The holidays are upon us, and this week’s centers around food. And family! (But mostly food.) If you are living in a BrightBuilt Home chances are everyone thinks it is super beautiful and so began dropping very subtle hints months ago about how “It would be so lovely to have Thanksgiving in the extra warm and sunny house this year” and “I suppose if we do it at my house again, I’ll have to make everyone sit in the cellar since our dining room isn’t open concept…” Fast forward to Thanksgiving week and you’re starting to figure out how the heck to graciously host 15 people in your home. To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of BrightBuilt Home features that ensures last-minute horrors won't happen. (We all remember the disaster of ’04 when Aunt Helen’s cocker spaniels ate the turkey right out of the oven…)
Make use of that pantry!
Hopefully you’ve asked everyone to contribute something to help make the meal a resounding success, but Cousin Tabitha always seems to forget that she was responsible for the cranberry sauce and brings a jello mold instead. When you are at the grocery store, grab a few extra cans of cranberry sauce and pumpkin puree, various crackers, and a box of Cheerios for little Damien who won’t eat anything else. Then tuck them away in that efficiently designed pantry and if you need them, there they are. (Pro-tip: dig around a little bit while grumbling “Well we MIGHT have some cranberry sauce in here but I’m not promising anything.”) If they are not needed, congratulations, it is all conveniently stored in the pullout pantry shelf and you’re prepared for some future late-night snacking of your own.
Induction cooking goes much faster
Maybe you remember the old days where you would start heating your pan and then proceed to chop everything because when you had finished with that task, the oil would be perfectly heated. But because induction works by exciting iron atoms in your cookware, it means that cast iron heats up much more quickly. Make sure you have all of your ingredients ready to go so that the garlic isn’t burnt before you get those green beans in. (You don’t want to give Great-Uncle Oscar the satisfaction of declaring he has tasted something burnt in his food.) Also, if your range allows you to combine cooking zones, do it! Maybe your oven is chock full because, well, there’s a giant bird in there, so cook your potatoes (in a large pan) on the stovetop instead. Have some clean bath towels on hand to wrap finished dishes in so they stay warm. With such speedy cooking times, you can actually sit down and watch balloons float by in the parade on TV.
Preventing backseat cooking
It’s possible you’ve invited a couple of family members to help you in the kitchen as sous chefs. It’s also possible that Cousin Jeremiah declined that invitation but is happy to hang out nearby offering insights on how HE would do it because some famous chef told him once, while he proceeds to consume the cheese platter. Doors might be useful in this situation, but then you couldn’t shout out your opinions on the end of Game of Thrones to contribute to the conversation happening in the living room. In order to help you stay involved but keep back seat chefs out of the kitchen area, set up the appetizers on the other side of living space. The size and shape of the living room has been designed to be generous enough to accommodate varying activities, including buffet style snacking. The call of deviled eggs will be too great to pass up, and Cousin Jeremiah will be stuck in the midst of people loudly conversing about dragons and swords.
The more the merrier! Really.
You’ve rearranged the living area so the sofas are against the wall and brought up those card tables from the (very dry!) basement to expand your dining room table to accommodate everyone who is coming for dinner. But Niece Janie had a fight with her girlfriend who isn’t coming anymore and instead she’s bringing her four friends as emotional support. Guest count has now increased by three, but thankfully, your living space can accommodate this. You may have run out of tables but if you push everything up to your 6’ long kitchen peninsula or island and pull up stools, you can fit your unexpected guests around this extra (built-in!) table. Whoever ends up at the peninsula will certainly have the advantage if a food fight breaks out, but here’s hoping that doesn’t happen after the “cranberry in the ear” Thanksgiving back in ’98.
The indoor-outdoor advantage
Everyone has gone outside to run around the yard, chasing each other as a ball gets thrown here and there. (Some people refer to this as flag football.) A sigh of relief, as the momentary peace and quiet settles in around you inside (those triple-pane windows really do the trick, don’t they?) Why not extend that calm a bit longer by getting a fire going in your outdoor fire pit? People will congregate around, telling tales about their most excellent flag football moves and enjoying the cool fall air while keeping their toes and fingers warm. You can silently chuckle to yourself because you still have the view out those expansive south-facing windows and you are truly the warmest of them all - inside.
We hope you have a lovely Thanksgiving this week, however you choose to spend it!