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Need any advice or tips on hosting Thanksgiving for a large crowd...

Ok, I'm having my biggest Thanksgiving yet...22 people...slighly anxious about it, lol. Most are traveling long distances to get here for the weekend. Do you have any tips, big or small, that will help me? Cooking, menu ideas (other than the standard Thanksgiving dinner), hosting, serving, entertaining, any advice at all would be greatly appreciated. We will obviously not fit around the table, not sure how to handle that...


Asked by gramsmom at 12:20 PM on Oct. 27, 2009 in Food & Drink

Level 22 (13,423 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (5)
  • A ton of casserole type things can be made ahead and frozen, then baked to serve. Make you mashed potatoes, freeze them in plastic, thaw them then whip in cheese and bake.

    You can also out-source stuff. Get a veggie tray made from the grocery. Have plenty of snacks and stuff for grazing. Cheese balls, crackers, fruit. The small children will appreciate it.

    Recruit a teenager to be your kitchen helper. Dishes and table setting stuff is best done by those who crave structure and rules. If you have a niece who loves to help in the kitchen, matching aprons for the crew can be a very good investment.

    Any recipes that must be made that day-- take them off the list. It's not worth it.

    Cookies and ice cream make a great dessert. Make the dough up to 1 week in advance. Bake the cookies the night before. The whole house will smell good and everyone likes a hot cookie and cold milk before bed.

    Answer by ecodani at 8:41 PM on Oct. 27, 2009

  • Do as much ahead of time as possible.

    Answer by Dyndudes at 12:23 PM on Oct. 27, 2009

  • I agree about doing as much ahead as possible. I think I'd serve buffet style, and either put out extra tables if you have the room, or just have chairs and if possible tv trays scattered in groups. I'd probably put children at a table just because I think it's less messy. Personally, I don't think I'd try to be formal since you won't be eating at one table anyway, and I'd use nicer heavy paper plates like the Chinette, maybe even heavy plasticware instead of silverware just to make things easier.

    Relax and remember your friends and family are coming to enjoy the gathering. Some of my favorite get togethers have been the most casual.....probably because they're the most comfortable.

    Answer by ohwrite at 12:30 PM on Oct. 27, 2009

  • Most baked goods can be made ahead of time & frozen. Whip up mashed potatoes in the morning and put in your crockpot to keep warm, along with some cream cheese or sour cream & chives for taste. I love the buffet idea, complete with punch bowl. I would also make up some appetizers like Chex mix or cheese ball & crackers, crackers & dip, veggies & dip, deviled eggs, etc. to keep hungry people & kids from complaining, you could even have a few kids circulating with the appetizer plates to offer to others.

    Menu ideas: typical turkey dinner, I have a spicy rub that I put on my turkey that adds a lot of flavor; fresh veggie salad like broccoli or pea salad; butternut squash soup; caramel apple pie or cheesecake instead of apple pie; pumpkin cheesecake &/or pumpkin cake roll along with pies; some decorated cookies for the kids (or have the cookies, frosting & decorations available and let the kids entertain themselves)

    Answer by michiganmom116 at 1:27 PM on Oct. 27, 2009

  • i would be sure to have tables set up if you have room and a kid table with activites to keep them busy. Their is a recipe that is old fashioned refrigerator mashed potatos. You can make them a week in advance and put them in cassarole dishes and warm them in the oven when you need them. Cook turkey in roaster if you can so you can use your oven for cassaroles. Used crockpots when you can for corn and other things to save room on stove and oven. Buy pies if you want to save yourself from over doing it.

    Answer by ria7 at 2:40 PM on Oct. 27, 2009