From Panama Jack — November 12, 2016 at 5:00 am

How to Host Thanksgiving at the Beach

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©istockphoto/mythja

©istockphoto/mythja

Host Thanksgiving at the Beach Bring your Thanksgiving back to its roots by celebrating it outdoors in style. It’s easier than you think to host Thanksgiving at the beach, and here are a few tips to get you started.

Location, Location, Location
Although there is no official mileage on the total amount of US shoreline, the National Ocean Service estimates it at around 95,471 miles—that’s a lot of beach to choose from! Look for a location that’s large enough to accommodate your whole party, then narrow it down by accommodations. You’ll need a fire pit or barbecue for food prep. And you’ll want to be sure the walk to and from the car doesn’t make carrying the necessaries tedious. (Especially important to consider on the way out, when you’re stuffed and sleepy!)

Planning and Preparation
If you’ve ever hosted even a small dinner party, you know the amount of prep work that goes into the event. Fortunately, hosting at the beach means you can skip the grunt work of panicked housecleaning, and that’s time you can put toward planning your meal. One of the ways many families make this easier on themselves is to assign everyone a specific dish, but if you’re determined to do it all yourself, you’ll need to get organized.

Consider whether you’d prefer to do a majority of the cooking on-site or at home, and choose courses that suit your preference.

Creative Cooking
If you’ve opted to do most of your cooking at home, your biggest concern will be toting all those casserole dishes and bakeware safely from wheels to waves. If, on the other hand, you chose to do most of your cooking outdoors, you’ll have to get a bit creative. Most Thanksgiving recipes can easily be adjusted for cooking over an open fire or on a grill. Think sweet potatoes and corn on the cob wrapped in foil and roasted buried amongst the coals, cornbread and biscuits baked in cast-iron skillets, and apple pie cobbler cooked in a Dutch oven. Use gingersnaps in place of graham crackers, or add a dab of pumpkin butter along with your chocolate and roasted marshmallow for a more seasonal s’more.

The Bird
Easily the most iconic Thanksgiving dish, a turkey can still be the crowning centerpiece of your beach feast. To ease up on cooking time, you may want to break down the bird and cook the breast separately from the legs. If the allure of a whole, trussed turkey is just too irresistible, you’ve still got options: brine your bird the night before, and bring a smoker or small grill to craft a succulent, savory meal. A large Dutch oven can be used to produce a roast turkey indistinguishable from one cooked at home, and the truly inspired can assemble a spit and roast the beast rotisserie-style for the ultimate indulgence.

Great Gear
Thanksgiving is an opportunity to pull out all the stops, so don’t skimp on comfort or style just because you’re at the beach. Panama Jack’s line of outdoor furniture makes a wonderful addition to any home patio, and several pieces will suit your beachside Thanksgiving right down to the sand. This Tiki Thatch Umbrella adds to a festive atmosphere while offering respite from a beating sun, and the Island Breeze Cantilever Umbrella goes one step further by adding an adjustable, angled arm—finally, freedom from the sun without having to adjust your seating arrangement!

And speaking of seats, you’ll need a few: try these Island Cove Woven Stackable Armchairs, which are made with a comfortable synthetic wicker for all-day comfort and a reinforced aluminum frame that’s lightweight and sturdy. Or go with something a little more informal with the Beach Comber Pouf Ottoman and the Chairman of the Boards Pouf Ottoman, both of which add the perfect vibe to your setting.

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