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a home + living guide for the post-college, pre-parenthood, quasi-adult generation

11.07.2002

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pass the gravy 
nine tips to help you survive hosting your first thanksgiving
by Yee-Fan Sun | 1 2 3

Thereís nothing like that first Thanksgiving away from your family to make you realize that youíre growing up. And you know youíve officially entered the realm of adulthood when you make the big, bold step of deciding to then host a bevy of hungry friends for a turkey day gathering at your very own home. Itís an exciting thing, as you find yourself fantasizing about the pies youíll bake and the turkey youíll roast and the friends whoíll be squeezed around your table, passing around good food and basking in the fuzzy warm goodness of a full belly and fine company. But as that fourth Thursday in November creeps closer and closer, the reality of whatís involved begins to sink in. You realize your dining tableís too small, that you donít have enough chairs, and youíve never so much as roasted a chicken before in your life, never mind a 15 lb. monstrosity of a bird. And soon itís visions of charred turkeys and bruised elbows you have dancing in your hand, as the stress of planning your first Thanksgiving dinner begins to fully set in.

But take a deep breath and relax, because weíre here to tell you that itíll all turn out fine. To help make sure that everything goes smoothly, check out these nine tips Ö

1 Make it a potluck, where you supply the bird and stuffing and ask guests to bring their favorite side dishes or desserts. If youíre feeling really industrious, or have a couple of dishes you absolutely canít imagine doing without on Thanksgiving Ė Momís candied yams, Grandmaís pecan pie Ė let your pals know youíll be providing those as well as the main course. But Thanksgiving isnít Thanksgiving without a surfeit of food, and unless youíre lucky enough to be able to take a whole week off from real life to slave away in the kitchen, youíll go nuts if you aim to provide the entirety of the meal all by your lonesome. Besides, getting friends to bring their own personal Thanksgiving must-haves is a great way to get a taste of other peoplesí prized family recipes.

keep on moseying

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