Can you believe that summer flew by and that the holidays are upon you already? If you are hosting a Thanksgiving family reunion at your home, you are probably working on menu ideas, not only for the main event of the big Thanksgiving feast, but for other meals you’ll be providing for your visitors. If so, here are some ideas that might help you plan.
Breakfasts – Thank goodness for freezers!
It’s not a bit too early to be baking things like pumpkin bread, banana bread and zucchini bread which all freeze very nicely. However, if you’re not wild about baking, consider stocking up on things like French toast, sausage pancakes and waffles of different varieties which might not be on the shelves when crowds are shopping at the grocery stores right before the Thanksgiving weekend. Serving any of those items along with fruit and some pre-cooked and then microwaved bacon or sausage will more than likely be a winning breakfast. Of course, there’s also the idea of setting out boxes of cereals which most people enjoy. Don’t forget to buy alternatives to regular milk like almond milk, coconut milk or cashew milk for any of your lactose-intolerant guests.
Lunches – Think about do-it-yourself meals so you won’t become a slave in the kitchen.
Of course, sandwiches are almost always a popular item. However, along with plain white sliced bread, consider setting out crescent rolls and artisan bread. Another thing that will make your lunches special is to offer unique spreads like jalapeno chili jelly, pumpkin butter, hazelnut-chocolate spread and fancy mustards to go along with meats and cheeses. Sides of store-bought salads like potato salad, coleslaw and baked beans are also a good idea. A nice surprise might be to have frozen treats for dessert which are usually connected to summertime. Ice cream sandwiches, tiny containers of gelato or prepackaged ice cream cones would most surely be a big hit.
Dinner – Your group might be ready to go out to dinner or to order something like pizza or Chinese food . However, if you do decide to just eat at home, think of how delicious soup would be. Whether you make it yourself or order it from a store, think about serving two or three different kinds of soup which can be kept warm in your crock pot. You’ll probably have left over breads from lunchtimes to serve along with the soup. Consider serving something that might be different for your group. Some ideas are butternut-squash cheese soup, loaded baked-potato soup or tortilla-tomato soup. A delicious and simple dessert would be to pass assorted cookies.
Don’t Forget Ice – Whether your refrigerator has an ice maker or not, it may not be able to keep up with all the drinks you’ll be serving. Consider making space in your freezer ahead of time so that you can freeze two or three large bags of commercial ice. However, if you realize that you’re just not going to have enough space to freeze that much ice, consider asking somebody in your group to be in charge of purchasing emergency ice. The great thing is that emergency ice is very inexpensive and it’s readily available at the last minute.
Think about setting up large ice chests that are full of ice so that guests can just scoop it up when they need it. For that matter, having an ice chest or two full of bottled water, juice, canned sodas and other beverages might be one of the smartest things you’ll do for your guests.