Your Thanksgiving hosts have a lot on their plates.....cleaning the house, grocery shopping, setting a pretty table, cooking a huge meal and making sure everyone's glass is full. It's an exhausting effort with a great reward....seeing our friends and family together enjoying the holiday and making memories.
As a guest, you may be wondering how to contribute to the meal. Here are some tips we know your host will appreciate and are easy to do:
1). Bring a bottle
Arriving with a bottle of wine or liquor in hand is a great way to relieve some of the financial burdens of hosting a dinner, as making sure there is enough wine for a crowd can be pricey. It doesn't have to be an expensive rare vintage, there are so many great wines under $20 that are available at your local wine shop or grocery store.
Cooling Wine Pour Spout
2). Side dishes
Make sure you confirm with the host before you show up with a side dish. The host has been planning the menu since September, and while your sweet potato casserole is for surely delicious, she’s already got three.
3). Stay away from the oven
You know what’s in the oven? A turkey. You know what doesn’t need to be in the oven? Your side dish. That, my friend, can go in the microwave.
It can be tricky to prepare both the bird and the traditional sides when she only has one oven. Ask in advance if there's anything you can bring to round out the meal. Opt for a dish or plate that can be made in advance and reheated while the turkey is resting or, better yet, something that doesn't require any additional prep at all. A cheese plate is a great offering, requires no prep, and is always a crowd pleaser.
Rustic Farmhouse Slate Cheese Board
4). Bring your own serveware for your dish
The host only has a certain amount of platters and oversized bowls which have likely been already maxed for her own dishes she prepared, so save her the trouble of rummaging through the cabinets when the heat is on and the crowd is around....and bring a serving dish of your own.
5). Show up with something sweet
Whether you whip up an elaborate cake or swing by your local bakery and snag a pumpkin pie, showing up with a dessert is almost always a smooth move. Not only is it one less thing for your host to prepare, but pies, cookies, and sweets are really the icing on the cake (pun intended) to end the holiday dinner.
6). Transport your dishes responsibly
At some point, we've all been tasked with the thankless Thanksgiving job of holding a casserole dish overflowing with piping-hot buttery potatoes on our laps while speeding down the highway over the hills and through the woods to Grandmother's house. And how about getting all those leftovers home after Thanksgiving dinner? While Aunt Sue's pumpkin pie may seem perfectly pleasant perched atop a lace doily on the dining-room table, it can become a dangerous projectile if not secured properly in the car. Invest in a food carrier...you'll be glad you did.
Potluck Casserole Carrier
7). ......and your own to go containers
If you know there will be take home leftovers, don't drain the host of all of her plastic. Bring your own to-go containers or plastic Zip Loc bags which are light enough to stash in a purse and can prevent liquid spillage.
10pc Locking Lid Set
8). Impress with an edible arrangement
Not only do they look pretty, everyone loves fruit. Pears, clementines, or other fall fruits with the leaves still photogenically attached. It’s a win-win-win: Fruits serve as palate-cleansing dessert (even the biggest cake and pie-gorgers will thank you), table decor, and tomorrow’s breakfast all in one.
9). Speaking of breakfast.....
Imagine being the host the morning after, having to cook again for the visitors sleeping over. But hold on! Some conscientious guest (cough, cough...it's you) has thought to bring homemade pancake mix! The morning is saved. Easy to DIY, just pack in a mason jar with a bottle of high-quality maple syrup, and a copy of the recipe. Now that's a hostess gift that keeps giving.
Find a bouquet of beautiful fall flowers and bring trimmed and presentable with a vase you don’t mind leaving behind (e.g., a mason jar). That way the host doesn’t need to interrupt basting to find you a vase in that cabinet above the fridge.
Do you bring gifts for your Thanksgiving host? Feel free to share them here!