Thanksgiving can be a stressful time if we allow it to be. Living in a tiny house doesn’t help to eliminate the stress either. Between apartment size fridges, 2-burner stoves, countertop ovens, no designated dining space, and limited seating space, the idea of hosting seems daunting at best. But with the following tips, a successful Thanksgiving can be yours to host!
YOU CAN’T BE EVERYTHING TO EVERYONE
Growing up the Thanksgiving meal was a bounty fit for a small village. There was turkey, ham, oyster stuffing, Stovetop stuffing, candied yams, collard greens, green beans, potato salad, mashed potatoes, brown gravy, turkey gravy, yeast rolls, sourdough rolls, and the list goes on! With a small space though, choose a small’ish’ menu and stick to it. Go with just 3-4 homemade items and commit to those. As sacrilege as it may sound, consider purchasing an already prepared turkey from a local restaurant or caterer.
MAKE YOUR MENU MATCH YOUR SPACE
A homemade turkey would require the use of an oven. In a tiny house that typically means there can be no other oven food as there simply is no room. You are left with just burners. That may be fine though if you are going to make a dish like collards or mashed potatoes. It is also a solid strategy to make dishes the day before so that they only need to be heated up when the time comes.
There is absolutely no shame in asking guests to contribute to the meal. Afterall, Thanksgiving is about giving thanks for all our bounty. If you do decide to ask guests to contribute, be specific. No one wants four variations of green bean casserole. You may also want to let those guests with particular dietary concerns bring their own dish to match their needs.
SAY BYE TO THE BIRD
Who says Thanksgiving has to be about turkey? More and more refined diners are opting for alternative dishes such as lobster chowder served in bread bowls or biscuit in a fruit glaze? There are limitless options and choosing not to go with a turkey can save time and cooking space.
RED, RED WINE
Who would have ever thought that the decision to serve white wine versus red wine would come down to space efficiency? If you choose a white wine you have to have refrigerator space for the bottles. Choose red though and you are going to be serving room temp vino which saves considerable space in an already limited area.
CREATE YOUR SPACE
You may not have a dining room table in your tiny house. Don’t let that slow you down on hosting a memorable event. A favorite makeshift table is to find a wooden door in salvage or form a friend and put it on two saw horses. Cover it with a tablecloth and it is instantly a space fit for a king! For the less inventive tables and chairs alike can be rented from a number of party stores and event rental facilities.
CLEAR THE CLUTTER
Typically living in a tiny house means clutter is at a minimum. However, it is always a good idea to clear any additional clutter from countertops, side tables, nightstands, etc. so that guests have a place to set their glasses, their keys, etc. You may want to designate a space for jackets, purses, and keys though so as to limit confusion when people are ready to depart.
SAVE SPACE AND FEED YOUR GUESTS
When the meal is finished, encourage guests to take a few leftovers home. This will keep you from filling up your needed daily fridge and counter space as well as giving your guests a take away to remember your stellar day of Thanksgiving!
Are there any tips you would like to share? Have you found some innovative ways to live small but entertain big? Share them with us in the comments below!