If this is your year to host Thanksgiving, turn the tables on the tsunami of pots and pans you’ll need. Potlucks work wonders when it comes to clean-up time, especially during the holidays. In fact, it’s a fun way for everyone to share their favourite Thanksgiving foods and traditions, while allowing the host to enjoy the festivity rather than work it.

Plan Ahead

Ask your guests what they’d like to bring to dinner. Or, better yet, assign them a dish. This will allow you to ensure the meal is balanced and no one is bringing the same side. Know who will need the oven or a warming plate before they arrive, to ensure food is perfect when you sit down to eat.

Uphold Holiday Traditions

If no one volunteers to bring the pumpkin pie, candied yams or cranberry sauce, add it to your list. Thanksgiving dinner just isn’t the same without them! As the host, it inevitably lies with you to make this feast fabulous.

Trim the Turkey

Typically, the star of the show is the turkey and yours to make. Ensure your bird is big enough to feed everyone with some leftovers to share. There’s nothing like leftover turkey sandwiches the following week.

Set the Table

With the turkey in the oven and your guests bringing most of the sides, you can focus on decorating your home and setting a beautiful table. Fresh flowers, mini pumpkins and gourds make fabulous centrepieces. And colourful paper napkins in a seasonal theme can be cleared away quickly and recycled at the end of the meal.

Pack it Up

Be sure to send your guests home with plenty of delicious leftovers. Set up a food packaging station where guests can fill to-go containers with their favourite dishes. If you’re worried you won’t have enough containers for leftovers, encourage guests to bring their own.

Use the Dishwasher

With only plates, cutlery and a few dishes to clean, one load should do it, especially if you think ahead and maintain a sink of soapy water to soak the roasting pan. Within minutes of your guests’ departure, your kitchen will be spic and span, leaving only the hum of the dishwasher as evidence of a big holiday get-together.



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