Thursday, November 17, 2011

Are You Ready for Thanksgiving?

This is a very busy time for most of us as we anticipate the Thanksgiving Feast. It is one week away. (YIKES!)  So take a moment and think through your menu now.  When I was a Catering Chef, I would often plan the party and menu and then just take a moment to visualize all the components. I find that helps. I also would write down the cooking and serving plan.  I do the same thing for a festive dinner like Thanksgiving.  Here are some things to look for.

1. Start at the beginning.  If you are planing appetizers think about how you are serving them and where you will serve them.  Most cooks want to be part of the gathering, But having people under foot as you finish the meal is not a good idea.  Assign someone to be in charge of the appetizers and check to see what plates, napkins etc they will need.

2. Depending on how elaborate the menu is, you want to consider how many plates, spoons and forks you need.  You may find that some more are needed or be prepared to wash some for desert.

3. Glassware - there is no shame in having some disposable for soda and the like for the kids. But if you are serving wine or cocktails to adults, they should have glass.  Do you have the right kind of glasses for the wine you are serving?

4. Menu options - if someone is bringing a guest that you do not know, ask if that person has allergies or is a vegetarian.  Better safe than having a guest eat celery all night while the rest indulge in all the goodies.  You may find that a simple addition of Ratatouille may not only enhance the menu, it may also prevent an awkward moment.

5. Is your turkey ready to thaw? Remember it may take up to four days or longer to thaw a large bird.  If you are brinning the bird do you have room in the fridge or do you need to plan to use a cooler and lots of ice?

These are a few ideas.  Take a few moments now and it will let you enjoy the day more.

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