I'm both relieved and sad that I'm not hosting Thankshiving this year. If my memory serves me right, I've hosted the last three years. This year, however, I just can't. Between being a homeowner and having random shit malfunction around the house and having traveled SO much the last month, hosting just seemed like biting off more than I can chew. So, this year will just be us. Hubby, and Lennox and I. And hoping for a close couple friend of ours to join us as well.
Although we aren't hosting an extravagant dinner this go around, there are still some basic rules to keep in mind if it's your year to set the table.
1. Plan your menu in advance
Nothing will keep you more organized and focused. If you're anything like me, you might be tempted to make evetything on Pinterest. Don't do it. Select an appropriate amount of dishes and commit to them.
2. Don't be afraid to go non-traditional
Listen, turkey sucks. Like idk whose idea it was to make this dry ass bird an annual Thanksgiving tradition, but they wouldn't be invited to any party of mine (sorry if you like turkey). If it's not a State Fair-esque turkey leg on the menu, I'm likely not interested. That said, it isn't uncommon for me to stray from tradition and serve something unconventional. Most of the time, I'll still have turkey as an option for those stuck in their bubble, but this year, I'm planning dirty rice stuffed Cornish hens... because I have no desire to have 18lbs of leftover turkey.
3. Don't do it alone
Enlist help. I'm really bad at this because I love things to be a certain way. But listen when I say... ENLIST HELP. Every year, my husband "helps" by walking into the kitchen and asks when the food will be done. My dad is my kitchen co-pilot. And my mom is the on-the-spot dish washer which is the most underrated job of all. I couldn't do it without them.
4. Have takeout containers
Unless you live with a bunch of human garbage disposals, you might have quite a bit of leftovers. To avoid eating dry turkey for a week that feels like the rest of your life, encourage your guests to take to-go plates. If you grew up in a black household, that likely reads paper plate covered in foil. But this is the Faux Fancy and we aren't sending guests away with a roll of foil and hefty plates. Get a bunch of styrofoam to go boxes from your local grocer and make transporting leftovers easy.
5. Don't forget the cocktails
You might need them throughout the preparing, but you definitely need them for dinner. Decide on a signature cocktail, but also have a mini bar as backup.
On that note, I have a yummy cocktail recipe for you to incorporate into your turkey day!
I don't have a name, but it's devine and husband-approved.
- 2 parts bourbon
- 2 parts sweet vermouth
- 1 sugar cube
- Squeeze of grapefruit juice
- Splash of grenadine
- Maraschino cherry for garnish
Pour sweet vermouth into glass with sugar cube and muddle. In a cocktail shaker, add bourbon, grenadine and ice. Shake vigorously. Pour into glass and add ice. Garnish with maraschino cherry. Enjoy.
Happy Thanksgiving, y'all! You have so much to be thankful for. Never forget it.