This is not a drill, people. We are less than one week away from Thanksgiving! Some of you may be headed to a traditional family gathering. While others of you may opt for a celebration with your friends – Friendsgiving. There may even be you
greedy lucky few, that fill their bellies at both occasions. Whether you’re having a traditional Thanksgiving dinner or planning a Friendsgiving, I’ve got some tips for a fantastic holiday gathering.
1. Don’t waste your life away in the kitchen.
It can get easy to get stuck in the kitchen as your friends play or our family gathers around the TV. You can make a few items in advance and still get stuck in the kitchen preparing food. Here’s my solution: share the responsibility. As the host, you can’t get out of making the turkey, but you can relieve yourself of some of the work by letting guests contribute a few sides and desserts. My parents are driving up to Atlanta, so I’m not making them bring anything. However, my pops always brings extra sweet potatoes for pies and will grab drinks,napkins, aluminum foil and plastic bags upon arrival. Honestly, I think she still fully doesn’t trust me with the turkey so she supervises with that as her contribution.
Feel free to ask your guests what they’d like to contribute or assign them a dish. This is important because you don’t want too many of the same dish or someone to feel bad when no one touches their cornbread dressing. Note, not everyone can make the macaroni and cheese. And Ms. “All I eat is zucchini noodles” probably shouldn’t be attempting to touch the greens. Like if you don’t know what hamhock is — DON’T DO IT! Also, if you’re a guest and can’t cook, maybe just pick up drinks or one of Miss Patti’s Pies.
Apologies for the language, but this video is still funny to me two years later.
2. Play a Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade drinking game.
Maybe save this one for Friendsgiving, but if your family likes to throw a few back I say go for it. Lay out the rules, and then get ready to do some pre-dinner drinking. You could also watch “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving”. Take two sips (or a shot) every time Peppermint Patty invites someone to to Charlie’s dinner, or when she yells. Or just drink – that’s fine.
3. Remember what you’re thankful for.
Take time to go around the table with your friends or family and share what you’re thankful for this year. Your gathering should be about reconnecting and catching up over a great meal.
4. Have a signature drink.
You could just go with the basics: wine, beer, and non-alcoholic beverages on hand, but consider having a signature drink. A signature drink is a nice way to add something special and seasonal to the mix. Check out Ace’s fall cocktails for some ideas.
5. Break Culinary Traditions
My second year in ATL (me thinks) Ace and I had a two person Friendsgiving. Sure, I made sweet potato pies, but there was no way I was cooking a turkey for two, so we broke tradition and made some bomb Turkey Tacos with Cranberry Salsa and a Thanksgiving sides cake. Still one of my favorite meals – EVER! P.S. We subbed out out their spinach layer for greens.
What are some of your tips for a fun Thanksgiving gathering? Leave your comments below!