While there are plenty of people who happily skip over Thanksgiving in order to celebrate Christmas, there’s nothing quite as special as gathering around the Thanksgiving table to enjoy a feast. Even the Christmas feast isn’t nearly as intense as the Thanksgiving one. Thanksgiving is a time for families to get together in the spirit of gratitude and togetherness, with no material incentives other than food. In order to prepare for this epic meal, consider the following tips.
Take inventory of what you have and need
Consider all of the things you need in order to be successful in your Thanksgiving efforts. Start with the utensils and kitchenware. Make sure you have everything from the turkey baster to the grater available. Look for your can opener to make sure it works. Look through your spices to make sure they’re still fresh. Check the expiration dates of random condiments you’ll use for the meal. It’s easy to assume you have everything prepared, only to discover on the day of that you’re missing one more table setting or one specific herb.
Clean everything down
When it’s time to cook the Thanksgiving meal, it’s not uncommon to use every dish and pot in the kitchen. You’ll want to do a thorough cleansing of all the utensils, dishware and pots you’ll use. Open up the refrigerator to thoroughly clean the inside. Go through the cupboards, the pantry and the freezer to throw out anything that’s no longer in use. The more you clean beforehand, the easier the afterward cleanup will be.
Make sure you have enough room
When you clear out everything, you’ll be able to see how much room you truly have for Thanksgiving. This is a good time to also take an account of the space you are and aren’t using, to see if anything in your kitchen needs to be rearranged or replaced. Whether you decide to move things around or get custom cabinets for your china, you’ll still want to make sure you have enough storage space for everything you’re using.
Create your meal plan
Make a list of all the dishes you’ll be preparing for Thanksgiving dinner. Consider the desserts, drinks and appetizers as well. As you create your list, you’ll be able to create a thorough grocery list of everything you need. Even though most grocery stores are now open on holidays like Thanksgiving, it’s nice if you don’t have to make multiple trips on the actual day. Also, consider the allergies and dietary restrictions of those who will be coming. If a vegan is coming, make sure there are enough dishes for their meal as well. No one should leave the Thanksgiving table with a feeling of hunger because they couldn’t eat half of the dishes.
Delegate and ask for help
As you prepare your kitchen for Thanksgiving, don’t hesitate to ask for help. After all, you won’t be the only one eating the food. Put someone on cleaning duty once the meal is over. Assign different responsibilities to various people to take the load off of yourself. Plus, this will give you more energy to enjoy the holiday and your scrumptious meal.
Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most of her time hiking, biking, and gardening. For more information, contact Brooke via Facebook at facebook.com/brooke.chaplan or Twitter @BrookeChaplan