Thursday, November 18, 2010

One Week and Counting

Have you started your Thanksgiving shopping yet? Are you hosting a large gathering or going to another home to celebrate Turkey day? If you are the host I hope you have your game plan laid out. If not.....the time is here. Get a pen and paper out, use your daytimer, calendar or computer...but make an outline of your plans and use a timeline to keep your self on track and sane. A nice cocktail here and there won't hurt with the sanity part.

Ideas to consider and a starting point for the next week of chaos.

1. Number of guests.

2. Casual or formal gathering.

3. Seating arrangements. Do you have enough chairs, table space? Do you need to rent or borrow tables and/or chairs?

4. Plan the menu.

5. Are any of the guest bringing items? If you have a guest who doesn't cook, ask them to bring some drinks, wine, beer or soft drinks, a cooler of ice, or even paper goods.
If your guests are bring food items, you may want to assign dishes that can be served cold or reheated in the microwave. I love it when a guest brings a starter or dessert, something to start or end the meal. But at Thanksgiving, any help is appreciated. Especially, if the contribution is help with clean up.

6. Plan on the left over packaging. If you send left overs home with guests have some of the adorable Chinese take out containers handy. Or plastic air tight containers or baggies will work. Another idea is to use holiday tins, line with wax paper and fill with left over goodies. Use festive Christmas tins to start the excitement for the next holiday.

7. Plan your shopping, try and have all of the paper, canned, boxed and prepacked goods purchased and stored away by this weekend. Don't forget to stop a your local bottle shop, wine, beer, and bubbly your bar should be stocked. (You may need it!) Your fresh items can be bought and prepped by Tuesday. Use Wednesday (f possible) to prebake your pies, cakes and breads. Or use the local bake shop as your own personal bakery!

8. Wednesday night set the table(s) and assemble your cookware and serving pieces. I tape a note with the food item that is to be served in the dish to the bottom of each serving piece. When someone asks "what can I do to help" you can tell them to find the dish for the potatoes and the potatoes and match 'em up. If you put the serving dish on the buffet or table where you want it to remain the guest will not have to guess where should I put this??? They just have to put it back where they found it.

9. Dessert table. I always separate the desserts, most times into another room. I have even used the top of my washer and dryer as a dessert buffet. Throw a festive table cloth over the W&D set out your desserts, small plates and utensils and voila! Dessert Buffet Station. Of course your laundry room should be spotless and clear of clutter. If you have a screened porch or sun room even better! Think of it as another place to decorate for the holidaze.

10. Thursday morning.....let the chaos begin! Have fun, ask for help when needed and don't feel like you have to do everything perfectly or by yourself. Be Thankful.

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