We call in Turkey Day but here's a secret you might not know: Here in
Southern California some of us prefer… fish!
Yes, that's right. According to the Food Network TV channel who did some
research earlier this month, Californians have a Thanksgiving taste for an
oven-baked salmon filet, ideally topped with roasted almonds.
Salmon dishes are uniquely popular in California at this time of year, says
the network, who dug into favorite Thanksgiving recipes in each state.
But whatever you eat, planning ahead for this special Holiday will make it
easier -- whether you're the host, the guest, or you just want to get out
and enjoy yourself. With that in mind, here are some tips on how to make
this Thanksgiving as stress-free as possible, and memorable -- for the
When You're the Thanksgiving Cook
Whether you're cooking for just yourself, your family, or a whole retinue
of guests, planning the event as far ahead as possible will cut out some of
the pressures of the big day.
Everything revolves around the food so, first, you need to be sure that
what you're planning -- turkey, salmon or something completely different --
works for everyone who'll be eating.
This year, we're seeing more people generally opting for vegetarian or even
vegan (no meat, no dairy) diets. If they're among your guests, don't
despair; you can easily cook up a great meal either just for them or for
Here's a great list of Thanksgiving vegan recipes: https://tinyurl.com/TG-vegan
Once you've got your menu, shop as early as possible, bearing in mind that
fresh produce still has to be left till the last minute. But if you want to
get that chore out of the way early, consider buying frozen -- some frozen
produce actually tastes better and has more nutritional value than fresh
Also, if you plan to ask guests to bring dishes, tell them exactly what you
want. Don’t just ask them to "bring something" or you'll end up with too
much pumpkin pie -- as if there could be such a thing!
For the big day itself, here are two other important considerations:
· Safety, safety, safety. More people end up in the ER with burns and other
injuries on Thanksgiving than almost any other day. So:
o Do a quick risk spotting walk-through of your home the week before,
removing trip and slip hazards and thinking about the risks to young guests
or those with special needs.
o Keep inquisitive kids and other guests out of the kitchen and follow food
safety cooking and storing guides. Check out foodsafety.gov for more on
o Check and replenish (or buy) a first aid kit to deal with minor
o Have a fire extinguisher close to hand, and an evacuation plan, just in
o Don't let any guest drink and drive. Take their keys if necessary -- and
have that spare bedroom prepared for an overnighter.
· Keeping the peace. It's so sad that what is supposed to be a day of
celebration too often turns into something ugly. It can bring out the worst
in those friends and family who are keen on foisting their opinions on
others. Limit the risk of that happening by:
o Separating known "difficult" people at the dinner table.
o Banning political discussions at the outset and then intervening if
people start down that route.
o Having a good line up of entertainment -- party games (avoid the very
competitive types), videos or even a guest entertainer.
o Limit access to booze. Try your best to keep the bottles away from those
who imbibe too much.
When You're a Thanksgiving Guest
Just because you're not cooking doesn’t let you off the hook in playing
your part in a successful Thanksgiving celebration. Here's what you need to
do to be the perfect guest.
· Plan your journey in advance and leave early so you don't disappoint your
host by turning up late.
· If you have special dietary requirements that your host may not know
about, let them know, or consider bringing your own pre-cooked meal or
· If there's a potluck element to the meal, check with the host on what
they would like you to bring. Don’t just take your own favorite dish!
· If you're with a group, make sure you have a nominated (non-drinking)
driver. If you're solo, don't drink and drive. Otherwise arrange transport
or book into a local hotel.
· Take a thoughtful gift (example: wine, flowers or something
extra-special) -- but give it privately to your host, so that those who
weren't as thoughtful as you aren't embarrassed.
· When you arrive and get settled, ask what you can do to help, and then
· If you have young kids, keep them out of the kitchen and make sure
they've brought their own entertainment with them.
· Join in the games, but don’t play to win. Just have fun.
· Don’t discuss politics! You'll never change anyone's opinion anyway.
When You Just Want to Get Away From it All for Thanksgiving
Not everyone wants to take part in the traditional rituals of Thanksgiving.
They just want to get away from it all.
Even those who've eaten a feast eventually want to get out and about.
Fortunately, there's plenty to do in the Greater Los Angeles area,
especially over the Thanksgiving weekend. For instance, there's the
Hollywood Christmas Parade, the Turkey Trot at Long Beach (or, yes, a
Tofurkey Trot in Pasadena) or holiday ice-skating in Pershing Square.
Plus, of course, this is the start of the movie blockbuster season, so
perhaps plan a visit to Grauman's, El Capitan or the Cinerama on Sunset.
Or perhaps you just want to get out of town and enjoy a special location
where someone else does the cooking.
Whatever your choice, for more ideas and information on Thanksgiving events
and getaways, check out these lists:https://tinyurl.com/TG-trips1,https://tinyurl.com/TG-
Accidents do happen, even with the best precautions in the world. If you're
hosting this Thanksgiving Day, the biggest risks you face are injuries from
falls and otheraccidents, breakages and fires.
We hope none of these happen to you. But all of these hazards are covered
in a good homeowners insurance or renters insurance policy. If you don’t have this
protection already, please contact us at Aldrich Taylor Insurance.
For now, we wish you Happy Thanksgiving, Happy Turkey Day or even Happy