Thanksgiving Prep Time!
It’s time to celebrate the harvest and embrace the change of season. The last day of September is upon us and Thanksgiving is right around the corner! Lucky us we get our first major holiday dinner of the season earlier than our neighbours to the south—but this wouldn’t be the first time it snuck up on us a little bit! Also, as the first major holiday meal of the season this is a great opportunity to refresh or check your supplies before the months of festive feasting get under way!
Large meals (like big design projects) can seem daunting, but with a little preparation you can have a delicious and beautiful Thanksgiving feast without the crazy stress. We’ve had some requests for some Thanksgiving meal prep, so we went through our archives and gathered all our best advice and found a couple new things to bring to the table (so to speak!).
If you’re planning on having a traditional Turkey at your dinner party, be sure to request one in advance! Below are some top choices around Vancouver to place your order:
Jackson’s Meat and Deli: Located at Granville Island and on 4th Avenue in Kitsilano. For over 100 years Vancouverites have trusted Jackson’s with their turkey’s, steaks, and sausages. Visit their website here.
Market Meats: Located on 4th avenue in Kitsilano. Named the #1 Butcher in Vancouver for 2017 by the Georgia Strait, Market Meats can take care of your holiday meal needs. Visit their website here.
Heringers: Located in Steveston Village. For over 25 years this local favourite has been supplying all the meat, cheese, and fixins for holiday feasts and weeknight meals alike. Visit their website here.
Thinking of going meat-less this year? While lots of other meats can substitute the turkey if you want something different, a vegetarian option (that’s a bit more glamorous that Tofurkey…) might be trickier to think of. We suggest trying something like a Sweet Potato Casserole (recipe from Bon Apetit) that has a great flavour and can take up a Turkey-sized spot on the table. You can serve your main dish with some Vegan Gravy (recipe from Jamie Oliver) to complete the meal!
[A note on side dishes: Make your menu now so you have a week to track down groceries and place orders for desserts or breads… Nothing worse than being forced to make meal changes at the last minute!]
The first rule of place setting is to make sure you have enough supplies for all your guests (plus at least 2 extra for surprise meal-goers or last minute invites…). It’s not a bad idea to take stock of forks, knives, spoons, wine glasses, table linens, plates, bowls, and serving dishes etc… a week in advance to make sure that everything is accounted for and in good shape. If sets are not your thing, opt for an eclectic mix of tableware to add some visual interest and personality to the table!
The second rule of place setting is to make sure your guests have enough room! Take into consideration the number of guests at the table, how many dishes you plan on having at the table, how many bottles of wine… you get the idea. And make sure your table is large enough… Nothing is worse than feeling like you’re eating on an airplane than at a cozy dinner party! To save space, consider having dishes placed on an island or buffet for guests to self-serve so you’re not juggling dishes all night.
It’s time to get out your table cloth and napkin collection and make sure that you are free of stains and have your complete (or eclectic!) sets. The other thing to be mindful of is to make sure your table cloth is an appropriate size for your table. Wouldn’t it be easy if tables and linens came in a standard size? Dressing up a table for a formal meal would be so much easier…
As a general rule, it’s best if your tablecloth has an overhang (excess length that drapes over the edge of the table) of 6″ – 8″. You want it long enough to cover the edge of the table but not pool in the laps of your guests. Depending on the distance between the top of the chair and the top of the table this may change slightly– best to take it out for a bit of a test run if you aren’t sure!
Using a rectangular table? A runner is a great way to add some visual interest. Scattering decor, small flower arrangements, or candles is another way to add that festive touch.
Using a circular table? Make sure your centerpiece is low enough for the guests to see each other! Or place communal items such as bottles of wine or main dishes in the center for all to reach.
Ditching the linens? That’s okay too! Especially if you have a beautiful wood table to showcase… We went sans tablecloth at our Dinner x Design showcase (see photos here) and it was a hit!
Now. Make your shopping lists, write down any items you need to replace, and place those food orders! Next week we’ll follow up with some easy decor ideas to complete your Thanksgiving table…