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I need ideas for organizing and putting together a Thanksgiving dinner for 14 people.

I have a huge family, and they will all be at my house for the holidays. I think I may set up an hors d'oeuvres table so people can fill up on that stuff before the main course. I suppose I will do a lot of finger foods. Any ideas will be appreciated. This is only my 2nd year hosting and I'm not very good at it.

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CZB-Mom

Asked by CZB-Mom at 12:52 PM on Nov. 16, 2009 in Holidays

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Answers (7)
  • Make atleast 2 meats, probably ham and turkey or a roast. Then 3 to 4 side dishes like mac and cheese, potatos, yams, rice, sweet potatoe pudding, or stuffing. Then about 4 veggies. A nice leafy green salad is a must!, also green bean casseroll, corn, squash, peas, carrots, or asparagus. Then do your breads. Maybe 2, Corn bread, bruchetta, yeast rolls, or biscuits. And dont forget to have coffee and tea handy for the people who like something hot to drink afterwards. I always go and put the kettle on when I see that people are almost done eating. And deserts atleast 3. Good Luck :)
    Shyma

    Answer by Shyma at 12:59 PM on Nov. 16, 2009

  • Have you thought about asking everyone to bring a dish to take some of the pressure off? My Mom used to do that and it was a huge help.
    MrsLeftlane

    Answer by MrsLeftlane at 1:05 PM on Nov. 16, 2009

  • you don't need to make fiddly little finger food stuff just have lots of the side dishes.

    get a BIG turkey

    double up the stuffing - in the bird and in a casserole

    have 2 starches - potatoes and sweet potatoes

    have 3 different veggie options - I do green bean casserole, steamed veggies (I just use a large bag of frozen mixed veggies - broccoli/cauliflower/carrots), and a relish tray with carrot sticks, celery sticks.

    LOTS of gravy

    lots of buns.

    in my experience people will eat lots of the good side dishes and then turkey and be good with that.

    and then offer dessert - I do apple pie or pumpkin pie.

    our thanksgiving I had 20 people (4 of those were kids) and we had plenty.
    hypermamaz

    Answer by hypermamaz at 1:13 PM on Nov. 16, 2009

  • Just organize yourself. Make as much as possible the night before. I make mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, stuffing and whatever else I can the night before. Then I just reheat them when the Turkey is done. I don't do a lot of appetizers because if I'm working so hard to cook it, I want you to eat it damn it! 14 really isn't a lot of people for that meal. Just get a big turkey, 2 potatoes (sweet and mashed), stuffing, 2 veggies, bread and gravy should cover it. Have others bring dessert.
    mompam

    Answer by mompam at 1:14 PM on Nov. 16, 2009

  • Thank you for all the great ideas. Such a help.
    CZB-Mom

    Answer by CZB-Mom at 1:31 PM on Nov. 16, 2009

  • I make pies and rolls the day before. I prep the night before- have everything ready to go- recipes and all.

    I wish I could have everyone bring a dish- but they are all coming in from out of town (11 hr drive) but it would be so nice. If you can I would do this.

    This year I am using a turkey roaster to cook the turkey to free up oven space.
    ave.maria.

    Answer by ave.maria. at 1:49 PM on Nov. 16, 2009

  • definitely do everything ahead of time so that you can dedicate the oven to the turkey. just remember to be able to take the turkey out of the oven about an hour earlier than dinnertime to let it rest. then you can pop everything that needs to be toasted a bit or warmed up into the oven.

    dh also strips the bird - slices the meat and everything onto a large platter instead of doing the whole thing on the table. it saves time and having to make roomin fridge for the roaster.
    hypermamaz

    Answer by hypermamaz at 2:15 PM on Nov. 16, 2009

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