Thanksgiving is a great opportunity to showcase your cooking, organizational, and hosting skills. You’ll want the day to run smoothly and you’ll certainly want to ensure your guest’s safety.
Consider these tips and have a fun, safe Thanksgiving!
Prepare a Shopping List
Sound like too much trouble? Consider what will happen on Thanksgiving Day if you forget to buy an ingredient and there’s no time to run to the store (if it’s even open!).
Keep It Simple
Now is not the time to try a new recipe. Your guests expect a classic meal, so don’t get carried away with exotic recipes.
Pull out your serving dishes, turkey platter, silverware, glasses, and decorations to ensure everything is clean and in good order. Launder the napkins and tablecloth and make sure you have plenty of candles if you’re going to use them.
You don’t need to do everything at once, but definitely don’t wait until the day of your event. Some people set the table the day before and cover it. It takes some of the stress out of your Thanksgiving Day preparations.
Choose Make-Ahead Dishes
Whenever possible, choose dishes that you can prepare beforehand. For instance, you could make a broccoli cheese or sweet potato casserole and then just pop it in the oven on Thanksgiving Day.
Some people stuff and cook the turkey the day before, carve it, and lay it out on a platter. No one will know the difference and you’ll have more time to spend with guests.
If you’re serving pies or rolls, definitely bake them beforehand and then heat and serve. You can make your cranberry sauce ahead of time, too.
Don’t Feel Bad About Prepared Foods
Let’s face it – not everyone has the time, skill, or inkling to slave over every aspect of a big meal. It’s perfectly fine to buy a pie if you’re a lousy baker or to make gravy from a mix if yours is always lumpy. Making everything from scratch isn’t a requirement of a great Thanksgiving meal. Besides, some people actually prefer canned cranberry sauce and paying attention to your guests is more important.
If someone offers to help, say “Yes!” Let them bring the rolls or a side dish, set the table, or clear after the meal. It won’t be very enjoyable for you if you’re exhausted from doing everything.
If they want to bring food, you can make the dishes that are most important to you and your family and they can bring other things.
Many celebrations include alcohol, which is perfectly fine when handled properly. However, Rhode Island’s Social Host law holds you legally responsible if minors drink at your event or if a person leaves your party intoxicated and gets into an accident. This applies even if you didn’t serve the minor and you weren’t present at the time of the accident. It is illegal to serve minors in all states.
In Rhode Island, the legal blood alcohol limit is 0.08% for drivers over 21 years of age, with exceptions. If the driver holds a commercial driver’s license it is only 0.04%. For drivers under 21 years of age, it is only 0.02%.
The consequences under Social Host law are serious and can include fines, jail, and/or a lawsuit. Consequently, if you plan to serve alcohol it is important you plan for guest safety too.
Consider serving non-alcoholic beverages such as mocktails, coffee, tea, and sodas. Stop serving alcohol at least an hour before the end of your party.
Arrange for taxis or rideshares for your guests or ask someone to be the designated driver for the event. Alternatively, insist intoxicated guests stay in your spare room.