list it: A week before make a check list of what you will be serving. Then create a shopping list of all your needs. Shop in advance.
no mess: I love to use cooking bags for cooking the turkey, they are a “no brainer” way to cook a moist turkey and the clean up is a snap.
Too many cooks in the kitchen: The meal is ready and you need space to dish it out! Keep guests occupied out of the kitchen, make some funny trivia cards or have a camera on hand and designate a guest to take a few pre-dinner pictures.
tight spaces: Carve the turkey in the kitchen and platter the meat with an additional side dish like stuffing.
small dishes: I like to use individual ramekins for making mini sweet potato casseroles (one for each guest). I make them the day before and just re-heat on Thanksgiving day. The ramekins can be placed right on to a guest’s plate and you won’t need any additional serving dishes on the table or space on a buffet table.
enlist help: Ask friends or family to bring extra side dishes.
no buffet no problem: You can create a buffet out of almost any piece of furniture. Just drape the furniture with festive fabric of a tablecloth and use protective trivets – and you got yourself a buffet.
cook early: Make as many dishes ahead of time as possible – like cranberry relish, sweet potato casserole rolls, salad & pies.
oven safe: Try to use serving dishes that are oven safe. You can prepare meals in advance and reheat in the serving dish.
pies: If you are not going to bake pies… just pick a few up at your local bakery. Just remember – you might need to pre order.
no table?: Don’t worry if you don’t have a traditional dining table, A low coffee table can be doctored up with a few floor cushions and a table runner. You can pick up folding tables and chairs at any discount store. If you don’t want to buy - most cities have rental shops that will rent additional chairs for $3-$5 each.
The meal is devoured, the dishes are stacked mile high and you have a house filled with family - what to do? Here are a few fun ideas and activities that everyone can do together.
What to do on Thanksgiving Day !
Take a family walk.
Have a family photo swap.
Compete in a scavenger hunt.
Play games - Apples to Apples is really fun!
Have a family dance off.
Have the kids make a youtube video of your family.
Have a family Wii or Guitar Hero competition.
Play flag football.
What to do the Day After Thanksgiving
Tour an art or history museum.
Go on a fall leaf hunt.
Go to the movies.
Have a family bowling game.
Make mini scrapbooks.
Make salt dough ornaments with the kids.
Have a wrapping paper swap or craft session.
Have a family member who knits give lessons.
And, of course....SHOP!
Salt Dough Ornaments
1 cup of fine salt
4 cup of flour (add a tiny more for softer dough)
1 1/2 cup of water (may add more)
FolkArt acrylic paint
Make the dough: In a large bowl, combine the salt and the flour. Make a well in the salt/flour mixture and add the water. Knead until smooth and shape into a ball. When not in use, wrap in plastic or store in an airtight container.
Ornaments: Form the dough into holiday shapes. (cookies cutters are great tools for this craft) Press a paper clip into the back of the ornament to create a hanger. bake at 150-200 until firm (around 2 hours) Cool. Paint with FolkArt paints and seal with a clear varnish.