Here is a late post that I started during the 2017 holidays but didn’t have time to finish until 2018.
My friends and I rotate holiday gatherings at our homes. One friend hosts Hannukah, another hosts Christmas. I host Thanksgiving dinner. Since I’m not very good at cooking, I begin thinking and prepping for this food-based holiday gathering in mid-October.
(Here are some previous Thanksgiving-related posts we published on LHS. https://livinghilostyle.com/2016/11/21/thanksgiving-traditions/
First of all, I have to make sure my calendar allows us to host. Last year, we didn’t host Thanksgiving since I traveled to Oahu with my daughter for a soccer tournament and spent the holiday there with my brother and his wife’s family. I have to let the invitees know that we are hosting so that they don’t make alternate plans. In fact, one of the people I usually invite made their own plans this year.Pictured above is our official turkey carver who couldn’t join us this past year.
Ok–the house. I have friends who are awesome at keeping their house clean and decorated–in fact, their homes could be featured in lifestyle magazine photo spreads. I’m not like that. I struggle with keeping a balance in my life of work, family, and friends. That means that my house isn’t all that neat. In fact, it is usually kind of messy. So, about a month before Thanksgiving, I start going through all the clutter that has made its way to the “public” areas of my house. I try to organize and declutter. I “discover” things that I had put aside with the intent of giving some attention to it. I find old KTA and Costco sale ads. I find folders of printed recipes that I had intended to try. I have many great intentions. I throw out all my old good intentions to prepare for Thanksgiving and really, to make room for all my new good intentions.
This year we hosted around 30 people this year and as far as my menu prep goes this year, I decided to try and keep things simple. Remember what I said earlier? I’m not great at cooking AND it takes me an inordinate amount of time to clean my house. Plus, my runner-son participates in a Thanksgiving morning Big Island Road Runners Turkey Trot 5K fun run that I like to cheer him on at so that cuts into meal prep/cleaning time. So, when I got an email from Zippy’s telling me about their Thanksgiving meal package, I was excited. They offered to sell me a roasted turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, and custard pie for me. I said YES!! This totally makes things easier for me and gives me less stress and more time to clean house and spend time with family and friends. That leaves only the prime rib (being roasted by Monday Musing Melinda’s husband), ham, Portuguese sausage stuffing, oxtail soup, smoked meat, roasted veggies, spam musubi, and whatever else I get inspired to include. Of course, my guests never come empty handed so no one goes hungry.
In fact, this year, my friends brought pasta, pastele stew, fruit salad, cornbread, garlic cheesy bread, tossed salad, roasted yams, pumpkin squares and more. We had so much to eat!
Final note–other than cleaning house and cooking, I also prepared for Thanksgiving by going shopping. I made sure to have containers available for the leftover pack up. I found these leak-proof containers on Amazon that worked for me this year. I also decided that I no longer liked my rice cooker so, I found a new rice cooker on Amazon. I hear great things about the Zojirushi and I have found that I love it. Most of all though, I look forward to spending time with this group of people every Thanksgiving. Living Hilo Style.