Thanksgiving is all about focusing on what really matters: family, friends and comfort food. Whether you plan on hosting a large family gathering or opening your home to friends, the prepping, cooking, and socializing can be overwhelming. Experts agree on three things – plan, keep it simple, and let go of perfection.
Planning is key. Create lists weeks ahead of time – the menu, shopping lists, table centerpieces, and even the music. Buy non-consumables and pantry staples as soon as possible. Some dishes can be made days in advance. Set the table and prep centerpieces the day before.
Focus on creating a warm and inviting atmosphere. Decorate your home with the season's natural elements—from the farm stand, the grocery store, or your own garden. Give the house a thorough cleaning the week prior, so a day or two before, all you need to do is a light cleaning.
Keep it simple. This isn't the time to introduce complicated recipes. Never underestimate the power of a good cheese platter and fresh crudités. And feel free to surrender to store-bought fare. Lighten your load and set up an inviting buffet that's filled with mouthwatering dishes and seasonal decorative elements.
Remember to enjoy yourself; eat, drink, and be merry. Your friends and family have come to celebrate this special time with you. Thanksgiving is a favorite holiday for many as it has the advantages of socializing and great food, before the shopping and gift giving begins. Take time to relax and enjoy the people in your life.
Finally, don't let good turkey, pumpkin, cranberries and sweet potatoes go to waste! Turn Thanksgiving leftovers into hearty meals everyone will enjoy.