Are you hosting the Thanksgiving meal this year? If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed about preparing an elaborate sit-down meal, follow these simple strategies to simplify the feast.
1) Clean the house this weekend. Get your family involved in the process. Then next Wednesday you can just touch-up the areas that need it.
2) Take inventory of your serving platters, trays and dishes. Do you have enough chairs and linens? If you figure it out now, you’ll have time to react. Borrow from a friend who isn’t entertaining that day.
3) Do as much prep as possible on Wednesday afternoon and evening: wash the turkey, chop vegetables, wash the dishes if they’ve been in the china cabinet for awhile and set the table the night before.
4) Consider the options for preparing the turkey:
Cook it in an oven bag. It speeds up cooking time and keeps it juicy.
Grill it using indirect heat. This option keeps the bird out of the kitchen and gives you extra room to work on all of those side dishes.
Cook the turkey the day before and reheat it.
If you haven’t done poultry prep before get the USDA fact sheet.
5) Make the gathering a pot luck or buy the meal ( or parts of it) ready-made. There is an upscale grocer in our area that sells the whole meal. It includes: turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet potatoes, cranberries, beans, dinner rolls and a pie for 10-12 people. The cost is $90.