Top 10 Tips To A Stress-Free Thanksgiving
As the most passionate cook in the family, I love hosting Thanksgiving. Now I feel like I can practically do it in my sleep, largely because I have a plan that doesn’t change much from year to year. The cast may change, the lines are usually altered, but basically it’s the same stage every year.
If you are hosting, don’t worry! With nearly two weeks to go there is still plenty of time to plan a fabulous feast. Below is my general plan of attack that keeps the stress of the day to a minimum.
If guests are willing to bring something, take them up on it. It’s especially nice to not have to worry about appetizers or dessert. Make sure you have seating to accommodate all your guests.
Plan the basics of your menu
Decide what, if anything you will have guests bring.
Mix it up
Everyone has their traditional dishes and mandatory staples, but it’s fun to have a couple things that are a little different every year.
If you are still weighing options for a few things, that’s all right – but now is the time to nail down the majority of your menu and order the turkey if needed.
Simplify, simplify, simplify!
OK, I can’t say this enough, but years of experience have taught me that you really do not need lots and lots of different side dishes to have an amazing dinner.
Get geared up
Dig out your turkey roaster and platter and any serving dishes hidden away in closets or high shelves. Washing them now would be a bonus, too.
Your cooking plan can begin with items you can make a week ahead – such as cranberry sauce, roasting pumpkins for pie, making pie dough. It is also really helpful to have a scheduled day for every dish so you know exactly what lies ahead of you.
Begin your shopping this week
Things like potatoes, cranberries, packaged stuffing, butter and beverages will all keep and make for less shopping next week. Remember your Green Grocery has most of what you’ll need including turkeys – and it will be delivered to your door!
Don’t forget to thaw your turkey!
If you are purchasing a frozen turkey, schedule a reminder, set an alarm or do whatever you need to remember to take it out to thaw. A large frozen turkey can take six days to thaw in the refrigerator!
The more you prep before the big day, the happier you’ll be. And when it comes to the final frenzy when everything comes together at once, enlist the help of your guests. Then everyone, including you, can enjoy their feast together.
Got other great tips? Share foodies!