10 Best Tips for Stress-Free Thanksgiving

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Thanksgiving has always been a favorite holiday. It celebrates tradition, family togetherness and most importantly good food! It gives the chefs in a family the chance to pull out some of their favorite old and new recipes. But Thanksgiving can also be a very stressful time. There’s a ton of work associated with pulling off this feast, and with pulling together distant family and friends. That’s why it is important to plan ahead and use strategies you can follow to reduce the potential stress you may run into as you prepare for your Thanksgiving feast. So if you are looking for help this holiday season, here are ten of the best tips for a lower stress Thanksgiving-

• Make a Plan-All great parties begin with a great plan. Your plan needs to cover everything including:

•The guest list
•The menu
•When you will decorate
•When you will shop for supplies
•When you will cook
•When you will clean

• Make this year’s meal an assigned potluck-If you really want to cut down on the work try assigning out some potluck dishes. Thanksgiving, by its family nature, is often a pot luck affair. But it is important that you are forthcoming about what you’d like each guest to contribute in order to ease your own work. And most importantly by keeping track of everyone’s intended contributions to the meal, you will avoid serving three gelatin molds.

• Give your selected recipes a trial run-If you plan to cook a new recipe, it can be really helpful to give it a test run a week or two before Thanksgiving so that you have time to prepare an alternative if it doesn’t work out.

• Assign the seating-It’s crucial that you do not leave seat assignments to chance if you have family members who always argue and cause indigestion for the rest of your guests. You can seat them as far apart as possible and next to other guests who will keep them too busily engaged in conversation to think about their nemesis on the other end of the table.

• Prioritize your cleaning-You will want to clean the clutter most of all but do not worry about areas your guests will not even see. Your aim is to clear and clean the areas that are most likely to be used by your guests, not every little corner of your home. There will be enough time for a complete houseclean in January. Better yet, hire a cleaning service…Ideally, both before and after your Thanksgiving feast, if you hire a cleaning service to take care of your home, you can focus more on taking care of your family and guests.

• Use disposable pans-You will want to use a disposable pan especially for the turkey. Turkey drippings can make for very greasy pans. It is just better to toss it away then to soak and scrub. Cooking experts advise though that you make sure you avoid any accidents by placing a large pan or cookie sheet under your fully loaded disposable pan for safe carrying.

• Set your table the day before-However, cover it with a clean table cloth if you have pets that could likely walk on it.

• Cook as far ahead as possible-It’s really important that you do not save all the cooking for Thanksgiving Day. Unless you have a commercial size kitchen, it’s likely your dishes would have to be cooked in stages and reheated anyway. So at least a week before the big day, review all of your recipes and decide which can be prepared in advance and reheated without losing flavor or texture.

• Plan desserts that can be made well in advance-This is not the time to make soufflés or other complicated last-minute desserts. There are plenty of pies, cakes and puddings that can be made days in advance, which will save you time on Thanksgiving for all of your other work.

• Pull out your serving pieces early-Along with your serving pieces, pull out your linens, tableware, glasses, flatware and other special holiday items that you will be using for your table. Doing it early will also allow you to see whether anything needs special polishing or ironing



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