Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Thanksgiving 09

Sadly I’m slightly injured this year and will not be able to cook Thanksgiving on my own; my lovely and fabulous mom and sister-in-law will be doing most of the day of work and I’m back to prep work and deserts. I’m not complaining, but I was kind of looking forward to tackling the big meal on my own again this year. Last year, although a little stressful, was an exercise in organization, not one of my stronger skills. For a first timer my timing was pretty good, I got off track right around the mashed potatoes – it was the freaking peeling that did me in.

Thanksgiving is a hard-core challenge for anyone, so here’s my best advice for anyone tackling the Super bowl of food:

1. Write out your menu – it’s easier to check the pantry and write your shopping list if you know exactly what you plan to cook.
2. Make your shopping list - write down everything you need to make what’s on your menu; my mom’s trick has always been to write every thing down on menu, so I tend to use a full sheet of paper. This is also really helpful so you only buy what you need and don’t end up with 3 boxed of baking powder and no baking soda. And don’t forget to check the pantry first – don’t ask how many jars of cinnamon we have between us.
3. Have a battle plan – prep and prepare what you can the day before, if not a few days before. Know your cooking times and kitchen space, our kitchen isn’t that big so more often than not we’ll cook something in the morning and reheat the amount we want just before serving. This also works for us because there’s less putting away and clean up after dinner.
4. Relax – stay focused on what the day is really about. You don’t want to be so stressed out that you can’t enjoy spending time with your friends and family (and the meal you made). And don’t get all pissy if nobody swoons over the meal, this can be really difficult when you spend all day cooking, but try to remember you cooked the meal to share your love and not to get praise.

This is what works for me & my family, feel free to share what works for yours in the comments.

Have a delicious Thanksgiving!

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