Thanksgiving Dinner Disasters And How To Avoid Them
When you're cooking a holiday meal for family and guests, there are many hats you have to wear and many mistakes that can be made. But if you know what to do and what to watch out for, you can pull off the perfect Thanksgiving dinner. Here are a few tips to dodge some of those fiascos.
First Things First
Start planning as early as possible. That doesn't mean you have to go to the grocery store on November 1, but you should know how many people will be there, what kinds of items you want to serve, and how everyone should be seated. This way you can start your grocery lists -- any non-perishables can be bought early and set aside so you don't have to buy everything at once. If you need extra chairs, you can figure out where to get them now rather than scramble the week before Thanksgiving to secure your seats.
Start to work on produce and perishables three days before the big meal. Cut up any vegetables you can ahead of time. Store them in water to keep them fresh and crisp until it's time to cook. Once you start cooking, you'll be amazed at how easy it is to get your dishes moving in and out of the oven. Early prep work saves so much time, energy, and stress, so you'll be able to put more effort in making your guests comfortable.
We all do it -- it's part of Thanksgiving tradition to prepare for the feast by not eating beforehand. It rarely works out the way we want it to and guests end up being hungrier than planned. In this case, you have to do the thinking for them. Make sure to have light snacks and munchies prepared for your guests as they trickle in. This way, the people who get there early won't be starving by the time dinner is on the table and those who are running late can have a little sustenance before they sit down to eat.
Fear The Fad
Deep-fried turkey is a trend that doesn't seem to be going away, despite the dangers. If you're playing with the idea of trying out a new way of cooking your turkey, perhaps the holiday isn't the time for experiments. According to the National Fire Protection Association, deep fryers can be blamed for five deaths every year, 60 injuries and $15 million in property damage. While you might be concerned about keeping your dog in the pet harness while your turkey cooks in the backyard, there may be bigger issues to worry about. Play it safe for the holidays and save your culinary exploration for another day.
Division Of Labor
No one said if you host Thanksgiving, you have to make everything yourself. There's no shame in making Thanksgiving a potluck. In fact, sharing your home for a holiday should be enough of a contribution to the meal. Most people on your list are ready and willing to bring what you can't handle on your own. As soon as you know what you want on your menu, start dispensing duties to your guests. You won't go crazy trying to get everything done as well as be a good host, and making it a communal effort makes it all the more personal and memorable for your guests.
Whether your guests are bringing food or you're crafting the entire meal yourself, a pile of pots and pans is inevitable. Make sure you clean as you go! As soon as one dish is in the oven, clean all of the pots and utensils you used to make it. At the end of a rich and heavy meal, the last thing you want to do is work -- cleaning up messes as you make them just makes the end of the night more relaxing and easy to enjoy your company -- and the next morning!
The Lakeside Collection has a wide variety of items to help you host a memorable Thanksgiving dinner. Whether you're looking for hooded baby towels to keep your guests and little ones comfortable or you need kitchen gadgets to make dinner prep easier, shop Lakeside for great products at affordable prices.