Prepare for Your Thanksgiving Dinner


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If you're planning to eat a traditional Thanksgiving dinner on the big day, you have five choices. They are:

1) EAT OUT. It may not seem very festive or traditional to dine out on Thanksgiving but sometimes you don't want to cook or clean up afterward. Usually only a few restaurants are open on Thanksgiving (if any in your area). So you may want to make early inquiries to find that one open restaurant serving a Thanksgiving meal, especially if you'll be bringing guests.

2) COOK. If you plan to cook this Thanksgiving then you'll definitely want to plan ahead. Know how many guests will be enjoying your home-cooked meal. That way you can shop for the right size turkey (about 1.3 pounds per person) and provide an appropriate helping of side dishes, appetizers, desserts and beverages.

3) POTLUCK. If you're hosting a potluck, you'll need to know ahead of time what dishes guests plan to bring. You'll need to be the coordinator so you can avoid duplicate food items. Plus inquire about whether they'll need to use any of your cookware and stove or oven to reheat or put any final touches on dishes.

4) HIRE A COOK. You can hire a chef who will come to your home to cook a meal. Or they might prepare something for you the day before in their kitchen and bring it to you along with directions for proper reheating and serving. Search the Web using your city name plus the phrase personal chef. Or go to Another option is to check with your local supermarket deli. Some will prepare and sell you Thanksgiving dinner items like a smoked turkey and a platter of side dishes. Just be sure to place your order by the deadline and pick up your meal the day before Thanksgiving (if they'll be closed that day).

5) BE SOMEONE'S GUEST. If you want to get an invite, you may have to start dropping hints early that you'll be spending the day alone this Thanksgiving (LOL). A sure way to be a guest though is to set up a system where friends or family members take turns hosting Thanksgiving dinner at their house. If you have a large, extended family you might only be cooking Thanksgiving dinner once a decade at your home and spending the other nine years as a guest for Thanksgiving dinner at a family member's home. But don't forget to bring a bottle of wine or other appropriate gift to your host.

Karen Fritscher-Porter writes about home and family topics. Go to for a complete Thanksgiving day planning checklist. If you're cooking at home for Thanksgiving, go to organization stores to shop for everything you need to organize your kitchen and cooking before Thanksgiving.


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