As you no doubt have seen on endless hours of food TV programming and magazine cover after cover... cooking for Thanksgiving is kind of a big deal. Don't let the hype scare you. Sure, a delicious meal is where it's at, but it's most important to make the most of the precious time with your friends and family. Here are my tips to get the best of both worlds.
Make Your Favorites, But Make Them Well
This day only comes once a year and special foods have a way of making their way into our hearts. Don't fight it for the sake of culinary trend. Enjoy making timeless family favorites, but be sure to take a moment to savor the memory and prepare them well.
My old school favorites? Try my Healthier Green Bean Casserole and a Morgan-family favorite steeped in tradition, Spiced Peaches.
Try One New Thing
You never know when you're going to find a new family favorite and that's why I try one new thing each year. Be it a side dish or dessert, there is always something new to discover. My "new" brussels sprouts from a few years back are now being requested by my sister-in-law and 1st grade nephew. Growing up I had the canned cranberry stuff, but then discovered the amazingness that is Cranberry Salsa when I spent the holiday with my in-laws.
All proof that just a touch of new is a good thing.
Let People Help You
Easier said, than done... I know. We get all this crazy Pinterest shit in our minds and think we need to do it all (and perfectly). The truth is, your guests want to help, so welcome it! My best tip is to be specific with your guests. Rather than say "bring a side" ask them to bring "those delicious sweet potatoes with the pecans you make." This helps you as a hostess better plan and prepare.
But helping doesn't just go for guests. Get your family involved. My husband rocks and fries our turkey every year. I only cede control because fried turkey is the best damn thing in the world. But in all honesty, it's a HUGE weight off of my cooking shoulders. Also in our family that means wearing ridiculous headlamps. #MorePeanutOil
Get Organized Now
Plan your list and get ahead now. My handy timeline is helpful, but take the time to think through your own. The day before is the best time to get your prep work out of the way and get those pies made. Best part? AMC marathons Gone with the Wind. Watch all seventeen hours and taste your masterpiece as you go. As God as my witness, you'll never go hungry or lose your Thanksgiving mind again.