Don’t let details derail a great Thanksgiving celebration. Read on for tips on planning a Thanksgiving meal in your apartment that you and your guests will remember fondly all year long.
Create a guest list as far in advance as possible by sending out invitations early, perhaps just before Halloween. The sooner you can get your RSVPs, the sooner you can make arrangements for the amount of food you’ll need and the seating requirements. You’ll want to consider the space available to you in your apartment, of course. When you know who is coming and what their eating preferences are, you can also begin to plan the menu for Thanksgiving in detail. (You may want to plan vegetarian dishes, for instance.)
Do the prep work
There are a lot of details you can take care of days or even weeks before the feast. Look at your menu and determine which dishes might be made in advance and frozen. Then, take a weekend at your leisure to make these casseroles or other side dishes and store them in the freezer.
Several weeks before the event, reserve or borrow any additional seating that you might need, including a larger table and extra chairs. This is also a good time to start assembling apartment decorations for the big event, including candles, seasonal arrangements of dried branches and pine cones, or artificial flowers. Wait to collect fresh foliage for the day before the meal.
Be creative and have fun
Most importantly, the Thanksgiving meal preparation experience should meet your expectations. Have you been dying to brine a turkey? Now is your chance. Or maybe there are other turkey recipes you’ve been wanting to try.
If there are decorations, dishes, or games that you’ve been wanting to share in your home, there is no better time than a Thanksgiving meal to do that. Just give yourself enough planning time, and don’t bite off more than you can chew, so to speak. Potential fun can soon turn to stress if you have too many to-dos on your list.
Consider a pre-cooked turkey
One of the greatest energy-savers for your Thanksgiving meal is to have someone else prepare the turkey. Grocery stores and local restaurants are all in the pre-made feast game these days, and you can get your bird roasted, deep-fried or barbecued. All it takes is a little advance notice. Check with your local eatery to see when you need to get your reservation in. Then, for Thanksgiving Day, you can pick up the bird and heat it up at home. No cleaning, no basting, no fuss!
Make it a potluck, perhaps
Limited space may mean you don’t have the work area to prepare a number of dishes at once. You may also have a small oven that can’t handle more than one dish at a time. You might consider, then, suggesting a potluck holiday feast; this spreads the food prep among your guests, many of whom would likely offer to bring something anyway. In keeping with the communal theme, why not serve the meal buffet-style? If dining space is limited, guests can make themselves at home on any surface they can rest on.
You don’t need a castle to dine like royalty for your Thanksgiving meal. Even a humble apartment kitchen can set the scene for a feast to remember. Plan ahead, share the work, and keep it fun. You’ll be wondering why you didn’t offer to host the big event sooner.
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