24 Hour Countdown: Top Tips For A Successful Thanksgiving Meal

I have been hosting Thanksgiving on and off for years now, but the last 24 hours before guests arrive is when you know all mayhem can break loose! But no worries, or should I say, no need to fear – Butterball is here! Remember we are in this together and we’re always available to answer last-minute questions! My theory is, even the cook should enjoy Thanksgiving with family and friends, so I’m sharing my top tips to help you have the perfect meal.

1. Defrost, defrost, defrost. Make sure your turkey is fully defrosted. The number one call on Thanksgiving is “My turkey is not defrosted, what do I do?” So check your turkey now and if it still seems a little frozen, use our cold water thawing method: http://bit.ly/N0Q2LJ.

2. Make sure you have a meat thermometer. A meat thermometer is the safest way to know that your turkey has been properly cooked. The breast temperature should read 170° and the thigh should be 180°.

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3. Make anything in advance that you can. I love to make up my casseroles the night before and then bake the next day.

4. Set the table. It seems silly but a lot of people wait until the day of and then realize their table cloth has a stain or worse, they can’t find it!

5. Stick to white dishes – they show off your food best! Let the food be the show, after all you worked so hard on this.

6. Serve buffet style instead of family style. This way people can walk through and take what they enjoy. It’s also less cumbersome on the table.

7. Make sure you have drinks ready. I love to serve a signature drink at the door. This year my drink will be a Sauvignon Blanc from Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi married with a splash of pomegranate juice. To get your white wine chilled to perfection, place it in the refrigerator for 2 hours and remove it 20 minutes before serving. Easy and simple – just what you need with less than 24 hours to go!

8. Don’t be afraid to borrow. Last year I realized I forgot to buy stock to make gravy! I called up my neighbor and she was glad to lend a hand, she even ran it over! Now that’s a good neighbor.

9. Thanksgiving is the meal that keeps on giving, so have plastic Reynolds® storage containers on hand – it’ll make it easier to send everyone home with leftovers!

10. To centerpiece or not to centerpiece… the big question. This year for centerpieces, I plan to put together bouquets and write my guests name on each one. I am also tucking a little note inside telling them why I am thankful for them.  At the end of the night all my guests get to take theirs home. The best part is that they are easy and you can DIY!

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With these simple steps, you’ll be sure to host a successful meal that your guests will be talking about for years to come.


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