Your Guide to Being a Good Thanksgiving Host

Your Guide to Being a Good Thanksgiving Host

For some people, hosting a Thanksgiving dinner just seems to come naturally. They effortlessly pull off the decor, invitations, cooking and serving in a way that makes everyone feel welcome and truly at home. For the rest of us, though, it can take a little more forethought and effort.

We at Mother Rucker’s Sweets are here to offer a little advice on you can be the best Thanksgiving host possible and create a pleasant holiday experience your friends and family will remember fondly.

Get started early

If you’ve taken on the responsibility of hosting Thanksgiving for the first time, the most important thing to remember is to plan ahead. The Tuesday before Thanksgiving is too late to start cracking open your cookbooks or searching the internet for recipes and turkey tips. Not only will you risk doing your shopping in a grocery store with bare aisles, but you’ll also put yourself in a bind in terms of getting everything done in time.

About a week or two before the holiday, think about which dishes you’d like to serve and decide what you’ll buy premade and what you’ll prepare yourself. Some dishes, such as pecan pie and mashed potatoes, keep well in the fridge and can be made in advance, leaving you with plenty of time to tackle the dishes that you’ll need to prepare day-of.

Also, gather together your bakeware, seldom-used utensils, extra glassware and everything else you’ll need about a week ahead of time so you can give it all a fresh cleaning and ensure you have what you need.

Create a plan

Estimate how many people you’ll be serving and adjust all your recipes to meet that number, accounting for a few potential stragglers. Ensure you have the silverware, plates and glassware to accommodate your expected turnout.

If you’ll be enlisting some help from a friend or family member, determine what each of you will be responsible for. Delegating certain dishes and preparations can take a huge burden off of your shoulders.

Make a shopping list

Now that you’ve planned your menu an adjusted them for the number of guests you expect, you’ll need to create a comprehensive shopping list. Be sure to triple-check your list against your recipes to spare you that moment of panic when you’re missing a major ingredient mid-way into cooking.

There are plenty of apps that’ll help you with the chore of making a shopping list and selecting recipes. Some of our favorite cooking apps will also help you plan your meal and inspire you with beautiful photography.

Don’t overburden yourself

You may be hosting Thanksgiving dinner, but that doesn’t mean you have to cook every dish yourself from scratch. If you’ve taken on the challenge of cooking the main dish and all the sides, you’re fully entitled to buy the rolls, pies and cakes from the bakery. Order in time and you can treat your guests to Mother Rucker’s Sweets’ own buttery, sweet and deliciously crunchy Cookie Brittles for a pre-meal snack or after-dinner dessert, for example.

Enlist family members or friends who are willing to help, too. Table setting, dish cleaning, popping rolls into the oven and other simple tasks are perfect for delegating to an early arrival or one of the kids.

Keep it simple and relax

A memorable Thanksgiving meal can be as simple as a main dish, several sides and an elegant dessert. You’ll find tons of recipes for holiday dishes out there, but that doesn’t mean that you’re skimping if you don’t attempt them all. The goal is to make plenty of food for everyone to feel satisfied, not to wow your guests with an enormous selection.

In the end, Thanksgiving is all about people coming together to enjoy each other’s company over a delicious dinner. As the host, you’ll be at your best if you’re not stressing out alone in the kitchen, but instead enjoying your time with your friends and family.