It's thrilling in a number of ways to host a large gathering. Come Thanksgiving, your home is suddenly warm and full of family and friends sharing a celebratory meal together. While a sit-down dinner with all the food on the table may look like the portrait of a traditional meal, we know serving it buffet-style is the most stress-free way to feed a crowd.
But there are a few keys to making your Thanksgiving buffet a success. Here are three tips and tricks to do now as you plan for the big dinner.
1. Check your serving platter inventory.
Don't end up in panic mode when you can't find a basket to serve those bread rolls in. Instead, take a few moments now to raid your kitchen to see what you have in terms of serving platters, bowls, utensils, and more. Even better? Write out the dishes you'll be having on sticky notes or small pieces of paper and assign each dish a serving vessel so you'll be 100 percent sure each dish will have a home.
2. Plan the buffet route.
A buffet should have a clear flow to it so guests won't have any trouble knowing where to start. Where you set up the plates acts as a clear signal for the start of the line. Place the utensils at the opposite end so guests can grab them last, on the way to the table.
3. Determine the dish order.
People tend to dive in head-first when they hit the buffet table, and start filling up their plates right away, so naturally they take more of what's at the beginning of the table and less of what's at the end. Knowing that, think about lining up the food from most plentiful — like bread, salads, and sides — to more the richer items and main dishes. That way you can feel more confident that there'll be enough of everything, even if you have less to serve of it, for everyone.
What other good tips do you have for hosting and setting up a good holiday buffet?