Eeep! Who else is wicked excited for the short work week?
While I always look forward to Thanksgiving because that means chowing down on great food, being surrounded by loved ones and lounging around with football on – this year I am extra excited! We are hosting Thanksgiving for the first time this year!
After buying our first home in August, I quickly asked my dad if he’d care if we hosted and he was happy to have us do it for something new!
Our Thanksgiving gatherings are small, but it’s about who is around not how many 🙂 My dad will come down from Maine with my 88 year old Grampy Thompson – my favorite human ever!
Then my sister and her boyfriend are driving up from Quantico, Virginia. It will break up a very long ride home to Maine for them too.
We will have a full house and I simply cannot wait!
I’m not all that nervous about hosting and cooking up all the food with S because I’ve helped out in the kitchen for my family Thanksgiving all my life. I can make gravy from scratch and know how to cook a turkey!
But with that, I still chatted with women in my community on tips for hosting my first Thanksgiving. They shared wonderful wisdom so in case you are hosting for the first time this year too, I wanted to share!
I hope these eight tips for hosting your first Thanksgiving are helpful!
1. Use this article for the simplest way to roast a turkey. I think S will own the turkey and I’ll take on all the sides. It’s great to provide him with a guide! This one provides all the details and an awesome cheat sheet. This is the turkey roaster we registered for and will breaking out!
2. Use this guide for making gravy from scratch. I’ve always been in charge of the gravy situation on Thanksgiving, but I always forget the ratio! This article is great if you need a reminder or want to learn the techniques for making fresh gravy.
3. Off load what stresses you. Baking is my favorite thing to do in the kitchen. With that said, I realized I’d need to bake all our pies ahead of time rather than day-of. Well my work is way too busy to be able to do that this week, so I decided to offload it and not take that as a failure! Even thought I love baking, I don’t have the time to make crust and filling from scratch so we are grabbing an assortment of pies this week from a local bakery.
4. Prep ahead of time. Whether prepping for you means baking up those pies or it just means getting all your cooking supplies and groceries, get those tasks checked off well before Wednesday.That way you aren’t scrambling between three different grocery stores to find stuffing 😉
5. Start early on non food prep. Meaning, get those serving dishes out and washed up early this week! Our wedding serving china is stored away so we need to get them out and ready to go. Another great tip a woman told me was to throw a little sticky note on each serving tray with what will go inside. That way you have less to think through day of and also when guests ask how they can help, that makes it easy!
6. Don’t overthink appetizers. I loved this tip! One woman told me that everyone is stuffed after Thanksgiving, right? No matter where we are, there is well than enough bread, stuffing, turkey, potatoes, carrots and more to go around. Keep appetizers light so that people still have an appetite for the main course and it takes more work off you. My family always does a cheese and cracker spread, so I’ll probably just keep it to that and some raw veggies!
7. Get ready first things that morning. Multiple ladies told me that they sometimes just hop out of bed and start in on cooking, but their schedule is so jammed with each recipe that by the time guests are to arrive they have to scurry to get ready! At minimum, they suggested getting up and showering before anything else starts lol.
8. Create a reverse timeline. Another wonderful piece of advice! Start with what time service is, and count backwards for each item. No more worrying about things not finishing at the same time!
If this is your first year hosting or you’re lending a helping hand this Thanksgiving, I hope some of these tips of advise are helpful! Let me know where you are spending Thanksgiving this year in the comments below. Xo Mindy
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