Just Call Me Martha Stacey

Conquering My Thanksgiving Fears!

Posted on: October 10, 2010

Well, I just finished hosting my first Thanksgiving for my side of the family…and I survived.  The turkey was all the way cooked (good thing, since none of us were ready for a repeat of the pork adventure from the cottage!)  My to-do list for the day was quite lengthy and ambitious, but with the help of my wonderful hubby, I managed to get it all done.

Over the course of the late morning and early afternoon, I prepped the stuffing ingredients, topped the cheesecakes with chocolate and caramel, stuffed the turkey and popped it in the oven, showered/dressed/styled my hair and played with my baby.

Half the family showed up around 2:30 to chillax for a while before heading out to the traditional hike around Dalewood conservation area.  This left me alone in the house with a good 90 minutes to get the house ready for dinner.  I set up the extra table and chairs, added table linens and seasonal decor, lit candles, ran and emptied the dishwasher, mixed up punch, unpacked the extra needed dishes and utensils and polished the old (two years old) stainless steel utensils with vinegar to get rid of the tarnish spots…it really works!The rest of the gang came back around 5:30, just as the turkey reached the required 180 degrees!  The menu included sides from my aunt, grandma, sister and mom (squash, white potato/sweet potato mash, peas, corn and broccoli salad).  Dessert was provided by myself and my aunt (caramel cheesecake and pumpkin pie, which according to my cousin is the official dessert of the Indianapolis Colts…it’s not).  Remember these memo boards?

For a fun little activity, I had little squares of scrapbook paper at each of the places settings and in order for people to get dessert (or in the case of my young cousin, play with video games), they had to write down what they were thankful for.  Appropriately, the overwhelming theme was family…and I’m sure that those who didn’t write family were thankful for us anyways!

Reflecting on my first major holiday hostessing stint, here is my advice…always have the dishwasher empty before dinner (makes clean-up WAY easier)!  If you ask someone to bring a barbeque lighter for lighting candles, have them check that the one they bring isn’t also out of fuel.  Don’t forget to add the pop-up turkey timer before putting the turkey in the oven!  Don’t bank on serving dinner at the exact time you planned (ours was about 45 minutes late…but that’s pretty normal for our family).  And most of all, have fun!  The amount of worrying I did before really wasn’t needed because it all went smoothly!

Stay tuned over the next three days as I share my Thanksgiving recipes!

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4 Responses to "Conquering My Thanksgiving Fears!"

It was great, Stacey – thanks!!!

Thanks to you, Bryan, & Drew for entertaining & giving us all a happy thanksgiving!

Hey Stace, glad everything turned out alright. I figured you could pull it off, being as you’re Martha Stacey and all. At least you didn’t have bugs to contend with and forget to put the squash in the oven!!!

ew…that’s so gross about the bugs. i don’t eat squash, so i don’t bake squash!

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