Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and our mouths are already watering with anticipation. From food to friends to football, the fourth Thursday of November is one holiday that combines all of our favorite things.
If you’re planning to host Thanksgiving dinner in your Greystar apartment this year, we’ve got you covered. We’ve put together nine quick guidelines that will take the stress out of the holiday and have your friends talking!
1. Choose (and read!) recipes well in advance. Thanksgiving dinner is no time to leave things to the last minute. Pick out the dishes you plan on making several weeks in advance, and be sure to read all recipes from start to finish. Make sure you have all of the equipment you need to execute each dish, and test out any recipes you’ve never prepared before so that you’ll be a pro once Nov. 26 rolls around.
2. De-clutter your refrigerator and countertops. Empty your refrigerator of non-essentials prior to heading to the grocery store to stock up on Thanksgiving ingredients. Before you start prepping, clear any extraneous items off of your countertops (toaster oven, blender, etc.), place them in a box and stash them in a closet for the duration of your dinner party.
3. Write out a timeline for the week leading up to the big day. Make a schedule of when you need to go to the grocery store, clean your apartment and put up decorations. On Thanksgiving Day, make a two-column list detailing when each item goes into the oven as well as when it needs to come out. This will ensure that you don’t confuse your timers and burn your precious culinary creations.
4. Opt for low-stress recipes. Not every dish needs to cook in the oven! Look for undemanding recipes that you can set and forget, including these garlicky mashed potatoes and this cornbread dressing, both of which are made using a slow cooker. Also, make dessert in advance. Try this pumpkin ice cream pie for a sweet treat that you can make weeks before the meal.
5. Prep as much as you can the night before. Chop herbs and veggies and measure out flour and spices a day or two prior to the party. Store prepped items in plastic bags, which take up less space than boxy storage containers. Label bags with a permanent marker (include the name of the ingredient, quantity and dish it belongs to) for easy deciphering.
6. Clean as you go. The ultimate time-saving tip is the simplest one in the book. Clean up messes and wash dishes as you work, and designate a countertop trash bowl so that you can discard egg shells and vegetable scraps without making dozens of trips to the garbage can.
7. Post a menu for your guests to enjoy. Add a touch of elegance to your gathering with a displayed menu printed on high-quality paper. Up the chic factor even more with place cards or personalized invitations.
8. Rearrange furniture to maximize mingling space. If your living space is on the smaller side, consider shuffling your furniture around to create additional room. If your dining room table is tiny (or nonexistent), rent a folding table from your local party supply shop and cover it with a deep burgundy or burnt orange tablecloth to class it up a bit.
9. Keep your guests in mind. Give your guests clear driving directions and parking information so there’s no chance of them getting lost or towed. When guests arrive, greet each person individually – preferably while handing them a glass of wine or spiked cider.
Happy Thanksgiving from your friends at Greystar.