So, with our table finished…
…We headed out to our Operation Christmas Child Countdown event, worked a half-day, and came home to get all of the side dishes prepped for our Thanksgiving. The 3P team had a great time in the kitchen together, got everything done in less than 2 hours, and relaxed the rest of the night. When we got up the next morning, Brenda and Chris went to church after popping the seasoned turkey in the oven and starting the gravy. John and Jessi hung back to check on everything simmering for gravy (gizzards, neck, onion, celery, chicken broth, and water) and handle basting the turkey.
Once everyone was back…we all started joking because it felt like there was something missing that we needed to do. We didn’t! Literally EVERYTHING was done, or on it’s way to being done. The table looked fantastic, the house smelled amazing, and we were LAUGHING instead of stressing. The little bit of planning, pre-setting and cooking, and organizing had us so ahead of the game that we were able to actually sit and talk with our family when they arrived.
Nana came over along with Marissa and her friend from work Surita. We had such a nice afternoon hanging out and catching up. We served a late lunch/early dinner as John had to get on the road back to LA, and everyone really enjoyed it.
Some “Event Basics” that really carried us through the rest of our “Thanksgiving on the Fly”:
– planning the meal ahead of time (and it’s OK to use simple recipes that can be made ahead of time)
– grocery shopping ahead of time AND using food/décor items already on-hand rather than purchasing in the flux of being in a hurry
– preparing side dishes the day before
– using tried and true family recipes to create a meal everyone loved!
– Setting the table before anything gets hectic. When you wake up the morning of and the table is set, it sets a calmness for the rest of the day. Also when company walks in and sees the festive table, everyone immediately jumps into the celebration mode!
We hope we inspired some ideas for your Thanksgiving, and we’d love to hear about your family’s traditions as well! What special dishes do you make? Do you do more of a late lunch or a later dinner?
We’ll be sure to share about our American Thanksgiving later this month, and in the meantime we’re happy to answer any questions you have about décor table setting, meal planning, and recipes! Shoot us a comment and we’d be happy to help you craft a Practically Perfect Thanksgiving! Check out our recipe for G.G.’s Christmas Potatoes below:
* Approx. 1 ½ pounds of potatoes (can be small – medium brown or red)
* 16 oz. container of sour cream
* 1 – 2, 4 oz. cubes of butter
* Large bag of shredded mild (or sharp) cheddar cheese
* Garlic Powder, Salt and Pepper
* Large mixing bowl
* Approx. 1 ½ to 2 inch tall clear baking dish
* Boil potatoes whole (“skin on” is optional)
NOTE: Don’t cook until really soft, you want firm content so that you can shred the potatoes when they’ve cooled off a bit.
* Drain and set aside until they are still very warm, but cooled enough to handle
* While cooling, set out all other ingredients and melt a 4 oz. cube of butter
* When potatoes are ready, use a regular kitchen grater and shred each potato using the large grate holes. Grate directly into a large mixing bowl.
* When done, GENTLY mix in approx. 2/3 of the sour cream container and approx. 2/3 of the melted butter. It is important to do this slowly, using forks. The objective is to keep the potato consistency “shredded” and not mix/stir it so that it becomes “mashed”. While doing this also sprinkle in (Garlic Powder, Salt and Pepper to taste.) Everything needs to be mixed well, and carefully with the forks..
* IMPORTANT NOTE: You’ll also want the consistency of the potatoes to be pretty moist before baking. Therefore, you may wish to add more sour cream and/or butter before transferring the mix into your baking dish.
* Gently pour everything into the baking dish, leaving enough room on the top of the potatoes so that you can evenly spread a covering of the grated cheddar cheese.
* This can now sit for hours in a fridge if properly wrapped in Saran Wrap (even overnight, which is GREAT for easy “day of event” serving.)
* When ready to cook, pre-heat oven to 350 degrees; then cook approx. 45 – 60 minutes. Cheese should be very melted on top, and ingredients slightly bubbling on the insides of the baking dish.
* The temperature of the mixture should be very hot when done, and can be wrapped in tin foil to keep hot, while you’re finishing prep on main course, etc.
And remember our 3P motto for this upcoming Thanksgiving: “we’re all too blessed to be stressed!”