Thanksgiving is not an easy holiday to handle, let alone host. Your relatives are all congregating in your home, you’re lugging out all your extra table settings, you’re cooking 60 things at once, and you still haven’t dealt with whatever’s happening for dessert. That’s why knowing solutions to common Thanksgiving fails is necessary to preventing you from tearing your hair out on the big night, as even one small thing can feel huge when you’re trying to put the big picture of the meal together. Although hosting the holidays can be a lot of fun, maintaining composure in the midst of chaos is a challenge for even the chillest of people. When you’ve got what feels like a million things on your plate, it’s impossible not to be a little on the verge of a meltdown when a complete and utter fail happens.
Even if you prepared for the perfect night, and the Type A in you is one hundred percent confident in your organizing skills, you know what they say about the best-laid plans. Having several solutions ready to go in your back pocket once things do go awry (and something will go awry) will allow you to keep your cool under pressure, and won’t let whatever fail did occur get in the way of everything else. And if you’re reading this because something went horribly wrong already, don’t worry—it’s exactly why we compiled this guide in the first place. So take your head out of your hands and learn these solutions to common Thanksgiving fails. Everything's going to be OK.
1You Can’t Find Your Decorations in the Garage
You know you should have cleaned out that garage way before this, and now it's too late. Instead of panicking, try finding any generic decorationg that fit a fall color scheme, and serve dinner with napkins or plates close to these colors if you have them. If you can't find anything at all, have the kids go out and grab some fallen leaves off the sidewalk and arrange them in a clear bowl in the middle of the table. Mission accomplished.
2Relatives Are Filling Up On Appetizers
Cocktail hour can turn anyone into a nibbler, especially if they've been fasting for a big dinner. To prevent this, try serving light bites such as veggies, nuts, and olives instead of chips and dip. You can also consider setting a timer for when to take the appetizers out so that people aren't able to work on them long enough to fill up.
3The Kids Are Restless Before Dinner
Instead of plopping them in front of the TV, where it's likely they'll wander away and get themselves up to something that could cause another fail, set up a kids’ table with simple crafts (like the classic tracing a turkey using their hand) and board games so that they'll be distracted from their hunger.
4The Turkey Is Dry
This one is super common, but luckily it has an easy fix: make more gravy and put out more butter for people to use to moisten up their pieces. Problem solved.
5The Gravy Is Lumpy
You'll only need one tool to fix this one — a whisk. Throw your arm into it and beat out the lumps, or use a mixer if you have one.
6The Mashed Potatoes Are Gluey
Just add a few ingredients you're sure to have on hand for other fixings you're making that night: butter, cheese, and breadcrumbs. Then, take out a baking dish to melt/toast the toppings, and presto: you've got a delicious, flavorful gratin.
7The Salad Is Overdressed
Give it a quick whirl in the salad spinner to shake off any excess. If you don't have a salad spinner, simply drain the excess liquid and pat it as dry as you possibly can.
8You Burnt The Pie
All hope isn't lost! Simply scoop off the top area that's burnt and call it a day. If it's the crust, cut off the burnt edges.And when it doubt, you can always used whipped cream to cover the burnt flavor.
9You're Not Rolling With The Punches
The biggest Thanksgving fail is beating yourself up after a huge mishap. There's no use letting a fail or two ruin your night. Just post it on Instagram or tweet it, laugh about it and move on. It's Thanksgiving, you're with the people you love, and that's all that really matters.