Yesterday I heard an interview on NPR with Steve Poses, a food guru of Philadelphia who has a new cookbook.  He had lots of tips on cooking turkey and stuffing and such, but my favorite bits of advice were his hints on what not to do to your hosts on Thanksgiving.  The following four tips are actually a mash-up from several different radio guests.

1.  Don’t make more work for the hosts.  If you bring flowers, have them already arranged in a vase.  Nobody has factored time into the crowded holiday schedule for vase-searching, water-filling, and flower arranging.

2.  If you’re bringing food, have it already done.   Amen to this one!  When we host, my heart always sinks a bit to see guests coming in the door, juggling armloads of ingredients.  More counter space must be cleared, and  spoons and bowls found, and oven space created, and temperature settings mathematically calculated…In short, see above.  So, I will not be putting unbaked rolls and  an uncooked casserole in my friend Laura’s oven this afternoon, I will bring absolutely finished, glazed icebox rolls, and an already baked corn casserole. 

3.  Don’t congregate in the kitchen to talk.  Not on Thanksgiving Day.

4.  While gratitude is wonderful, perhaps save it for after the meal, or before dessert.  If you have a big crowd or even just one loquacious guest, and everyone goes around the table giving thanks, the food cools, the gravy congeals, and tempers being to smolder.  And nobody is grateful for that.

Bon Appetit!

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