Even the most seasoned cook and entertainer can experience stress when preparing a Thanksgiving feast for family and friends. For those who prepare such a dinner only once a year, it can potentially remove all the joy from the holiday.
Thanksgiving does not have to produce dread in the hearts of its hosts and hostesses. Some advance planning and a few helpers can streamline some, if not most, of the process, but, since your goal is to have everything ready to eat at the same time, there will inevitably be some chaos just before dinner is served.
A few helpful tips:
- Remove the risk that your frozen turkey is not thawed in time by purchasing a fresh turkey. You will be rewarded with a juicier finished product.
- Shop early to avoid your choices being out stock.
- Don’t try a new recipe, no matter how tempting.
- It is easy to overcook your turkey in the chaos of preparing your other dishes. Assign a helper to keep an eye on it.
- Don’t add the stress of undercooked stuffing. Bake it separately.
There is no shame in asking for help with your Thanksgiving endeavor, especially if you are a first-timer. For example, canned cranberry sauce is quick and easy, but if you have your heart set on homemade, ask a guest to prepare it at home and bring it, freeing you and your kitchen for other dishes. Assign the carving and the mashing to other family members while you prepare the gravy.
If you prefer visiting with your family over cooking and clean-up, consider catering your Thanksgiving dinner. Cleveland caterers specialize in preparing food in volume and can easily prepare a feast for your family that tastes like it just came out of your kitchen. Also, many caterers will offer multiple choices of side dishes, allowing you to satisfy those picky eaters in your family.
A catered meal means a relaxing visit with guests and minimal clean-up afterwards. Worried about the cost? Most local caterers’ rates are quite reasonable, and require only that you arrange a pick-up time 48 hours in advance. Some will even deliver!