Thanksgiving and Christmas can be two of the most stress inducing holidays for any host. Especially when the guests are expecting amazing home cooked meals with all of the classics from cranberry sauce to turkey. Many people nowadays are even giving up the entire cooking aspect of the cooking experience and taking advantage of local catering services or one step further from the holiday spirit and eating out at what few restaurants are open in the season.
We’d like to think that in the ever increasing business of modern life, we can still make time for the holiday season and hold onto some good old traditions, it just might take a little bit of planning to get everything to come together.
First off, if you are hosting Thanksgiving, you better be getting Thanksgiving Day as well as the eve off. Managing most of your prep work and cooking on Thanksgiving eve and warming/finishing things up the next day will give you more time to spend with your family, which is something many hosts suffer from as they lock themselves away in the kitchen while their loved ones mingle. Managing your time to cook what can be cooked ahead of time (pies, sauces, hams, gravy) the day before, and cooking the centerpiece item like the turkey, duck or ham the day of to maximize on freshness and to have that satisfying effect of oven-to-table to start the meal.
Of course, cooking time isn’t the only thing causing your hairs to go gray this season. Fridge space can become especially sparse when you cook items ahead of time especially when Every Single Guest wants to bring a cold desert for the meal (It’s almost a family tradition). Buying a block of ice or freezing a couple jugs of milk to cool an ice chest to fridge level temperatures so that you can expand your cool storage capacity and not need to buy an entire extra fridge or freezer.
There are a few other thanksgiving hacks out there to help sort out your troubles, but a lot of those will involve the specific dishes you want to cook and easy tips and tricks to sort them out. Beyond that, just find as many cooks as you can fit in your kitchen without spoiling the soup and partake of some holiday cider, eggnog, or wine, whatever suits you and yours.