While the Thanksgiving holiday is generally a fun time, filled with reunions of family and friends, the main meal can be somewhat stressful, trying to get everybody fed in a timely fashion. The solution? Small appliances, many of them suited for use at table-side, to minimize running around trying to get everything served at the same time.
My favorite -- from Cuisinart, their CWT-240 Warming Tray ($70; reduced from $130). The brushed aluminum housing supports a darkly tinted glass top plate that keeps your hot foods -- dips, gravy, side dishes -- close at hand and ready to serve. Power indicator, your choice of three serving temps, 12"x 19" heated surface, and all cleaned with a damp cloth.
As a companion to the warming tray, the Broil-King Family Size Buffet Server ($200). This server will do yeoman duty at Thanksgiving with its 3 compartments on a wipe-clean stainless steel chafing pan support. The appliance is conveniently sized at 14"x 28" to fit easily on a side table; the thermostat adjusts to your choice of a range from 155-205 degrees F, and the non-skid feet will keep you from worrying that the mashed potatoes will go flying across the room when your littlest guest takes it upon himself to help with the serving.
One more table-side warming appliance -- the Hamilton Beach 6 Quart Slow Cooker ($70; reduced from $100). This slow cooker (aka crock pot) features digital programming for beef, fowl, soups, pasta, you name it; you can use any of the trio of cooking modes -- set and forget programmed, manual, or with the inserted temperature probe, to ensure you have perfectly cooked foods. The internal stoneware cook pot is dishwasher-safe for easy cleanup and the clip-tight lid and full-grip handles make it easy to move the cooker to the serving spot of your choice.