Hosting Thanksgiving? Here are Colin’s Insider Tips To Make Your Life Easier

Thanksgiving Turkey

Thanksgiving is without a doubt one of my favorite holidays of the year! It’s a holiday I love to decorate for and most importantly to cook for. I’ve collected recipes from around the world for my entire life, and each year I look forward to cooking them. To have a successful Thanksgiving you have to be extremely well-organized, and to get as much done in advance as possible, so that you can be as much of a guest at your own Thanksgiving as the friends and family you invited. It’s better to be glued to the dining room chair than chained to the kitchen stove! Here are some things I like to do in preparation for the big day.

Go shopping a week in advance:
You do not want to be shopping the day of Thanksgiving for something you’ve forgot ten, because you’re going to be standing in line for 45 minutes. That’s just to pay, add to that finding parking and locating what you are looking for. At all costs, avoid shopping the day of.

Set the table a couple of days prior:
I always set my table a couple of days in advance. This way I can make sure that I have everything; all of the dishes and utensils are cleaned, and items that I may not have used in a long time are ironed, pressed and polished. 

Prepare fresh flowers the day before:
Whether I’m setting the scene with fresh flowers, dried leaves or gourds, I always have it set and ready the day before my guests arrive.

Plan a seating arrangement the day before:
Take care not to plan seating too far in advance. Last minute cancellations may disrupt your entire seating arrangement.

Prepare all of your ingredients
Prepare as many of your vegetables in advance as possible. Potatoes can be peeled the night before, left in cold water, and mashed the next day quickly. Your desserts can also easily be made the day before.

The day-of:
All you should be doing on Thanksgiving Day putting your stuffing together, stuffing the bird, roasting the bird, finishing sides like the potatoes, and finally pouring a glass of red wine and enjoying the company!

Sharing the load for Thanksgiving:
What you might want to do is share some of the cooking responsibilities. Have one of your guests bring an appetizer, one brings a dessert and you make the bird. Or you can host a full-on potluck Thanksgiving where you cook the bird and your guests individually bring all the sides and vegetables, and you set the table and host!

-- Colin Cowie

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