I LOVE Thanksgiving. Maybe it's a November birthday thing, or maybe it's because I always root for the underdog, but I feel Thanksgiving deserves to have it's moment. (No Christmas until after Thanksgiving in this house). For me - My Thanksgiving musts are : Macy's Day Parade with coffee and Quiche, Sweet Potato Casserole, and Real Dishes. (Nothing against paper plates, but it's nostalgic for me to have Holiday meals on China or real plates.)
For Ryan - ALL. THE. SIDES. If it contains cream of mushroom soup, he wants it made. Also the traditional Cowboys Game on Thanksgiving. We don't currently feel comfortable traveling with Eleanor, due to the current global situation, so we will be hosting a Thanksgiving meal at home this year with a few family members. I thought walking you through my process and hacks may give you some ideas or help you if you are hosting your first "at home" Thanksgiving (aka you're doing most of the cooking and don't have a bunch of people bringing dishes.) Also at the end I'll add in some fun kid activities to give a go.
***Here's the PDF of my "Type A Abby" outline of my Thanksgiving Prep in case you are interested in a template.
1. Step One - Make your menu [See PDF for ours!]
[I find it fun to write down the must have staples and then add one or two new dishes. I try to make sure there's a balance of hot and cold dishes, with a variety of color.
2. Step Two - Write out temperature and times.
[This will help you know when you need to cook what and if possible you can cook things together]
3. Step Three - Grocery List
[I write out a master list (with oz and quantities included) in the order of our grocery store]
4. Step Four - Itemize cooking order
[Lay out what will be prepped and cooked when. Try to batch cook things with same oven temperatures.]
5. Step Five - Enjoy
[If you're going to be stressed and yelling at your family, just order pizza. :) But seriously, this is so hard to put to practice, but do your best to enjoy the day, laugh at the recipes that don't work, and remember to have fun with your family. It really is true, children don't remember what was on their plate as much as what was on their parent's face (aka their mood).] ***Bonus : Working up to the week and the day of here are some fun things we've been doing in our home as well as some ideas for yours:
***Also: - I Spy and Simon Says is a classic for a reason. You can make it a Thanksgiving version by creating a "Pilgrim Telescope" with a paper towel tube for them to look through. Or playing "Turkey Says" instead of Simon Says. - To mingle a room of different ages, play boys vs girls. This is a great way to blend generations.
- Sending the kids outside to gather "nature treasures" for the table is a great acitvity to include them.
- For older children, A "Thanksgiving Hunt" is always a good wiggle break. Hide each letters spelling THANKSGIVING around the house or outside. Time individuals or teams. First to find them all and line them out to spell THANKSGIVING wins. It helps if you use a bright colored paper -such as red or yellow.
I pray your Thanksgiving is full of peace, gratitude and lots of yummy treats.
Grateful for You, Abby ***Don't Forget ... The Cirkles are Cheering you On!