Italian Cooking & Language Blog

Fare La Scarpetta means to wipe your plate clean with a piece of bread.

What else could you ask for?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Thanksgiving: Avoid the Drama

It is almost Thanksgiving, but if you follow food magazines and blogs, you’ve been thinking about it for some time. If you haven’t, don’t worry.

If you are hosting Thanksgiving, you might be overwhelmed trying to figure out how to put together a feast. You could try to cook your turkey like some NYC chefs (everything from pre-carving to adding chicken stock as the meat is cooking) or you could search on Epicurious for recipe suggestions, including a video on how to carve the turkey. Many home chefs, of course, appreciate the chance to revisit family recipes, perhaps interspersed with a few new ones.

The key to a successful, and enjoyable, many-dish-dinner is to make a plan and stay relaxed. Some tips:
1. Write out a menu and decide who is preparing which dish.

2. Add times to the menu: work out when the dishes should be served and then figure out when they should be prepared.

3. If you are sharing one, smaller kitchen, as we will be doing this year, decide who gets to use the kitchen at what time. (There are always a lot of emotions and personalities together for a holiday, so this will help to eliminate some of the inevitable drama.)

4. Shopping the day before Thanksgiving is not the best idea. If you can, make a shopping list early and start to integrate the non-perishable into your regular shopping list. This will help to spread out the cost and make that final, big shopping spree less heavy to carry up the steps. If something needs to be ordered, be sure to order it in advance and schedule the pick-up.

5. Be prepared for last minute changes. Maybe someone arrives at your door with another pie instead of a vegetable dish. So what? Remember that the holiday is mainly an excuse to get together with loved ones and be together. So enjoy the time together.

Other tips for organizing a great meal? Please share in the comments section below.

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