Thanksgiving is finally upon us! If you’re anything like me, I try as hard as possible to get through the holiday unscathed. I’ve set up some tips and tricks that you can use to prep for Thanksgiving and still hold on to your sanity…at least until Christmas!
- THAW YOUR TURKEY!!! If you have a frozen turkey like I do… just remember that it needs a day to thaw for every 4lbs. If you want to brine the turkey then you are going to want to add another day to your thawing schedule!
- Take the wrappings off your turkey the day before Thanksgiving and place it in your fridge. This will help take away some of the moisture and give you a crispier skin.
- Onions, Celery, Green Beans (fresh), Squash can be prepared up to 3 days beforehand and placed in the fridge in ziploc’s or containers. Also, your gravy and cranberry sauce can be made ahead of time and kept in the fridge for at least 3 days before Thanksgiving Day.
- If you’re not using store bought stuffing, buy your bread and cut it into cubes a few days before and leave it to sit on the counter so it gets really dry. Dryer bread is the key to better stuffing! If you have the freezer space, consider buying bread throughout the year and freezing it for Thanksgiving and Christmas. At my house, if we see we aren’t going to use a full loaf of bread before it’s expiration, I will put it in a freezer bag and put it back for the holidays. The same goes if you make cornbread stuffing. Make sure your cornbread is really dry before adding your stock. I usually make it around a week before a holiday and I’ll freeze it and bring it out 3 days before and let it sit on the counter and dry out.
- There are tons of sides that you can make ahead and that reheat well. This will save you tons of time on the day of. (mashed potatoes, as long as they have enough butter and cream. Pie crusts or entire pies can be made ahead of time and freeze well)
- If you’re cooking for more than 10 people, consider buffet style serving. We do that every year because we have about 30 people showing up (minimum) and it’s the only way that we can get everybody in. IMHO it works the best no matter the size. Everyone can come and go as they please and it just makes for a more relaxed atmosphere.
- Check your crockpots, pans, and kitchen utensils. Make sure your meat thermometer is in working order. The last thing you want is to have to try to find something open on Thanksgiving to find a working thermometer!
- Make sure you know where everything is going to go and feel free to make signs! Stressing out for anything on Thanksgiving besides an undercooked turkey at dinner time is wasting precious time! I like to set up on the Tuesday or Wednesday before Thanksgiving.
- Wash all your dishes and get them ready to go! There’s nothing like needing a pan on the day of and realizing that it isn’t clean or it’s been sitting in storage since last Thanksgiving. Make sure the china ready to go, too!
- Make a Schedule! Making a schedule might seem a little silly for Thanksgiving dinner but trust me…you will almost always forget something if it isn’t written down. Especially if it’s something that you’ve made beforehand.
Prepping Your Sanity
- Take time for yourself. Between Thanksgiving prep, Thanksgiving dinner, and Black Friday weekend, taking time for yourself can fall to the wayside. If you don’t take “you” time, you could feel like you didn’t get a break at all!
- Go get some bath bombs, face masks, and some lavender essential oils and take a nice long bath.
- Grab a glass or bottle of your favorite wine. Sit yourself down and start watching that show you’ve been putting off.
- Turn off your phone for the evening and take a break from the outside world.