Chatelaine Kitchen

Challenge #4: How to prepare for Thanksgiving

Make your way toward an organized, clean kitchen for the holidays with our month-long kitchen fix. This week, we're sharing our tricks and tips for hosting a stress-free Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving table setting Thanksgiving table setting. (Photo, Roberto Caruso.)

Whether or not you’re gearing up to host a big Thanksgiving meal, this is the perfect time to tackle some dinner-party-related decluttering tasks. By now your pantry has been purged, you’ve made a list of your favourite recipes and you’ve organized all your gear. Now it’s time to focus on entertaining.

Having a party can be a lot of work, but it’s also a ton of fun, so set your kitchen up to make it as easy as possible. First consider what style of host you are. Do you generally throw big family dinners where everyone serves themselves from big platters? Or do you like stand-up cocktail parties? Would you cap your guest list at six or is everyone on the street (and then some) invited?

Next, set the menu. As with any dinner party, simple and familiar is always best. A roast turkey, gravy and three sides is a lot, and if aunt Alice has offered to bring the dessert, you should definitely accept! Of course, we have tons of great recipe ideas for you here.

With a pen and paper, write out a game plan (I swear by them, even for regular Friday night parties). Schedule everything right down to what time the potatoes will be peeled. Having a plan really reduces stress and makes it possible to get everything on the table at the same time. I’m always surprised by how early I need to start prepping (but am so grateful that I did!). Check out our plan to get a full feast on the table.

Now think about any additional gear or equipment you might need:

1. An additional set of inexpensive dishes, wine glasses or cutlery. Check IKEA and the dollar store for bargains.


2. Big serving platters (pop into the thrift shop – it doesn’t matter if they’re mismatched).

3. Good paper napkins or linens (I bought 24 white cotton napkins on sale last year that I use all the time).

Finally, check out some great ideas for easy centerpieces. Don’t forget to have fun (and let us know how it goes!). #kitchenfix

- Claire, Food Director.


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