Countdown to Turkey Day 2012: The Great Kickoff November 1

Heather says

Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite time of the year. It’s no secret that I love food and I love to cook for others and Thanksgiving Dinner is the Superbowl of company dinners. It’s a chance to gather with friends and family and indulge in the traditional and the exceptional.

Are you planning on hosting your first Thanksgiving dinner? Are you a seasoned pro, but ready to take some of the headache out of hosting Thanksgiving? Well, you’re in luck, it’s time for this year’s Countdown to Turkey Day. (Psst, it’d be awesome if you’d share this series with your friends or family who may be hosting for the first time, too.)

Each year I host an early Thanksgiving dinner to prepare all of the recipes I’ll be sharing over the course of the next three weeks.  The past five years I have shared Thanksgiving recipes that are mostly Southern / Cajun in tradition. This year I decided to start a new Home Ec 101 tradition and begin including other culinary traditions in the recipe repertoire. In October when I hosted dinner we made two meals, our usual menu and a second Thanksgiving menu, this one with an Italian-American flair.

I’m excited to get these recipes posted, hopefully within the next week. I want you to have plenty of time to plan your Thanksgiving menus and do your Thanksgiving shopping. After all, Thanksgiving is only three weeks away.

Did you see that? Three weeks. Oh noes! This year Thanksgiving falls on November 22, which means we have a little less time than previous years to get our act together. So we’re not going to waste any time. Today we’re kicking off with a few, hopefully easy tasks:

1. Decide – When and Where

Sit down with pen and paper and decide where and what time dinner will be served. Create a tentative guest list that notes any allergies or dietary restrictions. It’s easier to plan around a gluten or nut allergy than it is to rework a menu.

2. Figure Out – Seating and Serving

Before things get crazy look at your guest list. Do you have enough chairs and place settings? Are you serving a casual enough meal that sitting on the floor and using Chinette works? No? Party rental stores often allow chair, china, and glassware rental in lots much smaller than you’d imagine. I’ve rented as few as ten chairs in the past for parties. Reserve what you need ASAP.

3. Find the dining room table.

Yes, I’m not kidding about the last one. Heck, my own dining room table is in sad shape at the moment.

We call this transparency, clean laundry, random mail, and a sneak peek at a cookbook I’ll be reviewing soon. Mmm.

Clean Laundry

Let’s get the conversation rolling:

Well Home Eccers, will you be playing along this year? Have you hosted Thanksgiving dinner before? Are you trying it for the first time? What are you looking forward to and what are you dreading about the holiday?


  1. Kelly on November 1, 2012 at 11:27 pm

    I’ve hosted for the past few years. This year I’m keeping quiet hoping someone else volunteers. I don’t really mind doing it, however, it’s the principle you know?

    Oh yeah, and this series? The bomb.

  2. Steph on November 1, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    Holy cow. Seriously… This list is genius. I always get SOOOOOO stressed about the holidays.

  3. Patty T on November 1, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    Can’t wait for this series! I love Thanksgiving also. My husband and I always go to my family’s house for Thanksgiving (I have three sisters who are all married with kids) then the day after Thanksgiving we have his parents over to our house and I cook another Thanksgiving dinner. Last year we had a little turkey disaster but hopefully that can be avoided this year. I’m always looking for new recipes to try! Thanks for all your hard work!

  4. Jendi on November 1, 2012 at 11:34 am

    I’m interested! This will be my second Thanksgiving in this house and the first one in 4 years that I can put 2 cookie sheets side by side in my oven. Let’s make this happen!

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