Culinary expert Ina Garten has some tips for reducing stress and making a seamless dinner for guests. Here are her recommendations:
- Start your meal planning with a pen – she says to write down all of the dishes that you plan to serve. This makes it easier to make shopping lists, develop a strategy and figure out cooking times.
- Think about what you can prepare in advance – many Thanksgiving dishes such as cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes and others can be made early in the week, refrigerated and reheated for the meal. She also recommends setting the table in advance and even though reheating in an oven is better, a microwave will work if you are short on time.
- Decide what you need to buy versus what you have to make – she gives the example of buying a delicious pecan pie rather than making it from scratch and that saves her time and stress.
- What can you ask guests to make and bring? – Ina says “If I know a friend makes a really good apple pie, I’ll ask them to bring it and then they feel like they’re part of the team and that you trusted them to make a really good apple (pie).”
- Make a to-do list on the day of the Thanksgiving meal – Ina says this is essential and she also includes the timing of dishes on her list. This way, she knows what to do and when to do it and by following the list like a roadmap it makes for an organized, less stressful presentation.
Source: USA Today