This year we will be hosting 25 people for Thanksgiving dinner. I’m not exactly sure how it happened, but I do know I said yes to each person that asked me. And I know that I invited some people who I knew wouldn’t have another place to go. And fundamentally when it comes down to it I am over the moon that so many people consider my house their hone. This is the first year that any member of my extended family will be coming for Thanksgiving. This shit feels like adulting, like I am now a holiday destination.
We have people coming from four different states, with various countries represented, and five children five and under. Basically, it is just gonna be some sort of glorious chaos. Now this is not my first rodeo, not my first time cooking Thanksgiving dinner for a crowd of people, however it’s the first time the numbers have been over 20 and I am feeling like I need to let go a little bit of what my own expectations and standards are for a holiday feast. We have the basic foods covered turkey, stuffing, Olive salad, Rye bread and dip, pate, a cheese plate, ￼ gravy, dinner rolls, mashed potatoes, squash, green bean casserole, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, and an arsenal of dessert options. Think beyond your standard holiday pies and get into cross cultural delicacies of sweets. We will spend two days cooking nonstop from locally sourced goods, everything from scratch, and a metric fuck ton of love. All to be consumed in half an hour, spend three hours cleaning, and it will be worth every second.
￼￼￼￼ There will be records played and guitars strummed, there will be lots of coffee, board games, and so many hugs that I will be sustained until Christmas. I look forward to coming up with new traditions, new things to look forward to for the following year. I’m excited to pull out the recipes in my grandmothers writing and follow her sage wisdom with vague instructions like ”enough water”, or ”a little bit of salt”.
And there may not be enough chairs, and we will probably have to wash our plates before we can use them for dessert because we don’t have extras, but I know that we will figure it out together, I know that as adults we choose who our family will be, and I am so appreciative that all these people have chosen me and my home. So in honor of embracing the soon to be chaos I offer you a recipe for a stellar Thanksgiving.
1. All the food you need
2. Eight hours of sleep the night before.
3. Board games, instruments, and a record player.
4. A sense of humor
5. The release of all preconceived notions and expectations.
6. Coffee. Lots of coffee.
1. Give yourself ample time to bake. If you have kids. Do the math and then double it. ￼￼￼￼￼
2. Any baking can be done ahead of time and frozen. If you are hosting guests freeze breakfast foods ahead of time. Think muffins or banana bread.
3. If people offer to help SAY YES
4. Make sure you drink enough water.
5. Make a list. Then make it again.
6. Do your shopping three days ahead of time. That way your food is still fresh but not waiting to the last second when everything is picked over at the store. Also this year because their will be so many people I have recruited a second person to come help me.
7. Start cooking. I recommend starting Wednesday morning at 6:15am.
8. Breath, you got this.
9. Have fun. Nothing else matters if you are bot having fun.