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3 Tips to Host a Successful Thanksgiving

Drinks and Hors D’Oeuvres:
There is nothing that provides the necessary buffer between hungry, impatient guests and their delayed meal like a plentiful amount of drinks and hors d’oeuvres. You would be surprised how often these two things are overlooked. Sure there might be a few bottles of beer and some gifted wine, but none of it is inviting enough to provide the necessary distraction and happiness to keep the peace. And for the drinkers and non-drinkers alike, setting out a few plates of finger foods and hors d’oeuvres keep children and prying adults out of the kitchen until the meal is ready to go.

What are some of your trusted tips for Thanksgiving preparation? Favorite recipes? Ways to keep family harmony intact?

Related:
Vegan Thanksgiving Menu: 6 Recipes
8 Creative Pumpkin Recipes for the Holidays

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Eric Steinman

Eric Steinman is a freelance writer based in Rhinebeck, NY. He regularly writes about food, music, art, architecture, and culture and is a regular contributor to Bon Appétit among other publications.

31 comments

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2:22AM PST on Nov 19, 2012

I have a schedule: I make the cornbread for the stuffing 3-4 days before(store in plastic bag in fridge), the pie and rolls the day before I also assemble the stuffing ingredients(dry) the day before and brown the sausage for the stuffing, a week or so before and freeze till ready to use. So the only thing I have to really do on the day is the bird, potatoes and a veggie. Usually some kind of green bean dish.

Also I will never go back to a simply oven roasted bird. I now always brine the bird first. I do that the day before. It is absolutely way more delicious this way by comparison.

2:55AM PST on Nov 17, 2012

common sense reminders. and basics really, just a matter of how elaborate you want to make it and the number of pax.

1:12AM PST on Nov 17, 2012

I do all the background shopping and prep, but on the day(Xmas) (I am a Brit), we are all in the kitchen, with a glass of something DOING IT TOGETHER.
Chatting, catching up, telling stories, teaching the kids how to peel carrots etc, laughing and
best of all REMINISCING.
HAPPY HOLIDAYS

6:15PM PST on Nov 16, 2012

Thanks

3:35PM PST on Nov 16, 2012

It would really be something special if every Thanksgiving the chefs planned more and more beautiful table centrepieces that didn't include the corpses of animals.

It is a time to celebrate our good fortune. To do this at the expense of another creature and to clink our glasses and pass kind words to one another over the body of a young, innocent bird kills the feeling of celebration for me.

Please get creative with your main dish this year. Take a look at the link below and I hope you will give it some serious thought. Sadly, there isn't a nice way to die - even if an animal is raised with kindness.

http://www.peta.org/issues/animals-used-for-food/turkey-industry.aspx

HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!

2:58PM PST on Nov 16, 2012

thx for sharing

9:28AM PST on Nov 16, 2012

great common sense suggestions!

6:41AM PST on Nov 16, 2012

Marie that is another great idea! Eat out! Or how about order in? I know several whom are not able to get home for the holidays and they order the turkey dinners from the store deli.

6:27AM PST on Nov 16, 2012

Thanks for the tips =)

4:11AM PST on Nov 16, 2012

thanks -although I'm guessing I'm a bit more stressed now that I realize all I have to do this weekend...

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