Fall ushers in Thanksgiving, one of the widely celebrated seasons of all time. People mark the highlight of this festal period by having the Thanksgiving Dinner. It is no wonder then that many hosts go out of their way to make sure that they offer the best dinner ever. If a host knew the following tips and tricks, he or she could use them to actuate a perfect Thanksgiving feast.
Below are top 10 things you should know when preparing a perfect Thanksgiving dinner.
1. Plan ahead
Many people fret over the thought of preparing the Thanksgiving Dinner simply because they find it overwhelming. Unknown to them is the fact that preparing and hosting the dinner is something manageable if only they had a plan. Since the last-minute attempts make the planning of the dinner seem daunting, a person should carefully plan the event early enough to avoid last-minute rush and preparations. The planning will involve coming up with a guest list, determining the menu, recipe and the cooking process as well as the decor for the evening meal. Last but not least the host needs to draft a shopping list of the items he or she needs, a few days before the event.
2. Rethink the menu
Even though Thanksgiving is about showing gratitude, a person should not make the mistake of assuming that the guests are not interested in the food. No matter how impressively well the host decorates the room or serves the food in elegant and exquisite cutlery, if the food is not enjoyable, the entire Thanksgiving Dinner loses its appeal. Similarly, the host should not get too much excited and go overboard with the menu. To be on the safe side, he or she should include both simple to prepare recipes and a few that are a little complex.
It is not just enough to plan for the Thanksgiving Dinner. The host should take the next step of putting the plan into action. He or she should list down and double-check all the things that they need such as ingredients, utensils, and the kitchenware family that includes; silverware, glassware, and dinnerware, to find out if they are accessible and enough for the guests. By confirming that all the stuff needed to prepare the Dinner exists, the host gets assured of a relatively stress-free dinner preparation. The host should also come up with a to-do list of all that the stuff they should do before the dinner.
4. Develop a workflow
Since preparing the dinner involves a lot, a person should come up with a way to get everything done within the shortest time possible. The ideal way is by developing a list of activities that he or she needs to do and then rank the activities according to priority and order sequence. If possible, the host could use flow diagrams or even the project management tools to find the critical path. By so doing the host can conveniently ensure a systematic flow of tasks that results in all the work done with relative ease.
5. Keep tabs on the guests
To help ease the Thanksgiving Dinner preparation tasks the host needs to know how many guests are likely to attend. Since getting the exact figure might prove challenging especially because plans keep changing, the host should regularly stay in touch with his or her guests to confirm who is coming and who is not. Knowing the number of guests helps to make sure that there is enough seats, room, cutlery and foods such as the Thanksgiving turkey to go around. Also, it helps in determining the kind of meals to prepare since the cook will consider the different dietary needs represented by the guests.
6. Prepare in advance
Cooking food for crowds is challenging. It needs a lot of preparation and the food also takes too much time to get ready. To counter this challenge, the host could decide to prepare some foods such as salad dressings, soup, beans, dips and even vegetable platters in advance. Alternatively the host could buy pre-made food such as frozen pie crusts, cheese, and fruits. Once these foods are ready, he or she should refrigerate or keep them safe to prevent them from going bad. Since the turkey is the main dish of the day, the host should make sure that they order it well in advance so that there is enough time not just for delivery, but also to prepare.
Most people are so much concerned about becoming the perfect Thanksgiving Dinner host that they do not involve other people in the dinner preparation. At the end of the day, they get too worn out to enjoy the meal, or they get overwhelmed and fail to deliver the perfect banquet. The host should understand that the holiday is equally his or hers as much as it is for the guests. For that reason, the host should not shy away from asking for help. In most cases, the close family members and friends are more than willing to take part in the preparations.
8. Consider borrowing crockeries and utensils
There is a huge likelihood that the number of guests might be more than the resources that the host has in his or her home. For instance, the host might have just a limited number of dishes, pots, pans and other kitchenware. So for the guests to get enough cutlery, some hosts decide to incur the price of going out and buy more serving and cooking items. Instead of incurring such heavy costs, the host should consider borrowing from friends or relatives a few kitchenware and dishes. Most people would gladly offer their utensils just to make the feast a success.
Even though the Thanksgiving dinner is the main focus of the day, the host should not pay any less attention to the home. The home should have attractive decorations that stress the Thanksgiving celebratory mood. The decor should be eye-catching and fun. In fact, the host could use items that they already have in the house such as gold, orange or green colored candles. They could also get creative with pumpkins, or a basket filled with pine cones and scented with cinnamon. The dinner table should also have an inviting and appealing setup.
10. Relax and have fun
The wish to actuate the perfect Thanksgiving Dinner gives some hosts sleepless nights as they keep falling into avoidable panic attacks more so when the D-Day nears. Unknown to them is that their unrest affects their ability to think and work efficiently while at the same become troubling for the people around them. What the host needs to do to end up with that ideal Thanksgiving banquet is to take a break to relax, eat well and have enough sleep. By doing so, his or her body will work at best levels resulting in desirable outcomes.