It's that time of year again. We love Thanksgiving as much as the next people do, what a fantastic day...eat, drink, watch football, eat some more, maybe finish up with some pie? Maybe chase the pie with a post-football turkey sandwich? The options are endless.
If you have been dealt the hand of hosting, I have compiled a quick list of things that you can do to alleviate some of the stress that comes with being the host. (Cooking related, the family dynamic is on you.) Not necessarily entirely cooking related, these helpful tips can come in clutch in the future. Here's to having a successful day, and happy holidays from us over here at OSPC. -Dave
The Top 5 Party Hosting Tips
Clean house. Nobody likes to do it. Some people pay to have it done. Get it out of the way because you will be wayyyy too busy day of to be worrying about that nonsense.
Write your whole menu down on paper. This will help you when it comes time to make a shopping list, notate allergies or preferences, or simply just to help you remember all the prep you have in front of you.
Create a grocery list. I know this sounds like a no-brainer, but how many times have you forgotten something at the store? Yeah, like a million times over here. Make a list. Use the menu you wrote in the previous step to break each course or side down by ingredient, tally up how many carrots/potatoes/onions/etc. you will knead so you don't end up with too much or too little of one thing. (Did you catch what I did there?)
Mise en Place. Yeah, do that. The main key to victory is mise en place. Everything in it's place. Chop that mirepoix on Tuesday before Thanksgiving. Thaw your turkey. Get those potatoes peeled. Fresh herbs last a few days, chop 'em up. Brine the turkey 24 hours before cooking it. Make your pie dough, before hand. Prep the green bean casserole on wednesday along with any other sides you need. Basically just spend the few days before your event, I say that because this applies not only to Thanksgiving, but any important gathering you have planned, knocking a few things out, so that day of, all you need to worry about is cooking the main course. Taking care of the sides and just reheating them on the day can help A TON! Chopping veg so it's already done when you need it is a pro move. Go ahead and show off your party skills.
Make a schedule for day of events. Again, this may sound like overkill, but it isn't. Feel free to jot down a timeline, even if you don't end up using it, it'll help keep your mental eye on the prize. What time are you getting up to get the turkey to room temperature before you are cooking it? When does it need to be done? When should the sides be warm? How long will the potatoes need to boil for? These are all damn good questions that you need to have an answer prepared for. Write it down, check it off and adjust it as you go. It Will Help.
Using a few of these pointers may just help you survive this year, and give you a base to build new skills off of in the future...like toning that story your uncle is telling for the 20th time. Cheers.