Last Minute Tips for Your Best Thanksgiving Ever!
If you are like me, and your fabulous, step-by-step, 10 course Turkey Dinner plans turned into “The Nightmare Before Thanksgiving” dinner plans, HANG ON FRIEND – Miss Moxie to the rescue! With just a week left to make it happen, I’m here to help you pull off your BEST THANKSGIVING EVER – and no one will ever know you got a smidge waylayed! You can do this! Here’s how:
#1 – Make Your Lists!
Friends List: Write em’ down. Grandad all the way down to sweet Baby Jane. Don’t forget to count a few extra heads just in case your son invites his roomate! A close count is imperative!
Food List: Your most important task will be to plan the menu and grab your groceries! You’ll want to do this TODAY! A key to pulling off a fabulous meal is to enlist your friends and family to contribute! What signature item can your sister bring? Can your best friend bring her mouth-watering broccoli – bacon salad? Mom’s apple pie is a must! Then you can fill in the gaps! HOT TIP: Don’t forget to ask the kids what their favorite dishes are! A few of ours: Mashed Turnips, Grandma’s Cole Slaw, and Kiwi slices!! My son often bakes a cheesecake!
The typical Thanksgiving Dinner includes:
- Turkey or Ham
- Mashed Potatoes
- Stuffing and Gravy
- Sweet Potato Casserole
- Green Bean Casserole
- Salad – We usually have Cole Slaw
- Cranberry Sauce
- Pumpkin, Pecan and/or Apple Pie
#2 – Shop!
Last minute Thanksgiving grocery shopping can turn into a blessing in disguise. In the week before the holiday, stores are anxious to sell out of their huge stock of specialty items, so YOU benefit with great sales. Luckily, this is a BIG food holiday so you should be able to find everything on your menu.
#3 – Work ‘Ahead’!
- Set the Table – Do as much as you can ahead of time! If you have a traditional dining room, set your table with your linens and China. If you have a more casual celebration, you can still prepare by stacking plates, glassware, serving bowls, etc. on a side table. Wash off your platters and hors d’ oeuvres dishes. Clean the glass beverage dispenser.
- Clean the House – Focus on the bathrooms and the Living areas. You can do a quick touch up with glass cleaner and a cloth on the morning of. Skip the floors – take my word for it. Unless you have a crawling baby, or spill the lemonaide, your floor is clean enough, and you’ll have to mop it post-dinner regardless. If you just CAN’T find the time for the housework, hire a great housekeeping service to get it done while you do other things!
- Bake Ahead – You can make many parts of the meal ahead of time! Mashed potatoes, and sweet potatoe and green bean casseroles reheat perfectly. Rolls can stay fresh for days. Pies can be made a few days ahead, too. HOT TIP: Don’t make everything from scratch! Great cooks take shortcuts when possible, especially if they are in a last-minute situation. Specialty grocery stores such as AJ’s, Sprouts, and Trader Joes have amazing side dishes. You might want to give them a try!
When your prep work is done, take out a few board games for family time after dinner, and celebrate hosting your BEST Thanksgiving EVER!