Can you smell that turkey roasting? How about the wonderful sage mixed in with your homemade dressing? This autumn season we’ve compiled a few helpful tips for pulling off a wonderful Thanksgiving meal. With a little upfront planning, your holiday hosting can be a breeze.

How to Prepare Your Kitchen for Thanksgiving

Decide on a menu

Hosting such an important annual meal requires preparation. Pull out your favorite cookbooks and grandma’s recipe for the perfect pumpkin pie.

A menu will help you focus a number of things. First, you’ll know what ingredients you need to buy at the store. Any ingredients such as oils or spices that will keep you can buy now and store in your pantry so they are ready to go. Second, you can determine size and shape of serving dish and if you don’t have enough, you can buy or borrow what you need. And third, your guests can see what needs to be done and pitch in. Delegate away!

Prep, prep, prep!

Pre-wash your serving ware, crystal, wine glasses, and anything else you can attend to ahead of time. Spot clean those table linens. When was the last time you used your roaster pan? Do you have a turkey baster?

Check your stock of napkins and kid-friendly items you need. If you are hosting a mix of adults and children, maybe consider setting up a kid table (or borrow a table from a friend) with extra chairs (possibly wood chairs that are easier to clean up after sticky fingers get to them).

Clean your appliances

Imagine the look on your mother-in-law’s face on Thanksgiving day when she offers to warm up a dish and finds your disaster of a microwave. The last thing you want is for your guests to find crusted-on messes in there, your refrigerator, or your dishwasher.

Stock up on snacks and beverages to ward off hungry guests

Is the turkey done yet? Check that you have ample snacks and beverages for your guests to nibble on and sip while they await the main attraction and throughout their stay.
Make sure if anyone has special dietary needs, you accommodate them. Don’t forget the non-alcoholic beverages and kid-friendly options.