Since the original winners never emailed me, I had to re-draw for the Turkey gift cards!
I try to get as much done as I can the night before and we rent an extra fridge!
My tip is to make your SIL host so you can just show up with your pecan pie and call it a day.
For the two of you who won, to redeem your prize, please email me within 48 hours at email@example.com! Congratulations!
I absolutely cannot believe that Thanksgiving is this week. It feels like a few weeks ago, I was sweating like crazy any time I stepped outside. Oh wait…that weather is still going on here.
Maybe that’s why I can’t believe it. Ah, life in the South. Turkey Day in 80 degrees is the norm around here. To get myself in the mood, I usually start baking up a storm.
I made these little guys two years ago to get myself in the mood for Thanksgiving. I’d love to make them again, but only two were eaten. Why? Well, because they were “too pretty to eat”. ::sigh::
Two years ago was the first time my husband and I hosted Thanksgiving for family. I vividly remember all of the planning that went into it and hoping it would turn into a magazine worthy meal of amazingness.
Sounds good, right? Well, let’s just say that didn’t happen. At all.
My husband and I worked pretty intensely to make sure the house was sparkly clean and all of the dishes were prepped for the day, but when it came to it, I just couldn’t get efficient. I felt like I was in a dream where everything was in slow motion, and by the time my Mom arrived, there were dirty dishes on the floor (ran out of counter space and didn’t have the motivation to do all of those dishes), and I’m sure I was probably in the fetal position on the floor begging for the last minute things to just take care of themselves. HA!
As much as my husband tried to tell me everything would be OK, I just panicked.
I think there should be a special place in heaven for moms. My mom just walked in the kitchen and helped me to get a handle on things.
Since hindsight is 20/20, I have quite a few tips to make Thanksgiving better:
- Do NOT be afraid to ask your guests for help when they offer. Seriously…they’re offering to help! They can do something as small as opening the can of cranberry sauce and plating it. It all helps..trust me!
- Clean the dishes as you go. If you take a few minutes to just do your dishes as you dirty them, you won’t end up with a huge pile of them at the end of the day.
- Wear an apron. Just do it. Unless you’re the type of person who likes to eat at the table with crusted stuffing on your shirt.
- A week ahead of time, make a time line. I can’t tell you how much this helped. Most dishes and desserts can be made the day before, and for dishes that have to be made the day of, have your ingredients prepped and ready to go! For the day of, something I’ve always learned when hosting a party is that no matter what, you will always need an extra hour to get everything ready. Give yourself an hour buffer in the time line.
- Buy some disposable containers at the store for your guests, so you aren’t stuck with 20 lbs. of leftover food. Most people don’t think to bring their own containers, and with the disposable ones, you won’t have to hound your family to get your good containers back!
- If you have any turkey questions, don’t be afraid to call the nice folks at Butterball on their Turkey Talk Line! Their number is 1-800-BUTTERBALL. There will be people there to answer the phones on Thanksgiving Day! There’s also some great FAQs about turkey on their website here.
- Oh, and most importantly, your dinner does NOT need to look like a magazine spread. As long as the food is tasty, and you’re with people you care about and love, your Thanksgiving dinner will be a success!
Since it’s the turkey season, the great folks at Butterball are offering TWO lucky Nifty Foodie readers a free Butterball turkey gift certificate!! To get ready for the big dinner this week, I’d love for you to share your Thanksgiving tips in the comments as an entry to win!
You have until Friday, November 25th, 2011 at 11:59pm to enter. This giveaway is only valid to readers in the continental U.S.
If you’re looking for some great recipes for Thanksgiving, check out last year’s Thanksgiving round-up of my favorite recipes.