Happy, happy Monday, peeps. I hope you all enjoyed the long, holiday weekend; I definitely did! From Friday on, I kept thinking I would have to go to work the next day, and I probably got a little more excited than necessary each day when it wasn’t the case.
I know I’ve been a little obsessed with Thanksgiving lately, but Spencer and I hosted the celebration for our families this year, and I wanted everything to go swimmingly. While I did make a bit of a blunder with the cooking, it honestly went a lot better than I imagined it would. For anyone who is looking for tips for a first-time host, or if you just need a good laugh, here’s what I learned from hosting my first Thanksgiving!
Remember that people won’t be eating regular portion sizes.
I know that it’s Thanksgiving and that means food, food, food, but you should keep in mind that with all the different meats, side dishes, and desserts, your guests probably won’t be eating full portion sizes of every single one. Also, there’s a good chance that you’ve been together all day, eating festive snacks, drinking festive drinks, and filling your stomachs more than you realize. We had a huge turkey, nearly a dozen sides, and two different desserts, so I should’ve listened to Spencer when he began questioning everything that we bought for the meal.
Do we need an 18 pound turkey? Of course, we do!
Should we really buy 4 pounds of Brussels sprouts and 2 pounds of green beans? Yes, you amateur.
Why are you making two pies when my dad’s already making blueberry cake? Because it’s Thanksgiving. #food
While I don’t necessarily mind eating leftovers for the next week (it was all so good!), I might have been better off scaling everything down to 3/4 or even 1/2 of the recommended portion size per person.
If you’re changing a recipe at all, copy it out exactly how you want to make it.
Because I thought every person would eat their weight plus some, I doubled a few of the recipes. Mostly, I was good at remembering which dishes needed to be doubled while I was compiling all of the ingredients on the day of, but if I had just copied and pasted the recipes from the web into a Word doc, I could’ve changed it all to the exactly what I needed. That also would’ve been a great idea for organization on Thanksgiving. Let me tell you that waiting for different recipes to load each time my phone timed out was a huge pain. A huge pain.
As it went, I didn’t mess up anything. Or at least we didn’t realize that I had until we all gathered in the kitchen to serve up food from our incredibly tiny kitchen. That’s when we cut into the turkey and were greeted with a sight no Thanksgiving newbie wants to see: very pink, slightly bloody, and obviously underdone turkey.
I was devastated and perplexed until Spencer very carefully asked, “You didn’t follow the cooking directions for a 14 pound turkey, did you?” I immediately answered, “No,” and then walked across the room to check the recipe on my phone. Yep, I had definitely cooked an 18 pound turkey for the time allotted to a 14 pound turkey. Great!
You will get behind in your schedule… and that’s okay!
I had planned to eat at 4 pm. Due to my little turkey mix up, we started with side dishes at about 4:15 pm. Then at closer to 5 pm, we added some (completely cooked through) turkey to our plates. Even though we didn’t eat exactly by my schedule, the world didn’t end! It was an amazing thing considering how much time and effort I put into that schedule.
This might sound a little weird, but I had everything that I needed to do programmed into my Google calendar, and I mean everything. From chopping the pecans for the top of the sweet potatoes to turning down the oven temperature while the turkey cooked, my phone gave me alerts for every single action that I made in the kitchen throughout the day. If only it had been able to alert me to my turkey mistake! I’m sure I will never be able to leave that one behind.
Enjoy the time you have with family and friends. After all, it’s what’s really important.
Because really, isn’t that the reason for the season?