15 Biggest Fears of a Thanksgiving Dinner Virgin

Food & Party 35

Thanksgiving TurkeyI'm having a hard time coming to terms with the notion that, yes, it's almost Thanksgiving and, yes, I'm going to be hosting the shebang this year. Inspired by the fun-filled Hoochgiving Friendsgiving on the past season of The Real Housewives of New Jersey, I decided to call a similar event at my house this weekend. Who doesn't love an excuse to splurge on a festive cocktail dress and eat their body weight in stuffing? OOOH OOOH, PICK ME!

For my Friendsgiving, everyone is coming with a contribution, but I'll make the basics. You know -- the stuffing, the green beans, and most importantly, the turkey. Let me tell you a little something, I've never done this myself before, and I'm frightened.

Now that the to-do list is made and the turkey coupons have been located, I'm starting to get a whole lot of anxiety. Thus I present you with the 15 fears I have as a first-time Thanksgiving host:

1. Buying the turkey: I've never bought one of these before. They say you're supposed to get one pound per person eating, but knowing my crew, I think that's a little much. Then again, I don't want to be stingy on the portions.

2. Putting my hand in there: You know what I'm talking about. For all I know, I'm gonna reach in there and pull out Tommy the Turkey's old pal Suzie Squirrel. I DIDN'T ASK FOR THE TWO-FOR-ONE SPECIAL!

3. Drying out the turkey: If I cook it too long, I'm screwed. What if I select some super special abnormal turkey that is perfectly cooked in under four hours when I think it needs six?! That would be my luck.

4. Carving the meat: Growing up, my dad would always break out our automatic carving knife for big occasions like this. A.) I don't have any idea how to work that thing and B.) I will definitely need protective eyewear before attempting to slice the first drumstick. Clearly, this whole turkey thing concerns me.

5. Burning myself: I'm clumsy. Cooking so many things at once means I am optimizing my chances for a kitchen mishap, I just know it.

6. Forgetting about something: Like I said, there's going to be a lot going on.

7. Timing everything just right: Something is going to take longer than expected.

8. I may fall asleep: I'm slightly narcoleptic. It's undiagnosed. I'll be awake way past my normal 9:30 p.m. bedtime, and adding in loads of food to the equation is totally going to make me extra tired. I can't be tired when I have a house full of 15 guests and dessert to tend to.

9. What if I'm too full to drink?: MUST. DRINK. WINE.

10. Roasting the chestnuts: Is there any way to tell when chestnuts are really done roasting over an open fire?

11. Having a place to put everything: So many dishes, so little room. Does the folding table from the basement even open anymore? Is it moldy? Are we going to have to sit on the family room floor in some sort of cockeyed prayer circle?

12. What if I start to look preggers?: At least my dress has an empire waist and a distracting, yet appropriate, orange leaf pattern.

13. Leftovers: Should I just tell everyone to bring Tupperware from the get-go? I don't have enough old Chinese food containers for everyone to take home their own doggie bag. God knows I don't need to eat 1,000-calorie meals every day for the next three weeks.

14. Room, room, room: If (when) my guests get drunk, where will I put them? Should I take my gazillion 20 percent off Bed Bath & Beyond coupons and snag an extra air mattress?

15. Can't we all just get along?: It's always interesting, gathering friends and relatives from different circles who have never met. Let's hope my old sorority sister gets along with my boyfriend's cousin who has a thing for zombie romantic comedies.

Are you hosting Thanksgiving this year? Do you have any tricks or tips?


Image via knm3290/Flickr

holidays, thanksgiving, traditions, dinner

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JCKit... JCKitten87

i felt the same way and was only hosting it for my immediate family (7 ppl total) for the first time last year i STRONGLY recommend the reynolds oven bags for turkeys! its very good, it helps it stay moist and cooks much faster! and it helped contain the mess. go ahead with the 1lb per guest cuz the weight includes the bones too. it is weird putting ur hand in there but after the first time its no biggie :) good luck, write a list, prepare whatever u can a cpl days ahead, even prepping foods

Jaimy Bisbee

We've always had luck with our turkey and my dad is finally letting me take over most of the work this year. One major thing to remember is if you're getting a frozen turkey you have to thaw it in water with salt to draw the blood out. Gross yes, but necessary. We always stuff it, then put a cup of water in the bottom of the pan and cover the whole thing with foil. When roughly 30 minutes are left, take the foil off and the skin with brown nicely. Steams the whole thing and I've never had a dry turkey that way.

Rhond... RhondaVeggie

Remember that the turkey has a skeleton, that accounts for a lot of the weight so it's not like you are feeding everyone a pound of meat plus if you are spending that much time and effort making something you are going to want leftovers.



My number one tip is to plan everything down to the minute. I go through my planned menu item by item and work backwards from serving time. I plan on serving appetizers at 2pm and the main meal at 2:30 so I have a time line telling me that I need to put one pan on at 2:05 and stick another in the oven at 2:10 and so on. I also have lists of things to do in the morning before the tight time line starts such as prepping the veggies and things I can do the day before like baking the cake and making cranberry sauce. Remember to put things like putting drinks in the fridge and any last minute table setting (try to do the main setting a day or two before) on the list so you're not rushing to get glasses on the table to be filled with lukewarm wine.



The other thing I do is type up the recipes I will be using and print them off. When you're making a dozen or more dishes at the same time it's far easier to have a bunch of pages stuck to the fridge with magnets than a dozen cookbooks cluttering your entire workspace.

Amy Harrison Dutcher

This will be my first time hosting as well. *shudder*


I have helped with many a dinner but have never been souly responsible for the feeding and comfort of everyone on Turkey Day. The recipes on the fridge is a great idea!

NicoleFW NicoleFW

I think you will do great!turkey

Melis... Melissa042807

I tape my recipes to the front of the microwave above the stove, or to the cabinets above my workspace. :-)

Storm... Stormy6669

Not this year! I am very thankful for that ;)

Lucre... LucretiaMcEvil

"10. Roasting the chestnuts: Is there any way to tell when chestnuts are really done roasting over an open fire?"



Uh, that's from a Christmas song. Who roasts chestnuts for anyway, let alone for Thanksgiving?

lalas... lalasmama2007

We are not hosting this year. Last year was my first and only year hosting.

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