Thanksgiving is always a busy time and of course you want your Thanksgiving Dinner to be perfect, but each year you seem to behind. Guests show up and dinner is not ready. Well, these five ways for a perfect Thanksgiving Dinner should help ease your stress, so you can also enjoy your meal.
- First and foremost, plan ahead. Last minute preparation is not what you want to run into. A shopping list with only what you really need will cut your time in half. Do your shopping at least three days before the big event. Try to avoid any last minute trips to the store unless they are absolutely necessary. Try and not spend your whole day in the kitchen. Pace yourself and go at your own speed. There is no need to rush. Enjoy the holiday as much as you can. If you must be in the kitchen longer that you would like, put on some holiday music. This will help ease your mind and help you to not be overwhelmed with the tasks at hand. Dance around and take a breath. Get into that holiday spirit. Take that occasional sip of sherry.
- Along with the ordering of the turkey, foods that can be made in advance should be an executed part of your plan. The turkey is the main focus and cannot be forgotten, so order him within plenty of time for delivery. A late turkey is a disaster waiting in the wings. Vegetable trays, dips, and a few desserts can be arranged a couple days beforehand. Buy frozen pie crusts. You can even buy prepared trays of fruit, vegetables, and meat and cheese. This will eliminate the hassle of making them. These simple tasks can be completed therefore leaving you more time to accomplish more involved tasks. Finger foods will enhance dinner and not overwhelm it. You want your family to be waiting on dinner, not already full of appetizers.
- Make sure you have all the tools you will need days before the big event. Make sure your gravy boat is in the china cabinet and all eight serving spoons are in their place. Imagine the mess of running around on Thanksgiving Day looking for one lost minor detail. This is also a good time to organize your recipes, set a time for dinner to begin, and start finalizing your menu. When you put final next to a task that means no more worries, it is done. Setting up a to-do list, and checking it twice, will help ease your mind. Write it down and you are less likely to forget it. Check it off and that is one less thing.
- Get the whole family and your guests involved. Have a great selection of traditional Thanksgiving "must haves" then have everyone compliment your dishes. They can bring their favorites and add a little of themselves to the table. This will save you time and energy. Your immediate family can help with the preparation and shopping. Do not be afraid to ask for help. Doing it alone is too much. This is your holiday too.
- Remember, it is not all about the food. Decorations around your home should be as equally important as the food. Focus on eye catching pieces that will not only create a genuine holiday feel, but bring an inviting presentation as well. Light candles just as everyone is arriving. The smell of Christmas and that illuminating glow will make your family and friends feel welcome. Any earth tone décor you might already have goes great in the house this time of year. Utilize what you already have first, and then buy if you see a need to. Spray paint leaves and add them to pine cones in a fall basket. That would make a lovely centerpiece for dinner. Nothing says fall like pumpkins. Pick up a couple.
We have compiled a PDF file packed with recipes and tips for the holidays. It's free to download at our site.Linda is author of Christmas and Thanksgiving Cooking Tips at http://www.steaks-guide.com.