how to host thanksgiving dinner

how to host thanksgiving dinner

Thanksgiving is a favorite family holiday for Americans.  Who doesn’t love good food, quality family time, and thankful thoughts?   If it’s your turn to host Thanksgiving this year, a little preparation can go a long way.  Whether you’re hosting for the first time or you’ve been at it for years, here are a few safety tips to make your Thanksgiving go off without a hitch:

Prevent Accidents

It’s hard to keep both the big and little cooks out of the kitchen on Thanksgiving.  If someone isn’t isn’t cooking or watching football, they’re sneaking tastes of the delicious food being prepared!  All the extra foot traffic in the kitchen requires extra safety and precaution.  Here are a few kitchen safety tips from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) to remember:

  • Unplug appliances when they are not in use. Loose cords may cause people to trip, knock things off the counter, or even cause electrocution if near standing water.
  • Do not leave the kitchen unattended! More importantly, do not leave the house unattended.  It can be tempting to head outside and join the family football game, but a stove or oven left unattended is a fire waiting to happen.
  • If somebody does get burned by a hot plate, and the skin is not broken, soak in cool water and cover the burn with a dry, clean bandage.   If a guest requires medical attention, a standard homeowner or renter’s policy has guest medical and liability coverage to pay for medical expenses and protect you if someone is hurt on your property and holds you liable for injuries.

Safe Cooking Practices

You definitely do not want to be the host or hostess that ruins Thanksgiving for everyone by giving them food poisoning.  Here are a few turkey cooking tips from Foodsafety.gov that will ensure healthy eating on Thanksgiving:

  • Defrost your turkey in the refrigerator instead of the sink, and give yourself plenty of time! Allow about 24 hours of defrosting time for every four to five pounds of turkey. If you’re hosting a large party, a big bird will take a few days to thaw.
  • The turkey is fully cooked when the internal temperature reaches at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Be sure to have a meat thermometer handy to check the temperature in the innermost part of the thigh and wing or the thickest part of the breast. Remember, different size turkeys will require different cooking times.
  • Many families have a Thanksgiving tradition of cooking the stuffing inside the turkey, although it is safest to cook your stuffing separately. If you decide to cook it inside the turkey, the stuffing must also reach 165 degrees.
  • Be sure to disinfect your counters and surfaces often! Raw poultry may carry salmonella contamination. Wash your hands frequently, as well!

Carving A Turkey

Remember when your teachers told you to never play with knives? Even as adults, the rule still applies! Check out this infographic to learn how to properly carve a turkey and prevent knives from flying:

If you want to review your insurance policies to make sure you, your family and guests are protected over the holidays, give me a call!  Happy Thanksgiving!

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Cheri Roman
Cheri Roman
I’m a graduate of the University of Texas & have a master’s degree in Business Administration from Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi. As a former teacher, I believe in educating my clients about insurance and investment options, and partnering with them to protect their family and achieve their financial goals.

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