Monday, November 24, 2014


Idk if you know how student housing works, but I live with 5 other women in their late teens/twenties. And I love/hate it. In recent developments:

We're hosting Thanksgiving Dinner. @_@

  • None of us have ever roasted a turkey before.
  • None of us have ever done thanksgiving without our mom.
  • I'm the only one with any dinner party experience.
  • The only ones staying in the apartment this week are me and 2 freshmen.
  • We're providing dinner for 12.

I have this problem with over-committing.

BUT I AM A PLANNER AND I CAN DO THIS. Thank goodness for Pinterest. Here's a link to my board. There are some great nuggets of wisdom to be found there.

We're doing 2 turkeys, because our ovens are small. We're using a couple of different apartment's ovens to do all this. R's brother lives in our building and will be dining with us, so he's agreed to help, and their mother was sweet enough to offer to help buy the turkey(s).

Due to shared fridge/freezer space being super crowded, to save room we're COOLER BRINING thanks to's Emma Chapman. She's walking us through that and possibly a couple of other things. I've taken the recipe and made a 1 page word document complete with ingredients in shopping list format, tools necessary listed, and easy to read and follow instructions, happy to share if there's any interest.

In Excel I've worked out a time table of what dishes we're making, how much time they'll each take, and when they need to be started in order for oven use efficiency. Practically an oven schedule. I highly recommend this, as cooking around a turkey in a small oven is not an easy task to do.

While composing this little pre-post, our Bishop just sanctioned it the ysa ward thanksgiving dinner. Bad news - more people. Good news - budget.

Our kitchen barely fits 4. Our living room fits 5 comfortably. They're open all the way across, so my idea as it stands is to by a folding long table and use it (smashed against our small dining table) and borrow some chairs to add to the arrangement to seat everyone. If more people show than we can fit, we'll do it asian style in the hallway. We'll take the foods and serving utensils and line the center of the hall, throw some pillows on the ground on the edges, and have everyone guard their cups in their laps. If we use the table, we'll use brown craft paper as a cover and put little mad-libs, games, and "thankful for" lists at everyone's seats. So far the menu goes as below:

Melody's Secret Holiday Hooch
-this isn't actual "hooch" but it's a fun mocktail. No recipe being shared. This stays a secret.
Tinsman Green Bean Casserole
Hodgson Turkeys
All Knight Stuffing
Corn bread
Cranberry sauce
Pumpkin Pie
Salad (which I would like to point out, I wont eat - but I will serve, as I know it's a dinner party necessity)
Bacon Wrapped Asparagus
Dinner Rolls
Giblet Gravy
Some sort of cookies
Some sort of cupcakes
Egg nog
Sparkling Cider

All in all, we'll get through it somehow, and I'm sure it will be a whirlwind.

  • Important things to remember - play music during prep to keep the mood up. Some subtle jazz intrigues the ears and keeps things positive and calm.
  • Probably turn on A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and set out the appetizers 20 minutes before you expect the guests to arrive.
  • Keep the dishwasher empty so the clean-up moves faster and DONT LEAVE OUT INGREDIENTS when you're done. Whatever you can prep the night before, prep the night before. 
  • Make sure you have all necessary bowls, pans, pots, tongs, and tools necessary to prepare and serve each dish. Maybe even make sure you have one of each required tool per dish that requires it.
  • Delegate.
  • Keep smiling - it'll keep everyone else slightly happier.
  • Delegate.
  • Light fall scented candles or use potpourri to set the atmosphere.
  • Delegate.
  • If space won't allow anything else, use a buffet style service. I think we'll do this for the non-finger foods anyway.
  • Have plenty of ice on hand.
  • Nothing is impossible. If dinner is late, it's late.
  • Timers were invented for a reason.
  • Keep your schedule close at hand and have all recipes printed so that wifi/phone service doesn't delay anything.
I guess we'll see how this is going tomorrow night. I'll be heading to the store after work, and I'm positive I'll forget stuff. Tell me about your thanksgiving plans in the comments! Any cool recipes or tips or traditions! I love this stuff.