I am lucky, I have been invited to my dad’s house for Thanksgiving, which means, I do not have to prepare the traditional meal.
However, I hosted a huge family Thanksgiving several years ago.
There is more to it, than just cooking a turkey and few trimmings..
I wanted to give you my 5 non-food Thanksgiving tips.
Use biodegradable plates, utensils and napkins
Just because Thanksgiving is a bit more special than a weekly, family Sunday dinner, does not mean you cannot use disposable items.
Beyond the convenience of not washing plates and flatware till Christmas, using disposable plates allows for quick clean up, so you, the hostess, can visit with your family and guest.
Do not worry, these plates, utensils and napkins are biodegradable and can be thrown away with your other trash.
Made from sugarcane fiber, these plates are leak proof, microwavable and freezable.
Although more expensive than petroleum based disposable kitchenware, these are well worth the splurge for a Thanksgiving meal.
Designate trimmings to your guests
There is nothing wrong with asking your guests to be responsible for a side item, even for those out of town guests.
Remember you are assigning responsibility, which does not mean they have to prepare the dish somewhere else and bring it to your house.
They can purchase the ingredients and prepare it at your home.
It helps you by eliminating a side item from the menu, but also, helps your budget, so you are not paying for the entire meal.
Just keep a rolling email going with each guests name and what they are responsible for. This will allow everyone to see what exactly is on the menu, so they can prepare a more collaborative dish.
Serve in easily store-able dishes
The night before the big meal, I prepare my table, including the dishes I will serve everything in.
All serving dishes are microwavable and have proper storage lids for refrigeration.
When everyone is done hovering over the grazing table, you can easily pop on the lids and place items in a now empty refrigerator.
For this, I use my Temp-tations collection. Many patterns and styles are available, to match almost any kitchen decor.
Keep the beverage bar out of the kitchen
The kitchen is a natural conjugating space for the family Thanksgiving dinner. By keeping the beverage bar out of the kitchen, you will avoid inevitable accidents.
Prepare one cooler with just ice, make sure to include a scoop for removing the ice.
Prepare an open tub with soft drinks, water and beverages for easy picking.
If you are serving wine or alcohol, do not put these in the same container with the soft drinks, keep adult beverages separate.
Also place glassware near the beverage bar.
No need to make this an expensive investment…any large container will work.
Move dessert to the living room
Relocate dessert to the living which will allow your guest to get up and move around, visit with other family members and be more comfortable.
Since the other four tips allow for simple, easy clean up…YOU should walk away from the dinner table with your guest. They will feel much more relax when your are relaxed.
Set up the dinner station before dinner starts. Make sure to include plates, flatware and napkins on this table too.
Set up the DECAF coffee pot so it can be turned on quickly. Prepare a sugar canister (ahead of time) and put creamier in a device that will be easy to get out of the fridge.
What is your best NON-FOOD Thanksgiving tip? Please share…
I hope all my readers have a safe, delicious and happy Thanksgiving!
Want MORE tips when hosting a large crowd for dinner?
GET IT HERE! Strategic tips for hosting a dinner party.