The 5 P’s…Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance! This holds true in business and in planning a festive and successful Thanksgiving dinner with those you care about most.
With nine days out, there is still plenty of time to design a menu. Most families do a potluck style dinner where everyone brings a favorite dish. Not “potluck” in the sense that you leave everyone to their own creation and neglect assigning specific dishes to specific people. It’s important to have a varied menu, no matter what size of dinner you are having.
Instead of roasting a turkey, maybe this year is the year you want to smoke a turkey, or better yet deep-fry one in peanut oil. If you haven’t eaten deep fried turkey, this is a year round treat. We guarantee that you’ll have to call 911 to get guests away from the turkey while it “rests.” People can’t seem to resist picking at the skin and grabbing a juicy piece of meat that has been deep fried.
Some families would disown you if the menu didn’t include green bean casserole, but consider stepping out of the box and use fresh green beans, fresh mushrooms and make a white sauce with heavy cream. It is a fresh approach to an old standby.
Cranberry sauce falls in the “love it or hate it” category. Some find the cooked version too sweet. Try an uncooked version, with fresh chopped cranberries, shallots, Fresno chilies and more. It’s a relish, rather than a sauce. You may just convert some haters.
Make sure your menu includes some lighter foods. A fresh green salad with apple slices and fennel, garnished with pomegranate seeds. Something that is pretty and extraordinary to delight your guest’s palate.
Traditions are the fabric of great memories. And the menu is a big part of those Thanksgiving memories gathered by all who attend. The time spent creating a menu of old favorites and some new adventurous side dishes will reward you with happy guests and happy thoughts!