First off, take a breath. Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful, not stressed. Whether you’re a Thanksgiving rookie or a veteran, it can be a time of anxiety for everyone. From brining the turkey to baking the pumpkin pie, a lot of planning and execution goes into that holiday feast. Here are some of our favourite, practical tips for a successful Thanksgiving.
1. Safety, Safety, Safety
A healthy Thanksgiving is a happy Thanksgiving. Thaw turkeys in the refrigerator, in a sink of cold water that is changed every 30 minutes, or in the microwave. Never thaw your turkey by leaving it out on the counter. Thawing your poultry at room temperature can allow bacteria to grow.
2. It’s All About the Prep
Prep a few days in advance. By doing as much ahead of time as possible, you will have a more relaxed Thanksgiving day. Start three days out by dicing your onions, garlic, carrots, and celery. Store them in Ziploc bags or in airtight containers in the fridge. Voilà…ready to go on the big day.
3. Think Small
A night where you have a few dozen guests isn’t the time to try something new. A big swing could result in a big miss. If you want to mix it up, minor recipe twists can have a big flavour impact.
4. It’s Cranberry Season
Cranberries get a bad rap. They don’t have to come out of a can. They are in season, so buy them fresh. Use them in a unique way: make a jam, sorbet, or add some cranberry to your cocktails!
5. The Leftover Scramble
If you have had enough of sandwiches, leftovers are amazing when served scrambled. Throw your turkey, Brussel sprouts and sweet potato in a pan, and scramble it all up!
6. Smell The Memories
Create a delicious holiday aroma throughout your home by boiling a pot of water with orange rind, cinnamon sticks, whole star anise and whole cloves. Yummy.
7. Game Time
Incorporate some fun into the day! Backyard touch football game. Beanbag toss. Boardgames. Plan some activities, that way people aren’t crowding the kitchen. Win-win.
8. Cool Off
Add some cold dishes to the menu. Don’t try to serve the entire meal hot—you might not have enough space or burners. Try a green bean salad that you can serve at room temperature.
9. Plan L(eftover)
Organize and empty your refrigerator before the feast starts so you don’t waste time trying to jam in the leftovers after the meal. Simple tip, but makes life easy.
10. Cleanup Time
One thing that’ll make cleanup go a lot quicker: Don’t use your sink. Fill a big bucket or plastic bin with soapy water, and when plates come back let them soak in there.
11. Make an Acorn Family
Craft time is fun. We love this simple family craft activity!
12. Leave it to Rawley!
We can take care of Thanksgiving for you. Join us for an intimate Thanksgiving getaway. Stay in luxurious waterside accommodations, enjoy Thanksgiving dinner at the Lighthouse 45 Restaurant, and relax in our LakeHouse Spa. If you just want dinner, you can book that too.
Your new Thanksgiving tradition is waiting.