With less than two weeks until Thanksgiving, it’s time to create a game plan! Are you cooking this year? I’ve been hosting Thanksgiving feasts in my home for over a decade and I’m turning this site into Holiday Headquarters as of right now. For most of us, this is the biggest dinner we will cook all year, and it is also my absolute favorite meal to make. Start getting things in order this week, and keep checking in here for recipes, tips, and more. Happy Cooking!
Time to get as much out of the way as you can. Here are my top 10 tips for the week BEFORE Thanksgiving. Let’s get going!
1) Invite guests and get a rough idea of how many you’re cooking for.
2) Make a menu and a grocery list.
3) Check your inventory and stock up on glasses, plates, utensils, roasting pans, etc. For a little something special, I love these beautiful pie dishes from Emile Henry.
4) Get your knives sharpened. This will make all of your cooking so much easier. Plus, did you know you’re much more likely to cut yourself with a dull knife than a sharp one, since you need to use more pressure? If you live in the LA area, Gary the Knife Sharpener is the man. Also, places like Sur La Table and Williams Sonoma offer knife sharpening, especially around the holidays.
5) Decide how you’re going to decorate your table. I like to use gourds and candles as my centerpiece and I will be using these pretty placemats and napkins I found last season at Pottery Barn.
6) Get a reliable meat thermometer. I’m a big fan of the Thermapen. It’s pricey but nothing compares to this one and their customer service is fantastic! A great investment and it comes in so many cool colors- I couldn’t resist snatching one up in pink!
7) Calibrate your oven. Make sure the temperature you think you’re cooking at is accurate. Your oven can be off by a lot. You can call a technician to do this or consider doing it yourself with these instructions.
8)Now is a great time to throw out your old spices and replace with fresh ones. It will make such a difference in flavor in all of your dishes- especially that pumpkin pie! Unless you work in a restaurant, it’s hard to use up most of your spices in a year. (And I recommend replacing them all at the one year mark) I really like these organic ones from Spicely. They come in small packages that I can usually finish in a few months, so I’m not wasting product.
9) Plan your wine and cocktails. I like to start with Champagne, then move into both white and red wine. And I always keep a bottle of Martinelli’s Sparkling Cider on hand for my underage kiddies. Gives them something bubbly to toast with, letting them feel included.
10) Delegate, delegate, delegate. Don’t be afraid to ask for help! Most guests love and want to contribute. Have them bring side dishes or desserts. Lighten your load as much as you need. Guest who doesn’t cook? Get them to come over and polish the silver or iron the tablecloth. Thanksgiving should be fun for all- especially the cook!
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