Stop the presses!!!
I’ve been asked so many times for my Thanksgiving day advice I put it all on it’s own page.
No I know it’s not yet Thanksgiving this post is about how you can have less stress planning that big meal. Now if you are cooking another holiday meal with a similar menu many of these tips and tricks will still work.
Step 1: I plan a huge menu, more than I usually cook, but no one be me sees the big plan. Once I have every possible thing on the menu I could possibly want I start prioritizing things.
- No seriously you want the things everyone expects at the top of the list. What would Turkey day be without the turkey?
- Don’t forget the mashed potatoes, and gravy, rolls. well you get the idea.
Now that you have your dream menu prioritized, think realistically. What is the first thing you will cut if you get in a time crunch? and work your way back. I do try to get all twenty or so items on the table, but realistically I usually end up with twelve to fifteen.
If people will be hanging around your house all day watching the parade etc you also need to plan stuff for them to munch on and stay out of the kitchen. Here’s how I do that. If people are arriving at 9am, they wont want chips and dip, but fresh fruit and a coffee cake would be perfect. Make sure you use paper plates for the early stuff so you don’t end up with a ton of extra dishes. I even put the coffee pot out on the table with the early set of snacks. Around 10:30am I take a break and check on the parade watchers. I bring a helper back to the kitchen to deliver the next slightly more lunch style snacks. We don’t sit down to eat until around 5 or 6pm. Here come the pinwheel sandwiches, cheese dip and chips, and the veggie crudité. Just remember you don’t want to fill people up completely just keep them satisfied enough that they aren’t raiding the fridge.
For my tips on cooking the holiday feast see this post.