|Via Country Living|
Hosting Thanksgiving this year? We salute you! No matter how much of a crafty supermom you are, we assume you have a desire for a stress-free holiday this year, right? Here are a few tips we've rounded up to make that happen.
- Delegate responsibilities. Most people have the sense to delegate out menu items, but we say don't stop there. Why not delegate table centerpieces, activities for the kids and even pre-dinner tidying jobs?
- Simplify the menu. This one comes from Ina Garten, and we think it's genius: After you make your initial menu list, cross off any items that have too long of an ingredient list and replace it with something simpler. No need to over-complicate things!
- Clear the fridge. Everyone knows the best part of Thanksgiving is the left-overs. Make sure you have the space to save all those heavenly dishes by doing an overhaul on the fridge a few nights before the big day. Two-year expired ketchup, your time is up!
- Do the Turkey Trot (even if you walk). Getting your body moving before the biggest indulgence of the year does wonders for your mood. Even if you're not up for running, join the local Turkey Trot once you get the turkey in the oven.
- Shower before starting the food prep. Every year it goes down the same way: we want to get "a few small things" done first thing in the morning before getting ready for the day, and the next thing we know the guests are arriving and we are still in our pajamas. You too? Put the kibosh on the habit this year and start the day showered and looking glam. Now you'll have a reason to wear that cute Williams Sonoma apron!
- Pull out the conversation starters. Whether you use a homemade jar of questions on paper strips or have your own game of Table Topics, it's nice to have some ice breaker questions on hand while all the random extended family members get reacquainted.
- Eat out the night before. Heaven knows you need to muster all the cooking strength you've got for this kitchen marathon. Eat out before you tackle the job...or even better yet, order in!
- Set the table the night before. The less things you have to worry about on the actual holiday, the better.
- Make two grocery trips: Buy non-perishables well before Thanksgiving, then get the perishables a few days before. When you've got an overflowing cart and more grocery bags than your trunk can handle, it's time to break up the tip. Since non-perishables can be bought well in advance and usually come from the same section of the grocery store, get that task done on a separate grocery trip the week before.
- Make some recipes that don't require an oven. If you're one of those lucky gals with double ovens...well, we are very jealous. If you're like the average woman pining for such a kitchen, do yourself a favorite and stick with several recipes that don't require an oven. (See the next point for one idea.)
- Make slow-cooker mashed potatoes. Mashed potatoes taste best right after being made, but who wants to worry about whipping up the perfect clump-free potatoes when there are a million other things going on at the last minute? Go with this recipe and you'll be ever so grateful!
- Prep in advance. You may be busy in the days leading up to the holiday, but you'll never regret taking a few minutes to bang out a few of the menu items well in advance. Execute one recipe a day and it'll be like it ain't no thang. Ideas:
- Cranberry sauce
- Freezer rolls
- Pumpkin pie