I’m hosting Thanksgiving again this year, if by “hosting” you mean having two people over for dinner. I’ve hosted for the past several years, which I didn’t find terribly stressful, so I thought I would share a little of what I did for first timers. My first Thanksgiving was 7 people, which still isn’t that many, but qualifies me a lot better than serving dinner to two people. One of whom is my mother. An important disclaimer is that I’m single, which means I never got married, which means I never registered, which means there are a whole mess of Thanksgiving related things I had to hunt down because even not-entirely-average single girls like me don’t randomly have carving boards and gravy boats and a whole mess of serving utensils.
My main concern was all the random stuff I wouldn’t think of until I had a pan of gravy on the stove with no receptacle, as well as messing up the timing and having a cold ____ because it came out of the oven an hour early. So I made myself a poster. People teased me, but it helped–even with a minor* issue, things went off quite well.
My categories are dish, ingredients (which to me is things I could potentially not have on hand, so I don’t include butter/flour/oil/staple items), prep (again, special tools I might not have, so “knife” isn’t on there but “roasting pan” is), serving (everything here–this is where you determine you own two serving spoons and need five) and timing (how long does it take/early should you start/temp & time in oven).
With all of this information, it was pretty easy to work backwards from my desired serving time, call my mother in a panic and tell her to bring spoons, email my aunt to ask for a carving board and figure out when to put in the stuffing**.
Also, helpful side note: You are going to screw up the rolls. The timing is impossible to get right unless that is someone’s sole responsibility.
Have you ever hosted Thanksgiving?
*When the stovetop timer went off, my mom helpfully hit “Off” on the oven panel, turning off the timer. And the oven, which is where the turkey was, and I didn’t notice for 20 minutes.
**This is a lie. My family doesn’t like stuffing, so I didn’t make any. We mostly eat mashed potatoes. The rest is just details.