The Art of Entertaining – Thanksgiving – Basil Magazine

 

The Art of Entertaining
with Celebrity Chef Andre’ Carthen...

Logo

Starting with Thanksgiving straight through to New Years Day, this time of the year is truly about food, family and fun! With the holidays, especially Thanksgiving being such an important “food related holiday” the pressure of doing so much and having it turn out just right, can be over whelming. So here are a few solutions we hope will ease some tension and free-up a little more time for family and friends.

I can’t stress this enough, START EARLY. There are many things that can be done days, even weeks in advance. Here are a few tips to help you plan for your special engagement…more

Entertaining is all about making guest feel at home in your home!

Starting with Thanksgiving straight through to New Years Day, this time of the year is truly about food, family and fun! With the holidays, especially Thanksgiving being such an important “food related holiday” the pressure of doing so much and having it turn out just right, can be over whelming. So here are a few solutions we hope will ease some tension and free-up a little more time for family and friends.
I can’t stress this enough, START EARLY. There are many things that can be done days, even weeks in advance.

2 -3 weeks in advance
  • Prepare invites and menu
  • Have a good idea how many people are coming and what you are serving. A last minute change of one or two people won’t cause chaos if you’re well prepared.
 
Special Orders
  • Extra seating, tables, specialty foods, kosher meal, and desserts, the earlier the better!
  • Calendar a reminder to call and confirm your order.
 
1 week in advance
  • Call to confirm your earlier orders
  • Select music; if you have the ability make a CD or select songs from your iPod to play for several hours.
  • Confirm guest; we all know those people that wait ‘til the last minute to RSVP.
  • Decide on center piece and home decor.
 
3 days – 1 week in advance
  • If you like to bake, start your ovens. 3 days to a week in advance is a good time for breads and pies. If it’s a week, freeze until the night before. Three days or less refrigerate until the big day.
 
2 days before
  • If you are planning on using a frozen turkey, please read the thawing directions. Most directions say to allow approximately 24 hours per 5 pounds of turkey. Which means; when thawing your turkey in the refrigerator:
    • 8 to 12 lbs / 1-2 days
    • 12 to 16 lbs / 2-3 days
    • 16 to 20 lbs / 3-4 days
  • Chop veggies for crudite and recipes. Celery, carrots, onions…have them all pre-chopped and in baggies ready to go.
 
Day and night before – Double check, double check…
  • Make sure you have all the ingredients you need to prepare your holiday meal.
  • Check to make sure you have all the utensils, containers, and equipment you will need, including a roasting pan large enough to hold your turkey and a meat thermometer.
  • Make sure your oven is in proper working condition.
  • Chill drinks; if you are expecting a large number of guest, it helps to have a back-up cooling system. Second refrigerator and / or coolers filled with ice.

When it comes to Table setting and home decor

Brighten your home and table with variety and color. Flowers, seasonal fruits and herbs such as Autumn leaves, persimmons, winter squash, mini pumpkins, rosemary and sage all work well for the fall. You can never have too many candles, be creative but always remember candle safety.
For the Height of Entertaining; break up a humdrum table or side buffet by arranging your serving platters at different levels. Stack boxes, books, up side-down bowls or pots hidden under your table cloth. Place food platters and baskets at desired heights. Try using cake plates with pedestals for added flare, this works especially well for your dessert table.
A little pre-planning, by laying out china, flatware and glassware the night before ( covering with a cloth or sheet), will help you enjoy more time with your family and friends.
The best parties should awaken all of your senses…don’t forget you have 5 of them! Aromas (scented candles) or fresh baked goodies, Visuals (colorful decorations), Touch (soft napkins), *Sound (terrific music) and most important of all….TASTE (great foods)!

Last but not least; Party checklist:

Do you have?
– Napkins
-Glasses
-Plates
-Utensils
-Platters
-Serving utensils
-Flowers
-Candles
-Drinks
-Ice
-Coffee maker/filters and -cups

Don’t forget…
The trash and recycling bins!  Lastly, have plenty of warm, comfy seating and a variety of great music; not that you will be able to hear it over the accolades for your fabulous food!

Chef Andre Carthen
kathy ireland Worldwide Design Ambassador
acafe society
“…where you always know what’s cooking!”
kathyireland.com
To check out my blog acafesociety, click here.

Basil MAGAZINE “Live” Council Member

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s