Whether you want to impress your future in-laws or just want to surprise your own Mom and Dad that you learned how to cook, Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be intimidating for the first time host. It’s actually meal to prepare, and, it’s all a matter of time management.
If you haven’t already done so, send out your invitation or make calls to those you wish to invite this week. Next, create your menu, and, you don’t have to go overboard and try to make a gourmet meal. Keep it simple. Buy all your appetizers at the supermarket (be sure to offer a variety of choice — generally speaking 2 or 3 different appetizers are more than adequate.)
Appetizers can be store bought such as cooked and peeled shrimp which you can simple count out (approximately 4 to 6 shrimp per person depending upon the size of the shrimp) and place them in fancy martini glasses with cocktail sauce (which can also be store bought.) Cheese and crackers are another good appetizer to offer since it requires no cooking, and, it’s as simple as displaying the cheese and crackers on a nice board or plate. And, if you opt for a third appetizer, keep it simple and store bought such as Crudités (sliced vegetables such as carrots and celery) along with a store bought hummus.
Your main course is easy if you go with traditional turkey. Simply thaw your turkey a few days prior to Thanksgiving (provided you bought a frozen bird, otherwise, this step can be skipped), place it in a good brine the night before Thanksgiving, and, cook in the oven on Thanksgiving — just be sure you allow enough time to cook the bird — the rule for success is low and slow. Keep sides easy such as mashed potatoes and green bean casserole.
Dessert, just like appetizers, can be store bought. It’s as simple as picking up a pie from your local supermarket! Also, be sure to have coffee and tea ready, so, it’s a smart idea to start brewing coffee right before you’re ready to serve your Thanksgiving dinner. This way you can keep the courses flowing easily.
As for your table setting. Do yourself a huge favor. Get throw away everything — meaning everything from your tablecloth to your cutlery! Supermarkets and party stores such as Party City have a wide variety of choices, and, you’ll thank yourself later when it is time to clean up! Centerpieces can range from fresh flowers to the turkey itself. It’s truly up to you!
Entertainment isn’t hard to offer. Simply turn on the television and allow your guests to watch the Thanksgiving Day Parade or whatever football happens to be on at that time.
See how easy it is when you break it down into simple steps! And, remember, no one expects perfection, and, if things go haywire, laugh it off. After all it isn’t a tragedy if you drop the turkey on the floor or if you burn the bird to a crisp. Simply apologize, and, continue forward and call your local Chinese or pizza place and place an order to replace your fallen bird!