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Thanksgiving: The Well-Dressed Turkey Table

Hosting a Thanksgiving dinner means having all the perfect accessories

Gadgets are great in a kitchen and even if they are not used but once or twice a year, can make holiday events go much easier - and usually more fun. There are a few essentials, of course, that include a roasting pan (even if it's disposable), a large carving space, and a serving platter. Don't forget carving utensils. A reliable thermometer is perhaps one of the most important kitchen essentials. You want to be sure that the bird is perfectly done on the inside so it will match the golden brown beauty of the outside.

For the Kitchen

Triple-decker baking racks are super when oven space is at a minimum. They'll stack next to the turkey and that means you can put the casseroles and pies on all at the same time.

Roast and carry racks. The newest ones are curved to fit the shape of the bird. Better, yet, they're super easy to lift and then can be separated in the middle without having to lift any hot poultry.

Trussing and tying has gotten easier. You'll find reusable silicone loops that will withstand heat up to 675 degrees F. Not just for turkeys, but they surely will beat the mess of string and toothpicks.

Remember to line the bottom of your oven to catch all those drips. You can use heavy duty aluminum foil or - for a price - reusable nonstick mats. They're easy to clean and won't affect the cooking times of food.

Decorative utensils and accessories

Who remembers the old-fashioned tureens in the shape of turkeys? They're still available and as adorable as ever. You'll find the fully-painted versions as well as solid cream or white. Use them to hold foods (if they're glazed on the inside), for candies, or for flowers.

Serve hors d'oeuvres on a tray that "knows" whether to keep them hot or cold. Sensors adjust to oven heating or refrigeration and will keep finger foods temperature controlled for "hours." Keep food safety in mind, however; never more than two hours out of the fridge.

If you're utilizing round tables, then rectangular place mats simply will not do. Wedge shapes in durable quilting will make a much prettier arrangement and they won't be crowded.

If you're using candles for decoration, always remember the dangers involved, especially when younger children are visiting. The latest trends include electric and battery-operated look-alikes that will give a perfect glow without the mess or the safety issues.

The Table or Buffet

If hosting a larger, more casual crowd, it may be easier to set up a buffet and service section. Folding tables are designed in slender and elongated shapes for those special times. They're sturdy, spacious, and can be tucked away until the next party.

Another great space-saving setup is to implement tiered service. Risers are not only decorative, they'll let you pile on the food at multiple levels of stacked trays.

Double your card table space with a circular extension. It fits on the top and seats eight. Won't slip or tip and will create the space you need for those extra guests. Folds when not in use.

To save space with silverware layouts, look for caddies - you can find them in crystal for a very special look and they're suitably shaped for forks, knives, and spoons. Usually hold up to twelve pieces each.




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