My favorite holiday is coming up very soon. Hope you love T-Day as much as I do. Good food, family, friends and no worries about gifts or costumes. But sometimes hosting the big meal for family and friends can seem daunting. That’s why Pro.com has uncovered some ways to make it easier and less stressful.
1. Ask for Help: Make it a meal where everyone brings a favorite dish or one they excel at creating. Tell them to have their contribution ready-to-eat; there’ll be no room in the oven to cook something extra. Have your spouse and children assist with cleaning, food prep and table setting.
2. Prep Ahead of Time: You can peel and slice potatoes and store them in your fridge in a pot of salted water so they won’t turn brown. Bake your pies, roast the chestnuts and dice the fruits and vegetables you need the day before.
3. Stick with the Classics: Thanksgiving is not the day to mess around with new recipes. Instead, do what has worked well before.
4. Check Your Dish Situation Early: Dig out the serving bowls, platters, dishware and silver you’ll need for dinner and wash them before the big day.
5. Set Up a Drink Station: Mix up a pitcher of sangria, put out some non-alcoholic beverages and cups and let your guests take care of their own drinks.
6. Ask Guests to Bring Storage Containers: Dish up leftovers into these. I love this hint. Every year at this time I lose all my leftover containers to my family who takes them home and I end up having to replace them.
7. Take Time to Relax: If you can’t find a few minutes during T-Day to put your feet up, plan something special and calming for the day after.
1. Erect a Thankful Tree: Place bare twigs in florist’s clay in a vase. As guests arrive, request that they write what they’re most thankful for on construction-paper leaves. Punch a hole in the finished leaves and hang them with ribbon on the tree.
2. Bell Jar Centerpiece: Place tiny white pumpkins in a bell jar or cloche turned upside down. Place a plate over the top, flip the container and you have an easy table centerpiece.
3. Acorns on the Mantel: On a hike, collect acorns, then place them around a small votive candle you’ve put in a cup. Distribute some additional acorns throughout the display.
4. Soup Tureen: Put water-soaked florist’s foam into a large soup container. Add fall colored flowers and gourds. Dahlias and mums work well.
5. On the Door: Instead of a wreath, paint an old tray with chalkboard paint. Glue branches and faux berries around it and write an appropriate greeting on the tray.
Table Setting Tips
1. Cork Name Cards: Write guest’s names on rectangles of card stock. Cut slits in old wine corks and insert the place cards.
2. Rosemary Place Cards: Soak long sprigs of fresh rosemary in water until they are flexible. Form the stems into circles and secure with floral wire. Cover the wire with a ribbon and glue the wreath to a place card.
3. Clothespins: Spray paint clothespins a glittery gold. Add berries, stand them on end and put the name card in the top.
4. Bundle Silverware: Tie each knife, fork and spoon together with a colored ribbon. Stand them in a clear bowl filled with rice or popcorn and place in the middle of the table.
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