A tablecloth sets the mood and the tone of whatever meal you’re serving and, as an added bonus, it helps protect the table. Shopping for tablecloths can be pretty confusing though. Often times trying to decide what size and shape to get is a difficult task. Here is a good way to calculate your perfect tablecloth no matter how small or large your table is.
Get Your Table Ready To Be Sized
If you have an extendable table with leaves make sure to extend or shrink your table to the size you will be using before you measure your table for linens. For a casual tablecloth this will probably be the table size you use most frequently. If you’re hosting a formal dinner, it will be the dimensions you plan to use for your special occasion.
Calculate Your Tabletop Dimension
Measure both table length and width. For either, this is most easily accomplished by measuring from the center of your table outward, then multiplying the measurement by two.
Factor In The “Drop” You Want
Determine the desired length of your tablecloth drop (how far over your table you want the cloth to hang. The standard is considered to be 10 inches. Anything less than 6 inches will make your table look out of proportion and your linens too small. You can also extend your drop for a more formal look, but if you do this, you should measure the difference between the table and the chairs to see what will look good when chairs are pushed under the table without gathering too much fabric or draping on your guests’ laps.
Do A Little Table Math
For a rectangular table, multiply your desired drop by two, then add on the actual measurements of the table. For example, if you are going for a 10-inch drop and your table is 68 inches long, your mathematical equation would be 10 (the desired drop, in inches) multiplied by 2 (to factor in both sides of the table) with 68 (the length of your table) added. Your desired tablecloth length would be 88 inches.
For A Round Table
For a round table, calculate the size slightly differently. You will want to multiply your desired drop by two, then measure the table through its diameter from one side to the other, adding that to the total number. For instance, if your round table has a 50-inch diameter and you want a 10-inch drop, your calculation would be (10×2) + 50, which equals 70. Your desired tablecloth size would be a 70-inch round.
If You Don’t Find The Exact Size
If you have a difficult time finding the exact size you want, then simply size up to the next available size.
Rectangular Tablecloth Size Calculator.
Table Length Tablecloth Size
62″ to 72″ 70″ x 90″
80″ to 92″ 70″ x 108″
96″ to 110″ 70″ x 126″
110″ to 126″ 70″ x 144″
Round Tablecloth Size Calculator
Table Size Tablecloth Size
42″ to 55″ Round 70″ Round
55″ to 70″ Round 90″ Round
©Tiny New York Kitchen © 2020 All Rights Reserved
Whether you’re hosting your first Thanksgiving or you’ve been making the family feast for decades, refer to our Thanksgiving timeline checklist to keep your prepping, shopping, and cooking on track for the big day.
1 TO 2 WEEKS BEFORE THANKSGIVING
Confirm the number of guests and plan your menu
Order your turkey
Plan your table setting, serving dishes, and decorations
Read through all your recipes to determine the food and cooking equipment you will need
Make your shopping and to-do lists
Shop for nonperishable food items, plus any cooks’ tools, cooking equipment and tableware you need
A FEW DAYS BEFORE
Prepare the turkey brine, but do not add the turkey, cover and refrigerate
Prepare food that can be made several days ahead of time, such as pie pastry and cranberry sauce
THE DAY BEFORE
Complete your food shopping
If you ordered a fresh turkey, pick it up or have it delivered
If you are brining the turkey, place it in the brine and refrigerate
Prepare dishes that can be made in advance such as soups and pies
Chop vegetables for side dishes; refrigerate in covered bowls or sealable plastic bags
Peel and cut the potatoes, place in cold water and refrigerate
Set the table
Refrigerate wines that need chilling
Prepare the stuffing and other side dishes
Prepare the turkey for roasting and put in the oven at the determined time
If you plan to stuff the turkey, do not stuff it until just before you put it in the oven
While the turkey is roasting, make the mashed potatoes
While the turkey is resting, make the gravy and cook or reheat the side dishes
Carve the turkey and serve your guests
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
“Work With What You Got!”
©Tiny New York Kitchen © 2018 All Rights Reserved
Thanksgiving Emergency Strategies
Help, help, I have extra guests coming! My gravy doesn’t look right! What to do? These are some holiday entertaining questions that I have been asked over the years. Whether this is the first time you’ve hosted Thanksgiving dinner or your 20th time there are always things that seem to come up that feel like emergencies. From lumpy gravy to unexpected guests the pressure can just be too great at times. Not to worry, these are some good strategies that have helped me cope and make everything run smoothly.
Dear Victoria: “My turkey is still a bit frozen and my dinner is in a few hours. What should I do?”
Put that bird into a large pot and run tepid water over it for at least an hour. You can butterfly the turkey so that it cooks faster which should take about an hour and a half at 400 degrees. You can then roast it or grill it. In the future you may want to consider purchasing a fresh turkey and not a frozen one.
Dear Victoria:” I called everyone to the table and started carving the turkey to find that parts of it are still raw or undercooked. How embarrassing! What should I do?”
This situation has happened to most of us at one time or another. Don’t skip a beat and just carry on carving off any parts that are cooked, serve those and put the remaining pieces back in the pan, cover with foil, and cook until done. Most likely the breast meat will be done. Your guests can get a bit of turkey along with your delicious sides while waiting for the rest of the turkey to come out of the oven. In the future you may want to consider carving the turkey first and then cooking it.
Dear Victoria: “I always seem to overcook the turkey. I just don’t know how I keep doing this. Please help!”
For the immediate remedy I suggest you have LOTS of gravy on the table to pour over those dried out pieces of turkey. In the future make sure to invest in a meat thermometer. Insert the thermometer into your cooked turkey through the thickest part of the breast until it hits the breastbone. Remove the turkey from the oven when it reads 160 degrees. Let your turkey rest for about 30 minutes before carving.
Dear Victoria: “I have a small kitchen and don’t have much room in my oven to cook everything. How am I going to get everything done?”
Tiny New York Kitchen knows this situation all too well! First of all there are plenty of things that you can get cooked in advance. Check your menu and see what you can prepare before needing to place your turkey in the oven. If you have an outdoor grill, then by all means grill your bird. Hey, you can play it off as the “hip thing to do.” Let your side dishes cook in the oven while your turkey is grilling out there in the fresh November air!
Dear Victoria: “I made stuffing and it is pretty soggy. How can I make it un-soggy?”
This is a super easy one. Scoop it out of the turkey and/or the baking dish and spread it out on a baking sheet. Place it in the oven and bake it at 350 degrees until it is how you want it. Scoop it back into the serving dish and serve. No one will be the wiser.
Dear Victoria: “Before I call my guests to the table the food starts to get cold. How can I avoid this?”
Cover serving dishes with lids or foil to keep them warm. If a dish actually gets really cold, that is supposed to be hot, then just put it back in the oven for a little bit. Don’t be too concerned, however, as most Thanksgiving dishes are perfectly fine at room temperature.
Dear Victoria: “My side dishes aren’t browned on top? They just don’t look that appetizing. What should I do?”
If a dish is fully cooked, but doesn’t have that delicious looking brown surface (Potatoes, Vegetables, Stuffing, etc.) then simply put them under a hot broiler at least 4 inches away from the heating element. You may want to turn them as needed until browned on top. MAKE SURE that you watch them carefully. You really don’t want them to go from pasty to burned up! Always put the food too far from the broiler rather than too close. If you follow these instructions then you will get a nice browned crust on top of your dishes.
Dear Victoria: “My gravy looks way too lumpy. I can’t serve lumpy gravy! How do I fix it?”
Not to worry. You will just need to put some hard work into it with a good whisk. Whisk those lumps out. It may take a bit of time, but it can be done. If you have really stubborn lumps add just a bit of hot liquid to coax them out while you whisk. If you STILL can’t get them out take a medium weave strainer and set it over a bowl. Pour the grave in and stir. Smooth gravy will flow through the strainer and the lumps will stay behind. For the future make sure you whisk the flour or cornstarch constantly while you are adding the broth or turkey juices to keep lumps from forming.
Dear Victoria: “Help, my gravy is just way to thick. It looks like brown jelly. How do I thin it out?”
This one is super easy. Drizzle in a bit of hot broth or hot water while whisking and then heat up your gravy until it’s piping hot.
Dear Victoria: “My gravy is too thin. It looks watery. I’m horrified. Is there a good solution to this hot mess?”
This problem is just a bit trickier. Brown 1 tablespoon for every cup of gravy by stirring it in a dry frying pan over a medium heat until it turns a nice deep golden brown. Have your gravy in a wide pan on the stove over a medium high heat. Whisk the browned flour into your gravy and cook. Make sure to whisk constantly until your gravy thickens. This should do the trick.
Dear Victoria: “The top of my pumpkin pie is all cracked and looks horrible. What happened? How can I serve a cracked pumpkin pie?”
Your pumpkin pie was over baked which is why it is cracked on top. Not a soul needs to know, however, if you dollop on whipped cream and carry it to the table like the prize pie it is! Sometimes cooking is like acting. If you flub a line you just carry on like that is how it is supposed to be.
Dear Victoria: “My sister called and asked if she could bring extra guests. My goodness, what am I going to do? Dinner is in an hour!”
I’ve certainly encountered this situation plenty throughout my dinner party throwing life. I’ve always kept an open door policy because I figure that not everyone has a place to go on the holidays, which can be very sad and lonely. The good news is that most of us make way too much food for Thanksgiving. Having unexpected guests can impact a meal however. First of all, forget any leftovers that you were counting on. Make more mashed potatoes, rice or pasta. These items take 30 minutes or less to make. Slice the turkey thin. Make a quick soup by combining chicken broth, pureed cooked vegetable(s), fresh herbs, salt and pepper. As soon as you get the call immediately put bowls of nuts and snacks out before dinner.
Dear Victoria: “I have quite a large group coming for dinner and I don’t have enough room at the table. What do I do?”
You can set up dinner buffet style or you can set up multiple tables as auxiliary eating areas. Living room coffee tables and game and/or card tables work. You can let everyone sit where they want or you can seat people by age or alphabetically or however you decide to seat people. Thanksgiving is about spending time with friends and family. People will have fun no matter where they are sitting. Relax and enjoy yourself.
Do you have out of town guests coming for the holidays? If so here are a few tips to make their stay comfortable.
If you must put a futon or roll-away in the den or office then try and hide the sleeping area with a nice screen of some kind.
Designate closet space for your guests and make sure to have plenty of extra hangers.
Try to accommodate your guests by thinking about what it is that you would like done for you.
Place a portable TV or radio in the guest room or sleeping area. Guests like to get away from everyone and watch the late night news.
Place a nightstand, an alarm clock and a carafe (with glass) for water next to the guest bed. Everyone needs a place to put keys, change, wallets and earrings.
It is really nice to place a basket of food to snack on in the guest room. Items like crackers, nuts, fruits, chocolates and muffins really help a guest feel welcome as well as staving off constant hunger.
Place a reading light in the guest room. Most people like to read in bed before dropping off to sleep.
Make sure that you have plenty of fresh towels for your guests. You may want to even have a guest bathrobe on hand. It’s nice to place a small basket full of travel size toiletries for your guests. Items such as mini bottles of shaving cream, razors, shampoos, toothpaste and mouthwash come in very handy as well as making your guests feel welcome.
Most of all enjoy your guests and don’t sweat the small stuff. This time of the year is time for family and friends. They won’t be at your house forever (at least I hope not) and you can get back to your life soon.