By Emily Schilling
Thanksgiving and food go hand in hand. I pull out all my necessary recipes weeks in advance and not only make a shopping list but check it twice. Thanksgiving Day is not the time to suddenly realize you forgot to get an important ingredient!
Good cooks may know how to improvise when necessary, but creative fixes rarely fly on a holiday so steeped in tradition. Taste buds are always attuned to favorite family dishes — even if they may only be served once a year. If the stuffing is missing the celery, the cook will hear about it!
Perennial Thanksgiving hosts know the turkey day drill, but if you’re a first-timer, here are five of my tips to make your day easier:
- Plan your menu early, and make note of what ingredients you have and what you need to buy.
- If you buy a frozen turkey, make sure you allow adequate time and refrigerator space to defrost it!
- If your guests want to help cook, by all means take them up on the offer! If they have a well-loved signature dish, like pumpkin pie, their contribution will save you time and help ensure the meal is memorable for all.
- Concentrate on the “star attractions.” If your guests just like turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, why stress over a myriad of other side dishes that will only clutter the table and will barely get touched? Make only what will get eaten.
- If you and your family don’t like traditional fare, don’t feel as if you have to force down food that isn’t your thing. Have pizza if you’d rather! It’s all about spending time together and being thankful for our blessings anyway!
EMILY SCHILLING is editor of Indiana Connection