving feast looks like it’s heading for a disaster…
These restaurants put on some great Turkey Day feasts. Plus, a few spots from this list are still taking pre-orders for Thanksgiving Day takeout.