Last year I hosted Thanksgiving for the very first time! We stayed in Pensacola and had four other flight students over to join us for Thanksgiving dinner. I was so excited to host and wanted to make sure to include a few old family traditions as well as create some of our own. It was interesting to compare the signature dishes my family makes to the signature dishes Rob's family makes and find a balance of the two.
I am extremely detail oriented so after decided on all of the dishes, I wrote out the baking times and temperatures of each to figure out a schedule for when everything needed to go in the oven. I decided to get a turkey roaster to avoid having to take up precious oven space with the turkey! I also took out all of my baking and serving dishes and labeled them with sticky notes so that I knew exactly what went in what dish and where it would go on the buffet.
The day before Thanksgiving I prepped all of my casseroles and put them in the fridge. I also remembered to thaw my turkey! Thanksgiving day I popped up excited to get started cooking everything. Of course, Pinterest got the best of me and I HAD TO make a cornucopia for my rolls out of breadsticks. Time consuming but totally worth it, in my opinion!
Our spread had turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, sweet potato casserole, cheesy potato casserole, corn pudding, green beans, green salad, and rolls. I made an apple cider bourbon cocktail in mason jars with cinnamon rims. For dessert, I had pumpkin and apple individual hand pies. We sat and chatted, ate and ate some more. I sent everyone home with giant plates of leftovers--because everyone knows the leftovers are just as good, if not better, than Thanksgiving Day!
One new tradition that we started this year was signing the tablecloth. I had everyone write their name, the date, location, and something they were thankful for on our tablecloth. My plan is to bring it out every year I host (or bring it wherever I am going) and have everyone we celebrate Thanksgiving with add their gratitudes. I think this will be awesome to look back on, especially since we will always be in new locations with new people due to the military!