You love Thanksgiving. The traditions and togetherness. Family and friends gathering around. And, now that you are all settled in your brand new Kettler Forlines home, you’ve volunteered to host Thanksgiving dinner. But the magnitude of the task has just hit you. Don’t sweat it. You can do it – and make it look effortless – thanks to your new state-of-the-art kitchen and a flexible open floor plan! Here are some tips for making your first Thanksgiving in your new home easy-as-pumpkin pie!
Invite early. The key to a stress-free Thanksgiving is to plan early. Once you commit to hosting, the first thing you need to do is invite everyone you want to come. Even the last minute types are likely to make Thanksgiving plans early in November, so start putting feelers out there ASAP. In the meantime, start thinking about where you’re going to put everybody. (Kettler Forlines’ versatile, open floor plans make this part soooo much easier!)
Be organized. Planning and organizing is imperative. It’s the only way to make sure you don’t find yourself with missing ingredients, a house that’s a mess, and hours of cooking still to be done when your guests arrive. Start by making a schedule leading up to dinner, along with to-do lists, and shopping lists. (Lists are Organization 101. They let you see everything you need… and checking things off feels sooo good!)
Plan your menu. The big day will be here before you know it, and you need a gameplan. The first step? Figure out what’s on the menu. Chances are, your guests will want to bring things… you just have to tell them what you need. Once you have the menu set, start shopping for non-perishables (e.g. baking ingredients, bread cubes, herbs & spices), and designate a corner of your spacious pantry “Thanksgiving Central”. Closer to the day, head to one of our local farmers markets or orchards for fresh fruits and veggies!
Cook in advance. Don’t stress out trying to cook everything on Thanksgiving Day. Create a timeline, and figure out what can be made ahead of time. Casseroles can be premade. Vegetables can be chopped and ready to steam. Some things can’t be cooked early, like the turkey, but almost everything else in the meal can be prepped and ready to just pop on the stovetop or into the oven. Let’s put that new state-of-the-art kitchen to work!
Set up in advance. Establish your dining space (formal dining room, the family room, maybe even the sunroom). Figure out if you’re having a sit down meal or a buffet-style repast. Then, as long as you don’t have to worry about pets or small children upsetting things, set everything up days before the event. That way you won’t be scrambling to find the extra chairs that are somewhere in the garage; cleaning the dust off the extra wine glasses that are on that high shelf in the kitchen; and counting the flatware only to discover you don’t have enough right before the first guest arrives.
Offer snacks before dinner. Tasty appetizers benefit the chef as much as the guests. Bowls of nuts, some crackers and cheese, and trays of crudité or hot apps strategically placed in the living room or lower level rec room will keep them busy munching while you finish up!
Keep the kids entertained. For children, it seems like Thanksgiving dinner takes forever to land on the table. Keep ‘em occupied with games out in the yard, and movies or craft projects in the rec room.
Above all, relax and enjoy. Let your guests marvel at the incredibly family-friendly design of your new Kettler Forlines home, while you perform culinary magic in your new kitchen! Learn more about our homes at kettlerforlineshomes.com.