But it's not all bad. If you approach Thanksgiving from an organized perspective, there will still be some time to enjoy yourself and you shouldn't have a breakdown in the middle of the gravy.
I've been preparing Thanksgiving dinner for the last five years. I don't mind terribly since I do enjoy cooking, but there are parts of it that always seem to stress me out. In that time, I've taken some notes and made myself some reminders to help the next years' turkey dinner go more smoothly. Here's what's helped me:
- If I want to make sure that the meal all gets to the table at the right temperature and at the right time, that requires a bit of backwards thinking: add your cook time and your prep time with a little bit of buffer and you can get an idea of when to start each dish.
- Some things can be prepared ahead of time and stored in the fridge. Just make sure you've got room in the fridge to do so.The week before Thanksgiving should be Eat Leftovers Week for everyone!
- If you can't prep the entire dish ahead of time, you can certainly do pieces of it. I like to chop up all my veggies the night before and portion them out, so things will go faster on cooking day. It's also easier to chop three onions all at once than to chop them one at a time when you realize you need them.
- Some families do the entire meal potluck, some just do parts. If there are pieces of the meal someone else can prepare and bring, let them!
- Everyone can help out with something! Break the big jobs into little jobs. Let someone else get out the linens, set the table, plate the meal, wash dishes(!!).
- Take notes. If something doesn't go as planned this year, make a note so you'll remember to tweak the plan next year. You can also use this great set of printables I've created to help you organize everything before, during, and after the meal. Take your notes on these and save them to make next year a breeze!
Ready for some more Thanksgiving Favorites?
Karen at Baking in a Tornado shares her recipe for Cranberry Holiday Jello
Lydia of Cluttered Genius shares the Best Thanksgiving Traditions Ever
Tree of Thanks
What Thanksgiving Survival Tips do you have?? Share them in the comments for everyone to see!