Planning and executing a Thanksgiving dinner is one of the most infamously stressful holiday tasks out there. We all dread the thought of overcooking the turkey, forgetting the stuffing, or spilling the gravy all over the floor. Between frantically cooking and warding off other guests as they try to sneak a bite before dinner time, your kitchen can be a pretty hectic place.
When it comes to planning a Thanksgiving menu, don’t plan harder—plan smarter! We want to help you achieve that sense of pride that comes with preparing an amazing Thanksgiving feast for you and your loved ones. So here are five things you should know about planning your Thanksgiving catering menu.
1. You don’t have to cook (or order) the entire meal.
We are happy to accommodate any needs our clients may have. While the majority of our clients order entire meals, our Thanksgiving catering services have also been called upon for select entrées or side dishes only. This works for clients who are 1) simply feeling overwhelmed by the prospect of having to cook so much food, or 2) planning for the possibility of extra or surprise pop-in guests. So keep in mind—you can cook the turkey, and we can furnish you with everything else on the menu—or vice versa!
2. There are some food items that your guests must have.
Some foods like sliced smoked holiday ham, house stewed cranberry sauce and creamy garlic mashed potatoes are classic holiday dishes expected at every Thanksgiving table. But a well-rounded Thanksgiving menu doesn’t just incorporate classic items in traditional ways. And elevated Thanksgiving menu is diverse and flavorful with new takes on popular items.
So when designing your Thanksgiving menu, remember to plan in some variety, too. Our sliced applewood-smoked Turkey is a fresh and flavorful take on this popular holiday dish. Add in some unique sides like green beans and caramelized onions or our sweet potato crisp, and finish off your holiday menu with creative desserts like our autumn apple crumb bars, pumpkin cranberry stack and pumpkin cranberry custard tart. Finally, a delicious cocktail such as a Moscow Mule or hot buttered rum (or a hot cocoa bar for the kids!) is a spirited way to finish it your Thanksgiving menu.
3. The more you plan ahead, the better.
We typically prefer to have at least two weeks’ notice for a Thanksgiving catering order. But we’ll always do our best to accommodate on a tighter schedule when the need arises. Planning your Thanksgiving menu ahead of time is always a good idea, ensuring that your dishes are prepared to your exact specifications (number of servings and serving size). It also gives you the peace of mind that comes with knowing a large part of your Thanksgiving meal has already been prepared to perfection!
4. Pick-up catering services are amazingly convenient.
Aside from cooking your meal, the next most stressful part of Thanksgiving menu preparation is actually shopping for ingredients. The markets can get crowded and busy with other people trying to find all the right Thanksgiving foods at all the same time. Certain fixtures like stuffing or cranberry sauce can sell out, leaving you in a bit of a pickle. But with our convenient pick-up menu, we can take care of preparing Thanksgiving delights for you. It reduces shopping time and preserves the quality of your Thanksgiving feast.
5. You can set your holiday apart by giving your menu a local twist.
Looking to give your Thanksgiving menu a little something extra? How about giving it a local twist with some community-sourced, Idaho-inspired dishes? We’ve already mentioned our house stewed cranberry sauce, but this is just a sample of the seasonal ingredients we incorporate into dishes. Planning a menu with a regional flavor is important, especially for Thanksgiving parties with a lot of out-of-town guests coming through, helping to make everyone feel at home.
We’re hopeful that you’re inspired by our ideas here for planning the best Thanksgiving holiday catering menu Idaho can find. We believe that great Thanksgiving menus are rooted in the traditions of enjoying great food with family and friends. We hope to bring you that experience this season.
Contact us here or give us a call at 208.743.0179 to start planning your Thanksgiving catering menu today!