The Do Ahead Thanksgiving

My goal for home entertainers is one relaxed hour prior to guests arrival. The key to getting your hour is getting as much done ahead of time as possible. That simply requires a little planning. I always counsel one full weekend before your party. In the case of Thanksgiving — the Superbowl of Home Entertaining — I counsel two full weekends. That means you need to use this weekend well.

According to our At Home Thanksgiving Planner, your focus this weekend should be on Menu Planning and Organizing Tasks and Time.

Screen shot 2009-11-13 at 4.55.47 PM

Here’s what I suggest you do:

  • Finalize Menu and fill out Menu Planning Worksheet (This is included in the Planner.)
  • Identify make-ahead dishes and avoid last minute dishes.
  • Print/assemble recipes. (If you are using At Home by Steve Poses you can go to At Home Online and conveniently print your recipes.)
  • Make Shopping List (also included with the Planner) by reviewing all recipe. Save time by organizing by market aisle and or type of store and check list against what you already have. This is weekend to assess you tabletop — especially if you need to add to your collection of platters and bowls. Also, check your supply of candles.
  • Plan where to buy prepared items, if using. (I fully support your using good prepared food if it helps you get one relaxed hour.)
  • Contact guests and assign dishes or other tasks.
  • Make your shopping schedule. Shopping tasks are ideal tasks to assign to others.
  • Plan you prep work and cooking. You can certainly make the Gingered Cranberry Orange Sauce from Wednesday’s blog.
  • Purchase all of your beverages, including wine and alcohol.
  • Note: If you are responsible for Thanksgiving or know someone who is, you have a responsibility to help them get their one relaxed hour so send them the planner
  • IMG_6549
    These are onions. There are lots of these in your life between now and year’s end. Learn how to make chopping onions easier.

    At Home’s How to Chop an Onion Video
    I have shared with you my mission which is to increase home entertaining nationally by 10%. My reason is simple. I believe in the essential importance of human connection. And there is no better way to make that connection than to share the warmth of you home and a good meal. I understand that you may feel home entertaining can be difficult. So, if I am to accomplish my mission and get you to entertain at home more, I need to help make it easier.
    Vegetable prep is the most time consuming aspect of cooking. And chopping onions is probably the task you do most. To help make it easier to chop an onion, I have made a short video — How to Chop an Onion. I hope you find it useful and, if so, pass it along to others who you know struggle with onion chopping.

    What Guests Can Do To Help
    Numbers of readers have offered great suggestions for our list. Please post your suggestions for What Guests Can Do To Help on this blog by using the “Leave a Comment” under this post or send an email to me at need your help now to come up with a great list to share with Thanksgiving hosts and I will need your help later in sharing the list. Let’s work on this together over the next two weeks.

    Screen shot 2009-11-13 at 6.30.44 PM

    The Perfect Gift for Your Thanksgiving Host
    At Home by Steve Poses: A Caterer’s Guide to Cooking & Entertaining with At Home Online, the companion website for book owners, is the perfect house gift to bring to your Thanksgiving host. At Home is not available in bookstores, but only from Order now in plenty of time for Thanksgiving.

    1 Comment

    Filed under Entertaining at Home, Holidays, Tips

    One response to “The Do Ahead Thanksgiving

    1. Pingback: At Home’s Thanksgiving Redux: A Guide for Guests « At Home By Steve Poses Blog

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