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Top Tips for a Perfect Thanksgiving Dinner - Juniper Springs A Concierge Community Blog

Top Tips for a Perfect Thanksgiving Dinner

  |     |   Family, Food, Holiday

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, it’s time to get your planning underway. To help you have a fun and festive celebration, our family at Juniper Springs apartment community in Austin, Texas is sharing our top tips to ensure your Thanksgiving is the best one yet.

Set Your Table First
This is the perfect way to get in the mood for the fun to come.  Start a week before the holiday to gather the goods and all the utensils you will need for the big feast.
Whether you are setting the table for a few or the whole clan, here are some perfectly simple ideas to make a statement that the holiday is underway.
If you still have a few gourds or (uncarved) pumpkins, place those first in the middle of the table. Apples and Pears work well to add more color.  
When it comes to the place settings, you have your option from formal (China), to casual (Everyday dishes) and for the easiest of all, paper plates – which come in lots of festive designs at your local craft store or Costco.

Create Your Menu, Now.
No need to stress throughout the month; now is the time to plan all the parts from ‘soup to nuts.’  Right now, grocery stores throughout Austin are starting their Thanksgiving sales. This is always the perfect time to shop and save.  
If you are planning on fixing the entire feast by yourself, you can start this week. Factor ahead make-ahead dishes that freeze well.  The Pioneer Woman website has 37 options that look delicious.  Take a peek now and get prepping!
If your schedule is already overwhelming, we suggest you head to one of the many Trader Joe shops in Austin for store-bought shortcuts for Thanksgiving Dinner

Engage Your Guests
Quite often, our guests and family members will ask “can I bring something?”  When planning the menu, earmark some ideas to answer, “yes!”
A simple list may include:
•    Appetizers
•    Salad
•    Dinner Rolls
•    Dessert
•    Beverages
•    Ice

Buy The Bird!
Once you have a good headcount, plan to serve ¾ to 1 pound of bird per person.  If you want leftovers (and who doesn’t!), count up to 1 to 2 pounds of Turkey per person. 
Shop for the best sale, yet do remember you get what you pay for.  You may see brands that offer a super deal, yet they don’t always have the best product.
You can freeze the bird until a few days away. Just remember, thaw it in the refrigerator, not the countertop.  

Check Cleaning Supplies
Nothing can ruin a holiday dinner more than red wine on a white tablecloth or carpet. We always have white vinegar and salt on hand and never hesitate to have a bottle of “Wine Away” close by as well.  
Here are some excellent tips to stay ahead of the spills this holiday season. This Stain Removal Chart that is posted on is a super reference to have this holiday season, and year-round.  We actually printed this out and it’s hanging in a closet in our kitchen!   

Plan on “Downtime” for YOU!
We like to give ourselves a pre-dinner day off, and suggest you do too.  There’s no doubt you deserve it because of all the planning and preparation.
And from our family to yours, we wish you a happy and healthy holiday season to come.


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