Thanksgiving is a great time to gather with friends and family….but for many of us it’s a day filled with panic and stress. It doesn’t have to be that way. All you need to do is a little bit of preplanning to get ahead of the chaos. In general people tend to make things a little more complicated than they need to be. Here are my tips on how to simplify the process:
1. Cook something that you have made before. Thanksgiving is stressful enough as is, no need to add on the pressure of testing out a new recipe! Preparing dishes you are familiar with not only makes the cooking a lot faster, but it gives you the peace of mind that your guests are going to like what they have been served!
2. Don’t make too many dishes! This is not the Cheesecake Factory. No need ot have 18 million options for your guests. Choose 4-5 dishes…make them well, and make enough of each to serve the number of people you have invited. It’s quality not quantity.
3. Clean out your refrigerator the weekend before! You need to make space not only for all the ingredients you will be bringing home, but also any dishes that you might be able to make ahead of time
4. When cooking, it’s really important that you clean as you go. A messy space could lead to mistakes. It will also leave you constantly looking for that one spoon that will inevitably be dirty and in the sink.
5. Empty the dishwasher before dinner. This makes the after dinner clean up than much easier! No one wants to walk into a kitchen with a sink full of dishes. The visual alone is enough to make you want to run away!
6. Delegate, delegate, delegate! Maybe not everyone in your household knows their way around the kitchen, but there are still a lot of tasks you can have them help with so that you can focus on dinner prep. Setting the table, cleaning the house, peeling vegetables, and making grocery runs can all be things that other people handle.
7. Buffet or family style serving for large dinners such as Thanksgiving, are the easiest ways to go. This way your guests can decide what they do or don’t want to eat and how much, leaving you with less waste! Plus…who wants the stress of plating!