Thanksgiving Traditions...How Do You Celebrate?
I love Thanksgiving, and I am truly thankful for all of my good fortunes. When I think of Thanksgiving, I think of food, family, friends, and football. I know that for many, holiday time can be stressful or depressing, but for me I feel like this is when I really shine.
It really is not about how big, or small your crowd is, but about appreciating how wonderful things are, and hopes of better things to come. My crowd size varies from year year, from as small as six people, to as large as twenty. Personally for me, ten people is the most comfortable size for me to cook for.
This year I am doing something a little different. I am hosting a pre dinner the Wednesday before at one home to spend time with those who will not be with us on Thanksgiving. Then on the actual day of, I will host another Thanksgivings with some different guests at a different house. The menus will be different, as will the locations and ambience, which makes it more interesting for me.
I used to get very stressed out cooking for the holidays, wanting everything to be perfect. But those years are long gone. I am pretty confident in my abilities, but can also shrug it off if something doesn’t turn out right. I also don’t try to go it alone. My two daughters are awesome sous chefs, which helps a lot. I love teaching my girls to cook, and seeing that growth from year to year.
So while my holiday menus are mostly decided, I am now teetering between a roasted or fried turkey. For a while there, I was really on a fried turkey kick, and then I was over it. The last three years I roasted the turkeys, brined for 48 hours before cooking, and they were delicious. But it may be time for a change up again. Either way, I plan on a stress free Thanksgiving.
Here Are My Tips For A Stress Thanksgiving...
- Plan Ahead - Once you know how many people you will be hosting, start planning seating, your menu, and beverages.
- Make Ahead - Many dishes, especially desserts and appetizers can be made ahead of time.
- Enlist Help - Have you kids, partner, or friends assist as needed with food prep, serving, and clean up.
- Bring A Dish - When entertaining large groups, have guests bring side dishes, desserts, or beverages.
- Perfection Not Required - Remember the gathering is about being together and giving thanks.
- Size Doesn't Matter - Whether your celebration consists of 2 or 20 people, you have something to be thankful for.
What are your holiday plans? Hosting a dinner? Attending someone else's dinner as a guest? Or going out for a nice steak dinner at a restaurant?
When you practice gratefulness, there is a sense of respect towards others. - Dalai Lama