I’ve got three words for the Holidays- bring them on! This is an updated Holiday series post full of ideas and tips for Holiday entertaining, the first up being Thanksgiving ideas. I’ve got the answers to Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner and dining dilemma questions. I’m ready, braced and armed with problem solving ideas for all things holiday entertaining. Angst and alarm are not on the guest list and need not RSVP to the holiday celebrations. This is the most wonderful time of the year, not the most dreaded time of the year. Fret not, handy holiday answers, tips and problem solvers prevail at Places In The Home. Yep, that’s me- a Thanksgiving ideas and all-around Home for the Holidays fountain of information.
Pretty is as pretty serves a purpose, and the purpose is style, look, function and convenience for cook’s and guest’s sake all at a nice price point.
Will it be cloth,
Turkey Paisley Napkins from Williams-Sonoma
Wild Turkey Paper Dinner Napkins, pack of 20
or turkey with a twist paper napkins?
A serving platter is almost a necessity for a holiday dinner table. I am partial to the traditional oval turkey serving platter. White is such an elegant and versatile color choice, and is a perfect complement to both harvest and Christmas tablescapes.
Porcelain Turkey Platter
Pier 1 Imports
This year’s Thanksgiving table will be on trend and in theme with this pumpkin place card holder set.
For the DIY minded and customers of nature’s arts and crafts store, these simple yet elegant rustic place cards leaf so much to be desired.
Turkey and gravy are the peanut butter and jelly of holiday cuisine. The two go together so well. Cooking the perfect gravy can be tricky, but it doesn’t have to be. Adding a pinch of salt to the flour before adding any liquid will help to eliminate lumpy gravy. Gravy too thin? Mix together two(2) teaspoons cornstarch and two(2) teaspoons chicken broth or water. Stir or whisk into the warm gravy and simmer until the gravy thickens. If the gravy separates, add a pinch or two of baking soda to emulsify the fat. Oh, no! The gravy has a burnt flavor! Pour the gravy into clean saucepan being careful to avoid scrapping the bottom of the pan. Remember the peanut butter reference? Begin the great gravy cover up mission by adding one teaspoon at a time of peanut butter until the taste is corrected.
Roasting pans come in all shapes, sizes, finishes and price ranges. Size does matter when it comes to all things Thanksgiving turkey- make sure the turkey as well as the roaster are big enough to get the job done. The good people at Good Housekeeping have got it down to a serving size science. Here’s the link to the download and print version of the turkey serving guideline chart.
Cooking right along, the Taylor Digital Cooking Thermometer with Probe and Timer is cook friendly and easy to use. The large display is easy to read and it is equipped with an alarm that sounds when cooking time or desired temperature is reached.
A good carving set is essential to proper and easy turkey carving. If the dreaded happens on the big day and your carving knife is duller than first period math, I’ve got a helpful solution for you. To sharpen your knife, use the unglazed porcelain on the bottom of a coffee mug. Hold the knife at a 30 degree angle and run it across the area a few times on each side.
Jamie Oliver Carving Set
Delegate duties with a twist, taking guests up on their gracious what can I do, what can I bring, tell me what to do offers. Make it a shared event and spread the holiday duties around. Believe me, you’ll be glad you did!
Southern Living – Photo: Helen Norman
Simplify some of the entertaining steps by going with buffet-style dessert and self-serve beverage stations. I refer to it as the “between two lamps” principle. See the image above. Gorgeous! Turn on the lamps, fill a vase or a pitcher or a jar with cuttings, pine cones, raw corn, beans and rice, candles (you get the idea-seasonal simple chic), set up with food and drink, and let the serve and pour take its course… or two.
We have a dear friend who is a wine aficionado, and his expert advice and recommendations prove practical, affordable and spot on for the Holiday spirit and holiday spirits.
He suggests as a proper wine pairing for turkey:
Ice is a hot celebration commodity. I get a big chuckle out of the “Party, party” episode of Frasier. Martin’s ice logic holds true.
Martin: Hey, great party huh? Just as long as we’ve got enough ice. You got four bags, right?
Daphne: No, I got two.
Martin: Two?! I told you to get four bags!
Daphne: Oh, here we go.
Martin: You never under-budget on the ice. You never know, you might get a lot more rocks drinkers than you expected. Or ice chewers.
No worries here, Martin! We’ve got the situation covered. Ice cubes measure about ten(10) cubes per pound and the rule of thumb is one(1) pound of ice cubes per person.
Up next: Food, glorious Thanksgiving food recipes.