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Time to celebrate Thanksgiving and its traditions coming soon

Time to celebrate Thanksgiving and its traditions coming soon
Joy's Reflections: Even paper-plate food strategies help make holiday memories worth cherishing.

Who doesn’t love celebrating a day of thanks with family? But there’s been cause for growing stress over the past few years with the paper plate explosion. I understand the reason. I don’t want to stand at the sink all afternoon washing dishes, either. But the absence of the beloved sturdy dish gone from the holiday dinner table has brought up some serious issues.

THANKSGIVING IS IN THE AIR: What is fall without Thanksgiving? And what is Thanksgiving without turkey and pumpkin pie? (Photo: vicuschka/iStock/Thinkstock)

As a result of this dilemma, there are probing questions one must ask while waiting in the food line — especially if regular paper plates are the only thing available. Do you begin with the salads, knowing that your yeast roll is surely to become soggy from the dressing? Do you attempt to secure a dam with your mashed potatoes around the reservoir of gravy, but in doing so realize the high probability of a breach? Gravy will seep into your green beans.

Gravy is good to mix with a lot of foods, but not your beans or corn. They can also be classified as drainage foods. My advice is to build a solid foundation of meats and nonrunny solids while saving the more runny foods for your second trip through the food line.

If you must have salad, now is not the time to be frugal! Another side plate is absolutely necessary and must be designated for salads. Even if you are one of “those” — who don’t really care what or how your foods get mixed together — when it comes to desserts, you do need to take the necessary precautions. Who wants a piece of pumpkin pie that has a soggy bottom crust? Aside from turkey, my favorite holiday dish is sweet potatoes. That presents another issue involving space. The trick is to stack your sweet potatoes, if necessary. However, if your family bought sturdy, divider paper plates, then the sweet potatoes can and deserve their own divider territory.

More plate tips
The beauty of paper plates with dividers is that one is able to do what is called “stacking.” It's a methodic system of getting the most out of the divider ridges on your plate. If one is careful and with a great deal of practice, you can actually balance brownies, slices of pie and rolls on the top of the ridges. That eliminates soggy food items.

I would advise to begin training now, so that by the time Thanksgiving grace is being said, you’ll be able to offer up your gratitude with a nondistracted mind. You won’t be preoccupied about your food plan of action. You'll also impress your family as you move through the food line with confidence and ease.

If your family is still carrying on the time-honored and valuable tradition of real plates, bless you! Make sure you thank your Heavenly Father for that!

No matter how or what you’re heaping upon your plate this November, may you be overwhelmed with a sense of thankfulness at our undeserved abundance! 

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