Top 10 Tips for a Stress Free Thanksgiving
This post is by Full Circle’s resident Farm Foodie – Debra Dubief
As the most passionate cook in the family, I love hosting Thanksgiving. Now I feel like I can practically do it in my sleep, largely because I have a plan that doesn’t change much from year to year. The cast may change, the lines are usually altered, but basically it’s the same stage every year.
If you are hosting, don’t worry! There is still plenty of time to get organized for a fabulous feast. Below is my general plan of attack that keeps the stress of the day to a minimum.
Finalize your guest list and confirm how many people will be there
If guests are willing to bring something, take them up on it. It’s especially nice to not have to worry about appetizers or dessert. Make sure you have seating to accommodate all your guests.
Review your menu
Decide what, if anything you will have guests bring.
Mix it up
Everyone has their traditional dishes and mandatory staples, but it’s fun to have a couple things that are a little different every year.
Organize your recipes
If you are still weighing options for a few things, that’s all right – but now is the time to nail down the majority of your menu and purchase the turkey if needed. If you’re buying your turkey the week of, be sure to purchase a turkey that is not frozen, as large turkeys can take days to thaw in the refrigerator.
Simplify, simplify, simplify!
OK, I can’t say this enough, but years of experience have taught me that you really do not need lots and lots of different side dishes to have an amazing dinner.
Get geared up
Dig out your turkey roaster and platter and any serving dishes hidden away in closets or high shelves. Washing them now would be a bonus, too.
Make a cooking plan and shopping schedule
Your cooking plan can begin with items you can make ahead – such as cranberry sauce, roasting pumpkins for pie, making pie dough. It is also really helpful to have a scheduled day or time for every dish so you know exactly what lies ahead of you.
Begin your shopping early
Things like potatoes, cranberries, stuffing mix, butter and beverages will all keep and make for less last minute shopping. Remember your Online Farmstand Market has most of what you’ll need including turkeys – and it will be delivered to your door!
Don’t forget to thaw your turkey!
If you purchased a frozen turkey, schedule a reminder, set an alarm or do whatever you need to remember to move it to the refrigerator to thaw. If you forgot though, there’s still hope! Follow this guide from the USDA to safely and quickly thaw your turkey in cold water.
The more you prep before the big day, the happier you’ll be. And when it comes to the final frenzy when everything comes together at once, enlist the help of your guests. Then everyone, including you, can enjoy their feast together.
Got other great tips? Share foodies!