Thanksgiving is one of the best holidays - it’s a great chance to get together and reconnect with friends and family while eating all of the best foods! No matter what size space you have, you can accommodate as many guests as you want. All it takes is a little time and planning, but it’s well worth it in the end! Here are six tips that will help you host the perfect Thanksgiving dinner at your apartment!
1. Keep it simple: Top chefs suggest keeping your Thanksgiving meal to four main dishes. By keeping things simple, you can make 4 excellent dishes instead of many “ok” dishes. Put more time and effort into a few, and you’ll be sure to “wow!” your guests. This doesn’t mean that you have to forget about appetizers or dessert. Those things can be low prep, or no prep by serving pre-cut veggie platters, olives, and block cheese, which guests can simply help themselves to.
2. Plan your menu: If you’re going with the traditional turkey entree, then keep in mind that it’ll be occupying the oven space for most of the day. Plan to prepare dishes that can either be made beforehand that can be quickly reheated before serving or opt for dishes that can be prepared on the stovetop. Timing is everything. You don’t want to serve cold sides with a piping hot bird. Do your best to have everything come out all at once.
3. Ask for help: You can ask your guests to bring a dish but be specific. If you say, “bring whatever you want,” you may end up with four sweet potato casseroles. You don’t have to send the exact recipe but give the guest a general idea of what type of side dish to bring. You can ask one to bring a vegetable dish, another for an appetizer, and someone else can bring a dessert. This will take a lot of the work off of you, so that you can enjoy being a part of the party, too. Plus, people want to help! It makes them feel like they’ve contributed and are a part of the party.
4. Rearrange your space: Apartments can come with some tight spaces. By rearranging a few pieces of furniture, you can accommodate for more chairs and inclusive seating at the table. It’s less about aesthetics and more about functionality. Even though your sofa looks better placed in the center of the room, for the party, it’ll provide more room if it’s pushed up against the wall.
5. Remove clutter: We all have our little knick-knacks that hold special meaning to us, but they can get in the way or get broken during a party. Box these items up and store them in a closet to keep them safe and provide more space for your guests. Counter space is always in short supply, so the more appliances you can tuck away, the better. Keep out just the essentials to leave enough room to prepare food.
6. Clean as you go: As you’re prepping food, start stacking the mixing bowls in the dishwasher. By taking little steps to clean as you go, the big clean up at the end of the night won’t be so overwhelming. After everyone is stuffed, have guests clear their plate in the trash and rinse it in the sink. You can do most of the scrubbing later. Save any glass dishes for the morning. Stemware and china are more likely to be dropped and broken after a long day of being in the kitchen. Take a much-needed break and tackle that in the morning!
As a host, you’ll save so much time and money by taking a few extra minutes to plan out your Thanksgiving feast. It’ll mean less stress and more time spent enjoying the people who are there—and, of course, digging into all of that delicious food!