This dad does all the cooking and preparing for Thanksgiving.
Over the years I’ve learned a few tips that I wanted to share with anyone hosting dinner this Thursday.
Make sure you know what you are cooking ahead of time.
I’ll start planning a few weeks out and check the pantries so I know what I don’t have. That way as I’m in the stores doing shopping I can grab something as I see it so at the last minute I don’t miss out on anything.
Bake Ahead of Time
Wednesday is always when the baking gets done because the kitchen on Thursday will be too crazy and busy.
Take the day before to bake all your pies and other goodies. I also use this time to prep anything that can be done ahead of time to save some sanity on the big day.
Know Your Kitchen
It amazes me that people who never cook decide that they want to pop their cherry with a big holiday meal. NOT the way to do it.
If you know how to cook everything on the menu it instantly lowers the stress level so be sure you are cooking dinner more often than once a year.
Do Not Allow Others to Help
While my mother hates this, it is the biggest sanity saver advice I can give you.
Don’t let anyone help you with the cooking because you’ll just end up bumping into each other and driving each other nuts.
Allow them to set the table, open the wine and other things, but never get near the stove. This is rule #1 in my house on Turkey Day.
Have Plenty of Munchies
Thanksgiving at my house is always slated for “around 2″ because you never quite know when everything is going to be done so that leaves some openness to it all.
Because of this, I always try to have munchies around so no one is complaining because of an empty stomach. Make ahead munchies are the best so that you don’t have to sacrifice any stove space.
Try Something New
I love cooking, but I get bored making the same thing every year so I try to add at least one or two different sides into the mix every year to keep me entertained.
There was a big temptation to use my La Caja China to cook the turkey, but I decided that was too big of a variable since I hadn’t done a test one to know just how long to cook it for. Maybe next year?
Have Plenty of Goodness to Drink
We’ve got red and white ready to go and a fully stocked bar.
The holidays are also a perfect time to try new beers as there are so many to try right now.
Plus, if things go bad you are going to need something strong to get through it all. *grin*
I hope that each of you has a happy, fulfilling and safe holiday surrounded by those you love.