Preparing for the Big Thanksgiving Meal can be stressful, but these tips will help get you out of the kitchen faster, leaving you more time to count your blessings:
- DO AHEAD – Consider what Thanksgiving dishes you can prepare or partially prepare before. Even having all the dicing and chopping done is a huge time-saver. Then you can just mix together or heat up on the day of! This prevents having to juggle recipes and cooking times, and you’ll get the major clean-up done before guests arrive.
(PSST! If you don’t want to do the chopping at all, your supermarket produce section has lots of ready-to-go ingredients, including onions, celery, carrots and broccoli.)
- WASH AS YOU GO – Before you even begin the food preparations, fill the sink with hot soapy water. Every thing you use goes in, and, as you move to the next dish, first wash what you just used. Dishes left sitting get harder to clean, as well as take up space. (My personal favorite take on this is to have someone else do the clean-up while I’m preparing the next dish!)
- USE THE CASSEROLE DISH AS A MIXING BOWL – That famous green bean delight? Mix it – and any other dishes, when possible – right in the dish they’ll cook in. This eliminates mixing bowls to clean-up.
- WELCOME (even assign!) HELP FROM OTHERS– Most people love bringing their “signature dish” or otherwise contributing to the meal, so let them! Whatever they bring, whether it’s a vegetable dish, a Fall centerpiece, or even just the cranberry sauce, that’s less you’ll have to do.
- BAG IT – Use an oven bag to roast your turkey. It captures the juices and browns itself in the bag, and it makes clean-up a snap. No fuss; no muss.
- IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE THE WHOLE TURKEY – If your guest list is small, consider buying a large breast of turkey to cook instead of cooking a whole bird. This reduces your cooking time even if you cook a couple of breasts, and it also helps reduce the worry over defrosting.
- IT’S NOT AGAINST THE RULES! – Who says everything has to be homemade? Remember, Thanksgiving is about giving thanks for our blessings, including the time spent with family and friends. It’s not about slaving in the kitchen. So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed, give yourself a break and order dessert or another dish from your favorite place and pickup the day before.
BONUS TIP: In the days leading up to Thanksgiving, be sure to lighten your refrigerator contents, making room for those yummy leftovers!
Lastly: Enjoy the day! Make memories, not stress! 🙂
California Concierge LLC is known as The Businesswoman’s Wife®. We’re all about taking care of “the home front” so you can enjoy the life you’re working hard for. You’ll find more helpful tips and ideas for your Life-Outside-The-Office at CaliforniaConcierge.com. Sign up today for our blog!
For a California Concierge Membership so you can focus at work, relax at home and have time for yourself and your family, contact us at (818) 883-8550 or info@CalConcierge.com
Copyright 2015 California Concierge LLC. Not to be reprinted, resold, or redistributed for profit, except with written permission, but may be freely distributed electronically provided that the entire file, including this notice, remains intact.