I know you don’t need me to tell you that Thanksgiving is 3 days away! If you’re the one hosting the dinner for your family and friends, you’re probably going to be starting to prepare your table for the feast pretty soon. Before you start any kind of food preparation, it might be a good to take stock of your platters, dishes and utensils in your kitchen cabinets and dining room china closet. Make your table colorful by letting nature be your guide when decorating your table; use jewel toned colors, such as red and green.
Start organizing your casserole dishes and platters along with the servers you’ll be displaying on your table. Label each platter to show what you’re planning to put in it. This will help decide the size of the platters you’ll be using and their location on the table. Also, don’t forget your utensils! There have been times when I’ve been caught not having the right utensil for a dish I’ve cooked. Because I want to make cleaning up as easy as I possibly can, I tend to use some platters that are dishwasher safe and yet pretty enough for the table. Lately, I’ve been using white platters, because they make the food look very appealing. You can add festive paper or a towel to dress the platter up.
If you’re serving a buffet-style meal, use pretty bowls or cake stands of different heights. Not only does this make a beautiful presentation, but it allocates space for you put other dishes on the surface. I usually have the plates at one end of the buffet table and the utensils, drinking glasses, and napkins at the other end. That way, when you serve yourself you don’t have to juggle all these latter items in one hand. Have your main dishes, such as the turkey, ham or rib roast in the middle of table and the side dishes on either side. To save you from always having to answer what kind of food is in each platter, have a menu printed. Have a table or sideboard handy; it can serve as a place to put used dishes or to keep the dessert plates and glassware handy.
When I entertain, I tend to use my buffet table for the bar area. I set up the table with wine bottles, wine glasses, sodas, and other bar related items. For a crowded party, it’s a good idea to have a sturdy table around your living room area to use as an alternate bar. This will eliminate any lines around the main bar area. You want your guests to be able to move around without causing any bottlenecks.
Here’s a wonderful cost-effective and easy way to describe your dishes at a dinner party. Buy a solid-color matte-finish oilcloth and a piece of chalk (or a chalk pen). Use the chalk to write the names of the dishes on the oilcloth in front of the platters. Once the party is over, you can just wipe the oilcloth clean with a damp cloth and then use it again for your next party!
Your dinner won’t seem like a Thanksgiving dinner unless it is a traditional, sumptuous feast. The experience of planning, decorating and cooking is thrilling and exciting, but you also want the dinner to be stress-free. You can do it! All it takes is a little planning along with recipes that are simple and easy to prepare.