Leisure Features

Hosting at Home: A Cozy Thanksgiving

St. Louisans are likely to scale back on their holiday festivities this year, but that doesn’t mean the season has to be dreary. If you are on the hunt for bright ideas to host a few family members or friends at Thanksgiving, T&S has you covered. Chances are, you’ll save some cash—and you might even find that you prefer a more intimate celebration!

1. Limit the menu to a few favorite items. Instead of stressing over a big, fancy spread, stick with a delicious main dish, a couple of sides and two desserts. (You’re also likely to cut down on food waste from uneaten leftovers.)

2. Have friends pop in for a potluck. Ask guests to bring their favorite turkey-day dishes, prepared with proper sanitary measures in mind.

3. Throw a memorable Thanksgiving brunch. This idea works well for families that include essential workers on late shifts or kids who have early bedtimes. Try festive foods like French toast, colorful fruits and vegetables, made-to-order omelets, and sweet breads or rolls.

4. Experience global cuisines. Who says Thanksgiving has to mean turkey or ham? Create a tasting menu of Indian, Thai or French dishes and take your guests on a holiday flavor excursion.

5. Dine al fresco. If weather permits, decorate your deck or patio with hardy mums, pumpkins, gourds and other seasonal touches that make for a festive outdoor meal.

6. Fire up the grill. Turkey, squash, sweet potatoes, corn and other Thanksgiving favorites can be browned on the barbie. Cook them in individual foil packets so guests don’t have to share serving dishes or utensils.

7. Plan some outdoor fun. Again, if weather permits, set up social distance-friendly games in the yard, like ring toss, cornhole or horseshoes. If you live near woods, arrange a fun nature walk or outdoor scavenger hunt.

8. Try a warm beverage recipe. Mulled wine, cider, hot chocolate and specialty herbal teas are great Thanksgiving choices, especially when you are sitting around a crackling fire on the deck or patio.

9. Raise a glass of thankfulness. Set aside time during the meal to go around the table and talk about what makes you feel grateful. This year’s challenges might make it an even more meaningful exercise than usual.

10. Let someone else do the cooking. Many area restaurants and catering outlets offer delicious, complete Thanksgiving dinners for pickup or delivery. Leave your pots and pans in the cupboard and show local businesses some much-needed love this holiday season.

Sources: delish.com, realsimple.com


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