Thanksgiving is a holiday we spend a lot of time thinking about, preparing for, and running around on the day of. Since there are no gifts to give, or trees to light, we spend most of the Thanksgiving holiday scrutinizing one thing: the menu. To brine or not to brine the turkey? Mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, or both? Pies…pumpkin, apple, pecan, or all of the above? We searched for simplified recipes and shortcuts to help ease your doubts about what to serve this year.
If you are hosting this year, we highly suggest making anything you can ahead of time, so when your guests arrive so you will cool and collected when the doorbell starts ringing! Often times when dishes are made ahead of time they get even better, so take some time the day before to cook and prep what you can. You can get a day-before-start on cranberry sauce, chop vegetables for any salads (leaving undressed until it is served), assemble stuffing, or a potato gratin to be baked on Thanksgiving, mashed potatoes, or any pies and desserts.
When your guests arrive serve easy foods like nuts, cheese and crackers, or veggies and dip. Have pitchers of water garnished with citrus and cranberries available for everyone to serve themselves, saving you a ton of trips to the sink! If you are serving alcohol aside from wine with dinner, consider serving a seasonal punch. This will give you more time to socialize, instead of waiting on people pouring waters and drinks.
Ask for Help
Putting a large meal together for a big group is daunting! There is no shame in hosting a potluck Thanksgiving dinner or filling in with a few store bought items. If you know your aunt makes the best sweet potatoes, why not ask her to bring them? Friends and family find it flattering to help and love to show off their best creations. For folks invited that do not cook, ask them to bring wine, or flowers for centerpieces.