Here’s a few last minute tricks that may help:
- Devise the Plan - Create your menu, list and get the shopping done now. Better yet, start assigning appetizer, side dish or dessert to your guests. Everyone wants to be helpful, so don’t be shy. Thanksgiving is all about “giving”!
- Set-up - Use this weekend to your advantage. That’s right - get the linens, plates, utensils and platters out, set the table and bar, and get creative. Enlist the kids to make place cards for each guest. There - that’s one big item to check off before the weekend is done.
- Do Ahead - Think about what can be done a couple of days in advance. Are you making stuffing? This is an easy one. You can prepare traditional stuffing with sautéed onions, celery and herbs two days in advance and it will stay fresh in the refrigerator. Just hold off on stuffing that bird until right before it goes in the oven.
- Special Touches - These are the simple little things that can take a meal from ordinary to fabulous and they don’t take long at all. Case in point: Cranberry Sauce. Why plop a gelatinous glob of canned fruit (with indentation lines from a can), on your nice table? In less than 30 minutes, you can make a delicious, fresh cranberry sauce that will WOW your guests. See one of my favorite versions below, or check out sites like delish.com or epicurious.com for inspiration.
- And a few more for good measure:
- Frozen turkey? Thaw and brine it the night before - the flavor difference is remarkable
- Wine pairing - best bets for turkey are Reisling, Gewürztraminer or Pinot Noir
- Play list - great music sets the tone and stations like Pandora make it easy
- Get that firewood ready to add ambiance. If the weather is nice, move outside to the fire pit.
- Enjoy and take a moment to give thanks!
Delicious Spiced Cranberry Sauce
1 bag of fresh whole cranberries
1/2 cup of honey or pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons of packed brown sugar
3 cinnamon sticks
6 whole cloves
3/4 cup water