A Thanksgiving With No Sweat Involved
The web page, Real Simple, gives some great tips for making this Thanksgiving a bit easier. Thanksgiving usually has family, friends, and lots of food, and people wanting to help but basically just getting in your way. I don’t mean to sound rude but its true. Well here a few tips to ease the stress and pain.
Print a Blank November Calendar
As you plan your meal, fill in each week with what you need and when to shop, and any deliveries that need to come to the house.
Make Your Grocery List on November 1st
Don’t wait until the week before Thanksgiving to figure out what you’re making—and don’t feel pressure to experiment with fancy recipes. Find a few you trust and put every ingredient on a shopping list. Divide the list into perishables and non-perishables, so you know what you can buy immediately (like spices) and what you’ll need to buy later (like milk).
Set the Table the Night Before
It’s a simple task, but it’s one thing you can cross off of your to-do list on the day of.
Empty the Dishwasher and all Trash Cans the Night Before
Plus, line your bins with extra garbage bags so you don’t have to hunt down a fresh bag when the garbage starts to overflow.
Prepare as Much as You Can in Advance
Gravy bases can be frozen and vegetables can be cooked and refrigerated for up to two days. For dishes that can’t be made ahead of time, consider the prep work that you can do in advance—like peeling potatoes so they’re ready for quick mashing.
Establish a Make-Your-Own, Breakfast Policy
If you have a house full of overnight guests, let them take care of the morning meal themselves. Stash ready-to-go foods (like muffins, granola bars, and cereal) in open spaces and let everyone know where milk, spoons, bowls, and napkins are in the kitchen. Establish the “every man for himself” rule first thing in the morning so that you can focus on cooking the feast (or making coffee).
Make Edible Napkin Rings for the Kid’s Table
That way, they won’t complain about being hungry before dinner. The secret? Use pre-made crescent or pizza dough baked into 4-inch rings.
Use Square and Rectangular Pans
This way, you’ll be able to fit more dishes in the oven—whether you’re cooking or just keeping things warm.
When In Doubt, Ask Guests to Bring Ice
You can never have enough. And when the refrigerator is full, ice buckets are a great way to keep drinks cold.
Save Easy Jobs for Early Birds
Chances are, at least one of your guests will arrive 30 minutes early. Rather than stressing about having everything ready, reserve a few simple tasks that people can help with, such as filling the breadbasket or pouring water.
Stock Up on Stain Busters
Yes, someone will spill red wine on a white shirt. For that, plus other guaranteed messes, stock cotton cloths, dish soap, white vinegar (for coffee stains), and pretreat sticks (like Tide to Go).