Thanksgiving is SO close. It’s my favorite holiday of the year. For someone who adores cooking, hosting, and eating, this holiday is right up my ally. I also appreciate it for the obvious reason, being thankful. Life is always so quick to fly by that very rarely do we stop to take in just how blessed we are. It’s one thing to thank God for your blessings but it’s another to realize what they are. It’s so easy to say you are thankful but when you truly sit and think about all that you have to be thankful for, it can’t help but warm your heart.
For my lovely Thanksgiving host readers, I’m compiling a list of all of the basic kitchen items you will probably (I say probably because what some of us cook, others may not) need to have on hand that you may think you already have enough of or forget. The last thing you want is to get up ready to cook and realize that you need this or that and don’t have it on hand. Thanksgiving already comes with some stress (can we say cooking a ton of food in a short amount of time?) so the last thing you want is any extra stress that can be prevented. So get ready to read this list and go check out your cabinets.
A MenuBefore you do anything, write down everything you are cooking that day. This will come in handy quite a few times. Including when you go shopping for everything you need. Make the list and beside it, list everything it requires. That way when you make your shopping list, you won’t miss anything.
A Cooking Schedule
Go ahead while you make your list, and make out a cooking schedule. It seems like something you probably won’t need but it’s very helpful. You may get up, put your turkey in, and then realize that you now don’t have room for the ham and the casseroles and the rolls and whatever else you are cooking! Unless you are BLESSED with multiple ovens it’s important to know how long each item needs to be cooked or else your guests will come and the casseroles may not even be in the oven yet. I suggest starting with Dinner time and working backwards, cooking your items that require the least amount of time, last.
If there is anything you need to be absolutely positively sure you have, it’s these babies. Think about your side items…how many of them are casseroles? Chances are, a few. I am making 3. Think of your desserts…how many of them require 9×13 pans, or how about an 8×8? Making any kind of brownie? You’ll need one of these babies. Automatically you may think “Oh I have quite a few of those” even if you think you have enough, check. Look at your list and count how many food items require one (don’t forget to make sure one dish will be enough for all of your guests. You may need to make 2 of one item to be able to feed everyone) and then go count the dishes you have. You may need 1 or 2 more. You don’t have to go out and buy a new fancy set either, especially if you won’t use them outside of this occasion. You can get a set of 2 disposable ones (sometimes they even come with more) for just a few dollars at practically every single store out there. I would get these a couple of weeks ahead of time too. Staples like disposable dishes will go fast the week of Thanksgiving. This is about being prepared! 🙂
You know, plates, cups, utensils, napkins. What good is serving food if your guests have nothing to eat on? Not that I think any of you would forget to have these kinds of things, but hey, like I said, there’s pressure, it can make a forgetful person forget anything. So make sure you have PLENTY of this stuff. Enough that everyone can have two plates if they need it (it IS Thanksgiving), and don’t forget about eating dessert, you’ll want a separate plate for this. And again, doesn’t have to be fancy. If you have a smaller party and want to bring out your glassware, by all means, go for it. But if you are having a ton of people or simply don’t want to deal with a lot of clean up, go the disposable route. Nothing is wrong with this. Nothing. You can even get cute little Thanksgiving themed ones. Whatever route you take, just make sure everyone has enough of everything. It’s better to over plan than under.
You’re gonna want to invest in one of these babies. Now, obviously if you are frying your turkey or some other way, you won’t need one of these, but for the standard roasting way, this is a life saver. You can buy a roasting pan with everything included or if you already have a roasting pan but not the most important part, the rack, you can go and buy the rack by itself. By having the rack, you are keeping the turkey off of the bottom. If the turkey sits on the bottom it will stew in its own juices instead of getting a nice even roast all over the turkey. You can get these at most stores. You can get just a standard one for around $25 and get just of a nice result as a big fancy $200 one. You just want to keep your turkey off of the bottom. Another key feature, the pan is also sturdy enough to hold the heavy turkey and it makes for easy transport.
A Meat Thermometer
This is such an important thing to have handy. No one wants a dry turkey. You get a dry turkey by relying on sight to tell you when your turkey is done. By having a meat thermometer you are 100% sure when the turkey has reached a safe temperature to eat and you won’t have to worry about “cooking it a little bit longer just in case” and then ending up with an over cooked turkey. They aren’t expensive and any basic one will work. You want to insert it into the thickest part of your turkey and make sure it reads 165 degrees. Then you can pull your turkey.
This is an item you don’t realize how much you need it, until you don’t have any. This will be used many times on Thanksgiving. It will come in handy when cooking your turkey but it will also come in handy at the end of the day when your guests want to take some leftovers home and they need something to wrap a dish up in, and if your dishes don’t have lids, you’ll need it for your own personal leftovers too. Just make sure you wrap everything up good and tight so air doesn’t get to it.
They can be plastic, metal, wooden, whatever your heart desires. Just make sure you have plenty of these. Without them your guests may be tempted to use their silverware to help themselves. Not only will this take forever, have you tried scooping mashed potatoes with a dinner spoon? But it also poses risk for people to stick that fork in their mouth before helping themselves to some food. I don’t have to explain the bad reason for that. You can get them cheap and in bulk and will use them a ton, not only today but later on and you can get a pack for just a few dollars. They are WORTH IT.
Thanksgiving is such a joyous time, I want all of you to enjoy it. So just take a 2 minute trip to your kitchen and make sure you have all of this. We don’t want any added stress on the holidays that can be avoidable, which is why I made this handy list. It can be easy to forget things when you are running around like the good host you are trying to make everything awesome for your guests.
What are some things you have forgotten on Thanksgiving? Do you have anything to add to the list? Comment below! I would love to hear from you!