The sugar-filled, doorbell-ringing, princess and cape-wearing pageant of Halloween is behind us and now it is officially November, which means it is time to think turkey! Thanksgiving will be here in a few short weeks. To ease some holiday planning stress we highly recommend planning ahead as much as possible. We collected a few ideas to get you moving in the right direction:
Gather your guest list. Are you just inviting family, extended family, or a larger event with friends and family? Send invitations out now via mail or E-vites. Having an idea of who and how many are coming will help you with menu planning, budgeting, and, if necessary, seating arrangements.
Next, think about the feel you are trying to achieve with your gathering. Will this be casual and kid-friendly or up-scale and elegant? Is there anything special needed for your party–a new tablecloth, napkins, or candlesticks? Do you need extra tables or chairs? Will your party be a sit-down affair or a buffet? Start planning and arranging ideas in your head for how you’d like your space set up and order anything you need. Rental companies are busy this time of year so call them now to reserve your needs; we like All Well Rents. No matter which route you choose, we always recommend setting up a few stations around the house to keep guests mingling. For instance, a bar area in the kitchen, a cheese and fruit platter in the living room, and an appetizer station on the buffet or dining table. Then you can start thinking about the menu.
Since you now have a guest list and an idea for your party’s mood, it is time to start menu planning. First take a look at your guest list and check if there are any dietary requirements such as vegetarian, gluten free, any allergies, etc. that need to be worked around. If so, decide what dishes can be accommodated for guests with specific dietary needs. (Extra potatoes for gluten free, Tofurky for vegetarians, etc.) Many Americans pull off large feasts for casual Thanksgiving parties with a potluck style get-together. If this is the direction you choose, decide who is bringing what dish and confirm them as guests and as contributors. If you are going the up-scale route, consider calling your local caterer soon! Dates book up quickly, especially around the holidays. It is common for clients to want to cook a turkey at home and order all sides and desserts from catering companies or through local markets. It is never too early to call and confirm your food order reservation.
Turkey talk- as we keep mentioning, reserve your bird early! Many of the local, organic, and free-range farms sell out quickly. Ideally, these are the best turkeys to order, as they are fresher and never frozen, they give moister meat, and richer flavor. As a bonus you are supporting our local farmers! These birds can be ordered through most natural markets or through Grant Family Farms.
Now you are off to good start! Stay tuned for upcoming blogs on menu planning, recipes, cocktails, table settings, etiquette, and more! Also follow us Pinterest for more holiday ideas!