5 Time Saving Tips for a Stress Free Thanksgiving
It's that time of year again! The leaves are changing, the days are getting shorter, and fall is in the air. It's also the time of year where the stresses of the holidays are looming ahead. Especially the stresses of preparing that perfect Thanksgiving meal.
Your Resident Gourmet has 5 Time Saving Tips that are guaranteed to help you stress less, save money, and enjoy your Thanksgiving more!
1. Plan Your Thanksgiving Menu Early: Are you serving turkey, chicken, or goose? Will there be wine or your special holiday punch? Now is the time to plan your Thanksgiving menu; from soup to nuts. Once you've planned your menu you can pull out your recipes and check your cabinets to see what you have in stock and what you'll need to buy. Write out your shopping list, listing everything you need, and you won't have to worry about those last minute trips to the store spoiling Thanksgiving Day.
2. Shop Now: Now that you have your grocery list in hand it's time to head to the grocery store. Buy your non-perishables now and save yourself time later, not to mention you will be able to take advantage of the pre-holiday sales, avoid the long lines and the lack of parking spots. When I shop I keep like items together in my shopping cart so that they are together during checkout and get bagged together as well. Once you get your groceries home, leave them bagged and simply set them aside until you're ready for them. All you have left to buy are your perishable items and can purchase them as much as a week out.
3. Cook Now, Relax Later: Decide on the dishes that can be cooked ahead of time and either stored in the refrigerator or frozen until right before Thanksgiving. For example, can you make the cornbread for your cornbread stuffing now and freeze it until you're ready for it? What about the cranberry relish, collard greens, and sweet potato pies? Cook and store as many of the items on your menu as possible and defrost them the day before Thanksgiving. This tip will definitely save you time and make cooking your holiday meal more relaxed.
4. Get Organized: Now that you have your menu planned, your recipes pulled, have shopped for your non-perishables items, and even precooked some of your dishes; it's time to decide on your table decor. Go ahead and pull your favorite holiday tablecloth, place mats, and napkins. Make sure that they don't have any holes or stains and have them laundered and ironed. If you're using your 'special occasion' dishes, flatware, and stemware go ahead and get them out of storage, counted, and wiped down. Doing this now will guarantee you the table of your dreams without the usual holiday stress.
5. Ask For Help: Thanksgiving Day is finally here and it's time to enlist some help with the finishing touches. Ask someone to set the table. Since the linen is ironed and the dishes counted, this should be an easy task. Someone else can pour the drinks or plate the salads. If you've invited guests to share your meal, don't be shy about asking them to bring a dish to share as well. It's always nice to have an extra appetizer or dessert or a nice bottle of wine.
You've done it! Planned the perfect menu, set a beautiful table, and cooked your Thanksgiving meal to perfection. Now it's time to enjoy the fruits of your labor-all without the usual stresses associated with the holidays.