Tips for Hosting the Perfect Thanksgiving Dinner
For the past few weeks, you’ve been bombarded with images of golden, perfectly roasted birds, gorgeous homemade pies, and picture-perfect table settings. Thanksgiving is coming up and the pressure to unleash your inner Martha Stewart and whip up an incredible feast can be a bit overwhelming. But don’t let your Thanksgiving to-do list stop you from getting into the holiday spirit!
Hosting Thanksgiving dinner doesn’t need be a stressful occasion. This annual feast can be a lot of fun with a little preparation. Whether you’re hosting Thanksgiving for the first time or consider yourself a turkey day pro, the perfect meal is all about perspective and planning. Our savvy strategies and great retailers will help you deliver major style with minor effort this holiday season.
Plan in Advance
Avoid unnecessary stress by planning your menu and going grocery shopping in advance. Stock up on the Thanksgiving essentials: potatoes, cranberries, vegetables, rolls, and a turkey. After you finish shopping at Whole Foods Market and Costco, stop by Cooper’s Hawk Winery for a delicious bottle of their finest vino.
Brush Up on Your Cooking Skills
Another way to make sure you’re prepared for this classic American feast it to have the right kitchenware and brush up on your culinary expertise. If you’re looking to impress your houseguests, stop by Williams-Sonoma and Sur La Table to enroll in a cooking class, get your knives sharpened and buy new cookware.
Don’t Do Everything the Same Day
While you won’t want to cook certain recipes, like the turkey, until the day of, you can cook other items in advance. You can make and refrigerate gravy, dressings, soups, dips, and spreads up to one week before Thanksgiving. Reserve the day before Thanksgiving for making desserts and prepping important ingredients for the following day.
If you really want to prepare ahead of time, set up your dinner table the night before. Decorating the night before will give you a little time to decompress, be creative and make your table stand out without worrying about the turkey in the oven!
Have Fun with Your Décor
From Thanksgiving centerpieces to garlands and wreaths, the best way to infuse cheer and holiday spirit into your meal is to decorate your home. Get inspiration and the perfect fall décor at Crate & Barrel, Urban Home & Garden or Pottery Barn.
You can also create the perfect family dinner ambiance by choosing a few fall-infused candles from White Barn or Bath & Body Works to add to your table.
Have a Plan B
Things rarely go according to plan. A dish may not turn out like the picture or you may run out of time to bake the apple pie. Always have a backup plan in place. Pick up a pumpkin cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory or a few fall-themed cookies from Cheryl’s. Keep a pre-made pie crust in the refrigerator or store a few boxes of stuffing and cans of cranberry sauce in the pantry in case you can’t make your homemade recipe. While we’d all like to make everything from scratch, it’s difficult to get everything done in time without a few shortcuts, and that’s OK!
If your family prefers to dine out for Thanksgiving, the following Easton restaurants will be open for the holiday—many of which will have special menu offerings:
Smith & Wollensky
Whole Foods Market
McCormick and Schmick’s
Ted’s Montana Grill
Texas De Brazil
If you’re planning on doing some Black Friday shopping, make sure to head over to our website to see our special holiday shopping hours.
Hear More from Easton’s FoodE
We sat down with Easton’s very own FoodE to get a little more insight into having the perfect Thanksgiving dinner.
Q: Do you normally host Thanksgiving?
A: Normally I don’t, but last year my mother and I hosted together! Every other year, my entire family gets together and there ends up being about 40 of us.
Q: What do you do to prepare and keep stress at bay on Thanksgiving Day?
A: I try to prepare as much as I can a day or two ahead of time. Last year, my mother and I baked the pumpkin pies, made the cranberry relish and coleslaw, washed the crystal and set the table the night before. It was a saving grace that we didn’t have to worry about it on Thanksgiving Day while we were mashing potatoes, making gravy, slicing the turkey and baking the rolls.
Q: Do you have any creative tips for enjoying Thanksgiving leftovers the next day?
A: I love taking the leftover sweet potatoes and making a sweet potato hash the next day. I put brown sausage and chopped onions in a skillet and let that simmer. Then, I add cubed sweet potatoes and cranberries. It’s delicious!
What are you most excited about this Thanksgiving? Let us know in the comments!
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