Monday, November 5, 2007

Thanksgiving Tips

Seasonal colors dress up your table for Thanksgiving it's nice to use warm fall colors for your table - greens, soft golds and deep reds look wonderful for that time of year and make your guests feel warm and cozy. You can't go wrong with a white nicely pressed tablecloth. And this allows you to be more creative with the dishes, stemware, napkins etc. Use dinnerware in some of the warm fall colors, or for a more traditional, formal look, use white china. A nice touch would be to add a fun plaid cloth napkin in the fall colors and some elegant warm gold stemware
  • Easy festive touches like Mums in warm colors placed in pots by the front door, make a nice warm entrance for your guests. Around the table use real pumpkins, gourds, and bittersweet to add some fall appeal. There are even artificial fall leaves you can place around the table. And if you want to add a little extra touch, you can buy real miniature pumpkins and use them as place cards. Simply make a small slit in the top of the pumpkin, slip in the place card with your guest's name on it and put at each placesetting. Easy, but impressive!
  • Don't forget to decorate the food too!Don't forget to add little garnishes to the dishes when needed. For example if you like to bring the whole turkey out on a platter to slice at the table. Add grapes, walnuts, orange slices, etc. to dress up the turkey on the platter. And sprinkle fresh herbs to your mashed potatoes in the serving bowl. Put a little orange curl to jazz up your cranberries. And don't forget before you bring out that pumpkin pie put a nice dollop of whip cream in the center to finish it off.

A few tips in preparation of the big day:

  • Select the dinnerware, stemware, flatware and tablecloth you would like to use.
    Gather your decorations and begin placing them around the room to get a feel for thelook you are trying to create.
    Check to make sure you have serving pieces to accommodate all your planned dishes. If you don't have enough, you can always borrow from a friend, mom, or neighbor.
    Iron your tablecloth and napkins.
    Polish your flatware.
    Double-check your food-shopping list
    A few helpful tips for setting the table:
    Keep in mind when setting your table don't put too many décor items in the center, leave plenty of room for the stars of the show….your food.
    Stay away from tall candles and flower arrangements that may block the view of your guests and make it difficult to hold a conversation across the table.
    Don't use scented candles near the table, it can compete with tastebuds and your guests appetites.
About the Turkey???
How do I know what size turkey to buy?
  • Figure ¾ to one pound of whole turkey per person. This will give you plenty of leftovers.

How long does it take to thaw the turkey?

  • It takes about 2-3 days to thaw a 12-lb bird in the refrigerator, a 20 lb turkey will take about 4 days. A turkey can be thawed, still wrapped, in a tub of cold water, also. Keep changing the water to keep it cold, a 12-lb bird can be thawed in about 12 hours using this method. Turkeys can also be thawed in the microwave, follow manufacturers’ directions, and cook the turkey immediately afterwards.

How long can I leave it sitting out after dinner?

  • Foods should be put away within two hours of sitting out. The best way to store a turkey is to strip the meat from the bones, put it in plastic storage bags, and refrigerate or freeze. The bones can be used for stock or soup.

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