We've made it to the big week! Thanksgiving is almost here and we are excited to spend time with family and friends, celebrating the many things we have to be thankful for this year. Of course, no Thanksgiving celebration is complete without a feast, and that can get tricky, especially if you aren't a culinary wizard in the kitchen.
Here at Williams Construction, we are no stranger to "construction", and we like to think of a Thanksgiving dinner as another construction project. With the right tools, the right materials, and a few handy tips, you can whip up a Thanksgiving dinner like a pro!
Make Your List, Check It Twice
Lists might not be your thing on an everyday basis, but for making a Thanksgiving feast, they will be your best friend. We never head to a site without going over everything we need, including the tools we'll use to get the job done. It's no different in your kitchen. Decide what you'll be making, determine all the ingredients you'll need and tools required to compete the dish, and then take inventory of what you already have off those lists. Anything you don't already have will need to be purchased. When you head to the store with your list in hand, you'll know exactly what you need and come home prepared!
If you were to peek inside our Winter Haven office at Williams Construction, you would probably see more than a few blueprints lying around. Just like we use blueprints to lay out a plan and design for our projects, it's a good idea for you to put together a basic outline and plan for your Thanksgiving meal. Determine seating for all guests (do you have enough tables? chairs? place settings?), decide what can be made ahead of time to save you stress on the big day, and do as much prep work as possible in the days leading up to Thanksgiving. For example, consider washing all place settings, table clothes, etc. at the beginning of the week and keeping them in a safe (clean) spot until you need them. Also consider making any dishes that can be frozen in the days ahead, and then just pull them out and bake them on the morning of Thanksgiving!
No, we don't take shortcuts that will sacrifice quality in our projects, and we aren't asking you to either! Williams Construction believes in giving our clients the highest quality work possible, and will offer nothing below outstanding results. However, when it comes to Thanksgiving dinner, a shortcut or two could save you a lot of time and stress, and make the whole day more enjoyable for everyone. Think about the parts of the dinner that stress you out the most, and then figure out how to make them a little easier. Does the thought of baking pies from scratch give you a headache before you even pull out the flour? Don't let it! There are plenty of delicious pie options at many local grocery stores and bakeries that are cost effective, beautiful, and will taste as good (or better!) than homemade. Your guests don't even have to know! Just place the pie on your own serving plate and it can be your secret! Other shortcuts include having family contribute by bringing some of the dishes needed for the meal, purchasing a few high-quality, pre-made options (you can even buy delicious pre-made mashed potatoes!) or even purchasing your turkey already cooked!
When the big day arrives, finishing touches can be what sets your Thanksgiving dinner apart as a raving success from just being "good". Williams Construction makes sure our custom homes and designs reflect our clients, all the way down to the tiniest details. In that same way, make sure your dinner reflects you, your home, and your family. Do you love a warm, cozy atmosphere? Add some candles, some background music, and offer a laid-back environment for your guests. If you want something more snazzy and "grown- up", have appetizers and cocktails ready to serve as guests arrive. They can mingle and enjoy the meal from the very start, before they ever get to the dining room!
We hope that you can pull some of these tips to make your holiday cooking endeavors more successful (and less stressful)! Just follow your plan as much as you can, have fun, and enjoy your family and friends this holiday season. If you realize that your family (and holiday dinners) have outgrown your space, give us a call! It might be time to add on a new bedroom or two, or renovate your too-small kitchen.
Happy Thanksgiving from Williams Construction!