Of all the glorious holidays, Thanksgiving has a particularly unique process. The fate of the festivities rests in the hands of one or two masters of ceremony. They are the directors of the show, the conductors of the symphony. With this great power comes great responsibility and even more pressure. There have been many chef failures recorded in the history of Thanksgiving, but careful planning can make all the difference. Here are some tips to save you from experiencing a Gordon Ramsey-sized meltdown in the kitchen.


Take Inventory


Nothing is more stressful than having all your delicious meals prepared and ready to go, only to find out you don’t have enough place settings, you ran out of forks and you used your only mac and cheese bowl to hold the potato salad. Thanksgiving catastrophes happen all too often, and believe it or not, they can be easily avoided by taking inventory the night before. Take inventory of all your pots, pans, silverware, plates and anything else you’ll be using on Thanksgiving. Use a notepad to list and check off what’s needed for each place setting for your guests. Use sticky notes to label your cooking supplies according to which dish you will be using it for. It may sound silly, but this will save you so much time when it’s time to cook. This is also a good time to check and see if anything is missing. Remember, it’s okay if not everything matches, but it’s not okay if something is missing. Don’t worry though, you have time to go get it, and you can always rent supplies. At Celebration, check out our event rentals for some great options, especially if you’re planning to go big this year.


Make a Menu


Picture this: You and Grandma make the most savory Thanksgiving stuffing. You do it every year. It’s tradition. People even look forward to it. Next thing you know, Aunt Carol from Nocatee walks in the door with a huge steaming tray of her stuffing! Now you have to place the dishes side by side and secretly take note of whose stuffing is more popular. Avoid this awkward situation by making a menu a few days before and sharing it with those that will be contributing to dinner. This will make everything super transparent, and it will ensure that everyone’s on the same page. You can even make a list in Google Docs so that all your family members can add what they’ll be bringing to dinner with ease. The future of Thanksgiving is now.


Cook Ahead of Time


Cooking ahead of time doesn’t mean cooking so early that you’re serving stale bread rolls to your guests on Thanksgiving. We all know there are certain foods you can cook ahead of time and some you can’t. A perfect example is a casserole. You can cook it the night before, throw it in the oven the next day and that’s it! The casserole and you will both be ready to go.


All three of these tips are connected by one simple theme: preparation. Take some time out of your Thanksgiving Eve to take care of these details, and you’ll be in for a smooth Thanksgiving dinner.