Thanksgiving dinner can be the most stressful meal of the year – let’s change that! Any holiday meal can be an organized one if you plan ahead.
Have a plan
Make a list and avoid going to the grocery store multiple times. And, don’t forget the ice for drinks. Get an accurate head count and find seating and tables for all.
Clean the house ahead of time including laundry for guest towels and table linens.
Now is not the time to try that new recipe that might be good. Go with the signature dishes you know everyone loves. Take some of the pressure off yourself and save the experimental foods for a less stressful and more casual time.
What can you buy pre-made?
Do you need to make dinner rolls from scratch? How about some of the dessert items?
Anything you can get away with buying, do it. It will save you time. Or, instead of buying pre-made foods, you can ask your guests to bring something. Often times, people will offer to bring their best recipes that can be appetizers, side dishes or desserts. Have a back up plan in case that person cancels at the last minute.
What can you make ahead of time?
Some foods can be made a day or two early. You can prepare some things this weekend and freeze them. Mashed potatoes or sweet potato casserole recipes can be made in advance of the big day. If you can’t pre-make things, you may be able to chop and peel some of the ingredients beforehand. Decorations and a centerpiece, if you use them, can be set up several days ahead of Thanksgiving.
Get your serving dishes cleaned and ready ahead of time. Think about your menu and figure out which servicing dishes will go best with each food. Look for appropriate serving spoons, tongs or forks to go with each dish.
Your table linens should be washed and ready to go as well. If you are using the good silver, polish it this weekend so it will be available when you need it.
The more things you do in advance and schedule, the more relaxed you can be on Thanksgiving day. Happy Thanksgiving and if you have any organizing issues, please contact me for help.