HOSTING A SUCCESSFUL THANKSGIVING
Thanksgiving The seasons are changing. There’s a slight chill in the air as fall arrives, bringing with it a beautiful array of changing leaves. You’ve probably already stuffed your face full of candy from Halloween, but now it’s time to start planning the next holiday: Thanksgiving!
Thanksgiving is known for being a time of gathering with family and friends and celebrating the gift of giving (and stuffing your face with delicious food). It can also be a stressful time of planning, fretting, and organizing. Let’s make the planning a little easier this year by going over ways to help you host the best Thanksgiving celebration ever.
PREPARING YOUR HOME
When you think of hosting a Thanksgiving celebration, the first thing that might come to mind is the food. There are, however, many other preparations to take into account. Here are a few ways you can prepare your home for Thanksgiving.
One of the nice things about Thanksgiving is that you don’t need much for entertaining guests. Thanksgiving meal is often the main source of entertainment, as guests excitedly anticipate eating the dishes that have been lovely made. Thanksgiving also serves as a reunion for family members, giving them a chance to mingle and catch up.
Your entertainment plans can be as simple as light, quiet music, and comfortable seating with blankets and candlelight to set the autumn ambiance and give guests a place to relax after eating.
SETTING THE TABLESetting a striking table can have a huge impression on your guests. Don’t underestimate the number of plates, cutlery, baking dishes, bowls, cups, and more that you will need to serve your dishes and accommodate for all attendees. Check your guest list ahead of time to make sure you have enough dishes.
It can be easy to get in over your head with Thanksgiving meal planning, especially if you’re hosting for the first time. Check out these tips on meal prep for Thanksgiving to help you get started.
CONSIDER HAVING A POTLUCK
If you’re going all out and inviting a large group to your Thanksgiving party, work smarter and not harder by throwing a potluck. Inviting guests to bring a dish or two each can take some of the stress off your shoulders for cooking an enormous meal. It also adds a variety of foods to your table and gives your guests a chance to show off their amazing (or not so amazing!) cooking skills.
If you’re already a natural at hosting parties and think you can handle the heat in the kitchen, you can always go all in and do the cooking yourself. This is especially true if you’re having a small guest list, know what your guests enjoy eating, and can make adjustments for any dietary restrictions.
REMEMBER YOUR PLANT-BASED GUESTS
Speaking of diets, plant-based family members are often left out of Thanksgiving meal planning. So as not to forget your plant-loving guests, be sure to include dishes that they can eat. They’ll love you, and so will the animals that were left out of the dishes! A few great examples are:
stuffing with mashed potatoes and gravy
balsamic quinoa salad, and
a stuffed, roasted butternut squash.
PREPARING THE TURKEY
For the meat-lovers out there, it’s time to talk about the signature dish: the turkey. It’s a good rule of thumb to plan ahead for cooking the turkey to avoid having guests restlessly waiting for it to finish if you underestimate the cooking time. If cooking a turkey intimidates you, you can always order a pre-cooked turkey and store it in your fridge. Simply take it out the day of the celebration and pop it in the oven to reheat it.
JUGGLING SIDE DISH PREP
It’s also a good idea to consider how many dishes will need to be prepared in the oven. When you’re trying to cook multiple foods in the oven, it can be hard to time everything correctly. To remove some of the stress of timing your dishes, aim to have plenty of dishes that can be cooked on the stove top. Also consider using a grill, crock pot, or even a microwave to prepare some foods and make things go more smoothly.
One dish that will have your guests begging for more is this stuffing/dressing recipe by Victoria Granof. This popular recipe is the perfect pair for turkey and red wine.
Who doesn’t love a good Thanksgiving dessert? Whether you choose an apple, pumpkin, or pecan pie, or something else, don’t forget the finale to your Thanksgiving meal!
HOW TO PICK THE PERFECT THANKSGIVING WINE
Last but not least, you’ll want a wine that brings out the warm, hearty flavors of your Thanksgiving meal. Here at Theme Night Wines, we’ve got just the wine for the occasion.
FRAMILY NIGHT PINOT NOIR
If you’re looking for a great wine with Thanksgiving dinner or the newer tradition of Friendsgiving dinner, our Framily Night pinot noir is a perfect choice. This sophisticated red wine has just a hint of red berries to it. It also has softer tannins, unlike white wines, that makes pairing the wine for Thanksgiving dishes a match made in heaven.
For a cold Thanksgiving this year, our Winter Night Pinot Noir is a great way to stay toasty around a fire.
MAKING OR BREAKING TRADITIONS – KEEP IT ALL IN THE “FRAMILY NIGHT”
Let’s be real here. Sometimes Thanksgiving can be a bit dramatic once the extended family and in-laws are in. If you’re hoping to avoid the drama this year, you could always nix the family altogether and go for hosting a Friendsgiving with Framily Night wine instead!
No matter if decide to host Thanksgiving or Friendsgiving or both, the time and effort you put into the holiday for giving are sure to bring its own, special traditions, both old and new. Once it’s all over, you’ll be able to let out a satisfied sigh of relief knowing you tackled one of the biggest holidays in the US.
So, pat yourself on the back and give yourself some credit, because hosting Thanksgiving is no easy feat. And of course, if for some reason it doesn’t turn out as expected, you’ve got wine fit for the season to throw yourself an even better afterparty!