It's not too late to get organized and pull it all together for Thanksgiving. None of your guests will see any last minute craziness and you will have plenty of time to enjoy that glass of wine if you, say it with me, PLAN AHEAD! Even if you've only got a few hours, it's still better than never. So here are some last minute tips you can still handle today and be less stressed on the actual holiday. Enjoy!
Get lots of disposable containers for leftovers to send home with guests. No need to track down your nice dishes later on this way.
Make sure you have lots of toilet paper and tissues. Make sure you make lots of gravy. Stocking up on all three of these is a no-brainer on Thanksgiving.
Have arts & crafts, movies, and board games ready to go for all age ranges. A hot topic this year is hosting an unplugged event, free from cell phones/iPads/video games. If you go this route, you must have something to occupy those idle hands, both young and old, so raid the closet and provide lots of activities.
Let's Talk Turkey
Nigella Lawson is a genius in the kitchen and her turkey has never failed me. Even if you don't have time to brine (I'm too lazy), take a look at the surprisingly short turkey cooking times she recommends. I get rave reviews for my turkey based on her advice and it has never been even close to dry. See it here.
If you are the head chef, make a list of everything you are cooking and the time each dish needs to go in the oven. Do not rely on your memory as those multiple kitchen timers going off might signal your demise and cause you to throw in the towel. Plan it out in 15 minute increments if need be. Better yet, use Alexa to set multiple timers with assigned names so she can tell you what is ready when.
If you are a guest in someone's home, ask them specifically what you should bring. 5 apple pies are not needed but maybe you could offer a hot appetizer so it's one less thing for that person to put in their already crowded oven.
Post-It Notes are a top favorite every day, so why shouldn’t I use them on Thanksgiving? Get out serving dishes the night before and label each with what food item goes inside. This will also help you realize if you are short on platters/bowls before its dinnertime. Plus it will help guests to help you in the kitchen with fewer questions.
As soon as I move into a new home, I always label all of the light switches. It helps me learn about my new house and also helps guests who are unfamiliar when they come to visit. Save your garbage disposal and your ears by labeling the switch so no one accidentally flips it on during your peaceful dinner.
Speaking of labeling things, you don't have to be so fussy and perfect all the time, especially when it comes to holiday decorations and food. Being organized does not have to mean boring, sterile, and empty surfaces. Pick a cool theme (a color or style or even time period), raid your house for anything that will work, and go with it.
P.S. In case you aren't up for doing this again in December, invite me over to help organize your kitchen and/or dining room and let's see what we can come up with together. Happy Holidays!