When we go out for the evening with our buddies, we “pregame”, right? Why should it be any different for the one day of the year we get to get “wasted” on yummy goodness? The same way we plan our outfits, hair and makeup for the ladies, Imbibe in our choice of “refreshments”, plan our transportation and decide weather we need a designated driver or we’re Ubering it, we believe that Thanksgiving deserves the same enthusiasm and excellent planning.
This week we’ll focus on the not-so-fun but could be fun aspect of “Thanksgiving pregame”. The preparation. Make a list of everything you need from the guest list, to the decor, to the menu (therefore ingredients), to the anti-acids and the “cleanup crew” (the younger guests are perfect for this). Thanksgiving is the season open of the holiday season. So this is the time to dust off your cookbook and your dinner party planning skills.
If you want to make a dish that you’ve never made before and you are experimenting and you know it will be complicated, we suggest you try it first now. Your family and your friends can taste tasters, giving you the opportunity to practice , know what works and what doesn’t, feed your family and friends and have the confidence that you will not end up with inedible lump of something or other that your guest will talk about till next Thanksgiving. Also, plan your drinks for both your adult and minor guests. This week, buy all the ingredients that can be stored and stay fresh till the big day like your spices, dry ingredients etc, so that you are not overwhelmed and can be sure you haven’t forgotten anything on the day of. If you start now then you know what you have and what you need to get and there is still time to go out and buy it without fighting the late shoppers later on, there is nothing worse than being in grocery store on a holiday.
Plan your table setting. Take your time to inventory your plates, water and wine glasses, serving dishes, cutlery napkins etc. This is your opportunity to replace the wine decanter Uncle Bob broke last Thanksgiving while telling that funny joke (again). Call your florist and order your centerpice(s) for your dinner table, buffet table, powder room, kitchen, mantle, foyer, and coffee table. Remember a good flower arrangement can help you hide imperfections in your home. You have a glass ring stains on your wooden coffee table that that guest made by not using the coaster (Uncle Bob has destroyed your home, we get it), plop a beautiful arrangement on it. The fireplace mantle paint has chipped? Place a long and low centerpiece on it. Powder room is going to get a lot of action so place a fragrant arrangement by your sink (again, Uncle Bob). Plan on some entertainment for the young guests and for those that don’t have the desire to unbutton their pants and luxuriate with a happy tummy in front of the tv watching some pigskin action.
Now you know if that croquembouche recipe you wanted to try will work, you already know what you need to buy (food or otherwise) and how your table will look. You know where to sit Uncle Bob (away from the flammables, breakables and down wind), and you already feel the weight of the holiday stress falling from your shoulders. You can now strut your stuff knowing you’ve got it this year. You’re welcome.