There’s no doubt about the fact that Thanksgiving dinner is a beast to prepare. The turkey in and of itself is an entire event, not to mention the sides and dessert. While people joke about food comas and stuffing themselves with food, if you’re the one cooking the dinner, you may be wondering what you can do in order to make it more manageable. Trying to do an entire Thanksgiving dinner all in one day is quite a feat, especially with the turkey claiming the oven for its own for hours on end.
Fortunately, there are indeed things that you can do in order to maximize efficiency and make Thanksgiving more manageable. You don’t want to spend a holiday stressed out and only really be able to enjoy it when you’re actually eating or after all the dishes are taken care of. You deserve to be able to enjoy the holiday the same as everyone else, and these tips can help you do just that.
#1. Plan Ahead
In order to avoid a day of stress and trying to make everything happen at once, do your future self a favor and plan ahead. You don’t need to make everything the day of, after all! You can come up with a schedule for yourself of what days you’ll be making this or preparing that. While the turkey itself needs to be made the day of, as do mashed potatoes, a lot of the prep work and some dishes can be made in advance.
For instance, you can dedicate a day solely to chopping veggies and storing them in the fridge. While chopping vegetables is easy, it’s very time-consuming, so you can save yourself a lot of time by having them pre-chopped and ready to just toss into your dishes.
You can also figure out what dishes can be made ahead. For instance, if you’re a stuffing or a casserole family, a lot of these types of dishes actually taste better when made in advance! This is because you’re giving the ingredients time to get to know each other, leaving you with more delicious and flavorful dishes.
It’s also helpful to know what can’t be made ahead. The turkey, mashed potatoes, and rolls should all be made the day of, so that they taste their best.
#2. Don’t Put Off Going To The Grocery Store
Or else you’ll be one of the masses crowding the aisles the day before – talk about stress! See what you can buy before the week itself, like canned goods. While all stores, grocery or not, are busier during the holidays, you can save yourself time and preserve your piece of mind by hitting the grocery store either the week before Thanksgiving or earlier on in the week of.
This also helps to ensure that you can find everything that you need. Turkeys are very high in demand, so unless your family does something different, like a ham or lamb or a vegan option, you want to ensure you pick out your turkey sooner rather than later to ensure that you select a good one.
#3. There’s No Shame In Premade Dishes
If you’re a beginner, you may feel the need to show off all the skills you’re learning and present your loved ones with an extravagant dinner. Remember, though, that there’s no shame in using boxed mixes or premade dishes! You can still show off your skills, but you can save yourself time and money by opting for cranberry sauce from a can, rather than homemade.
#4. Don’t Be Afraid To Delegate
If you’re the chef in the family, you may be tempted to lay claim to the kitchen and snap at anyone who dares enter your realm and interrupt your process. Don’t be afraid to delegate, though! If you are having guests, you can ask them to bring a dish that they specialize in, like your best friend’s exceptional pumpkin tarts or your sibling’s mouthwatering scalloped potatoes.
Play to everyone’s strengths. If there’s a niece or nephew running around who is hopeless in the kitchen, assign setting the table to them. If there’s a loved one who wants to learn or help, assign them something easy, like mashing the potatoes.
Teamwork makes the dream work, after all. Everything tastes so much more delicious when made with love and shared memories.
#5. Take A Cooking Class
Want to learn how to make a Thanksgiving dinner because you’ve never done it before? Or perhaps you want to learn how to make some new dishes or some tips and tricks from a pro. You can sign up for our Holiday Baking Class with Chef Brad, who will teach you recipes like mushroom galette and make-ahead rolls.
You can register for the event here.
Kitchen Kneads is here to help you with your Thanksgiving cooking needs. Whether you need some more equipment or some ingredients or you want to learn, don’t hesitate to browse our store – either online or in person! Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you.