Halloween will be over in a little over 24 hours, and Turkey Day approaches! The one day a year that ihas been all about the food from the beginning. Yes, we are grateful, and yes, we are happy to be together, but part of learning about Thanksgiving in elementary school is "What did the Pilgrims eat?"
Thank goodness we have other choices than they did back then, and grocery stores! It seems the entire month of November is a whirl of grocery shopping. It is good to have a timeline for everything that needs to be accomplished before the entire family gathers, because there is so much to accomplish and chances are only one of you to do (most of) it.
If you are like most of us, the menu does not vary much year to year, because everyone has those traditional dishes that must be there. Deviation from those would surely cause grumbling at the least, and possibly a decision to celebrate at someone else's home next year (hmmmm, maybe not such a bad thing!) Consequently, you probably have the routine down pat, but it never hurts to have things organized and written down to keep yourself on course.
Once you have created the menu, you should build a custom timeline. Figure out what you're going to do when. What can be prepared in advance and refrigerated or frozen? What must be done the day of the holiday meal? Pay close attention to oven times and temperatures when making the timeline for the day of the meal. Many holiday recipes can be prepared up to a month in advance. We suggest starting your preparations as early as possible and breaking the work up into manageable chunks, so you're not overwhelmed when the house is filled with guests.
A couple of tips from Ree Drummond, the Pioneer Woman, include: Start ahead, with a few things that can be made way ahead of time or frozen on Monday and Tuesday, then using Wednesday as a prep day for chopping, brining, peeling, prepping, so that Thursday can just be about assembling and finishing the cooking/baking process. Place printed recipes for remaining dishes on island with corresponding non-perishable ingredients (cans, spices) sitting on top of each recipe. Saves time, especially when others are helping in the kitchen.
We are going to give you a few others that don't make it on every other list, but we think these are really good ones:When you are deciding on the menu, consider your available cooking formats: Oven, stove, microwave, and grill or smoker. Plan so that you are not overcrowding any of them. If you don't have a warming drawer (or maybe even if you do) you may need some "out of the box" ways to keep things warm. How about the grill set on the lowest possible flame?
Gravy, potatoes, or other items can be kept warm in the crockpot. And how about your cooler? It insulates warm just as well as cold!
Do you use a tablecloth and cloth napkins? Make sure they are clean and ready to use.
Check the salt and pepper shakers. Make sure they are filled.
De-clutter the kitchen counters. Most of us have at least one thing sitting there that got left there for no good reason, and doesn't belong there, but just ended up staying there. If the Air Fryer and the Instant Pot are out but will not be used for Thanksgiving, find them a temporary home.
Decide on serving pieces- dishes and cutlery. Having a written menu will help you make sure you have both for everything you'll be serving.
Don't forget pitchers for whatever you'll be drinking!
Put a little post-it on each platter or bowl with the name of what will belong there.
Inventory your plastic bags, foil, plastic wrap, as well as other leftover and take-home containers. You may need to buy a stack of new plastic containers as these seem to disappear over the course of the year
And here's the last and possibly most important tip: Early November, go through and clean out your refrigerator and freezer. If you can't identify it, throw it out! If you saved it thinking it could be better next time with some "fixin' up," throw it out! If it has lost its' color or is freezer burned, throw it out! (Here is where you will recover some of those leftover containers, by the way) You will not miss it! And you'll make room for a host of new goodies!
While we don't sell leftover containers here at Enhance, we do sell lots of things you may need before November 28. We have beautiful new backsplashes, area rugs in stock and rugs to be ordered, and Flexi Felt feet for your furniture. We can probably fit you in if you have a flooring project to be done- but hurry!
And when you come in to see us, please remember that we have a Must Ministries barrel to collect for their Thanksgiving Food Bank. A donation of 5 items gets you an Enhance Goody bag. Please help us fill the barrel to the brim!
Time changes this weekend, and it will be dark when most of us get home, and the temperatures are getting cooler. Adding -- or relocating -- seating around a fireplace creates a cozy new space for fall fellowship. No fireplace? Pull a couple of sitting chairs in a corner, add candles for ambiance, and keep a stack of books close at hand.
How Much Does It Cost?
Look at this beautiful LVT (luxury vinyl tile) we just installed in the kitchen, breakfast area, and utility room of a Roswell home. $3600 was the cost to get rid of the old, ugly, worn sheet vinyl floors and have brand new timeless marble-look floors installed. Gorgeous! And yes, if you come in today, we can get your project completed by Thanksgiving!
I Was Floored By Enhance
Janet in Marietta writes: "I love my floors. The selection process was easy thanks to Sandy and Fran. The installation was quick, and the guys were very professional, honest, and clean."
Thank you, Janet. You were great to work with. Don't forget to tell your friends and neighbors about us---you'll earn Decorating Dollars just by spreading the word!