Written by Sara Lilkas, Marketing Intern
Thanksgiving is right around the corner and for almost everyone it is a day to be thankful for what they have, spend time with family, and most importantly eat a delicious Thanksgiving Feast. Since the majority of us are guests at these Thanksgiving events we do not have to worry about cooking many of the complex dishes that are expected to be served as part of the festivities. Now even for experienced cooks, the Thanksgiving meal can be a daunting task. Even if you aren’t cooking for a large group of people there are usually high expectations that go along with Thanksgiving dinners and no one wants to disappoint their guests.
If you are hosting Thanksgiving dinner this year, it is essential to sit down and plan out the tasks that need to be completed ahead of time and create your plan of attack. At this point you have to think about what kind of planning works for you. I like making lists where I can check things off as I do them. (For some reason the physical act of checking something off makes me feel like I’m actually accomplishing something and makes the whole task seem more bearable.) I find it especially helpful when I am presented with tasks that seem overwhelming or difficult. As with almost everything in this world what works for me might not work for you, so it might be beneficial to host a smaller gathering (maybe with a few friends) as a test run to see how you like to plan or organize these kind of events.
Now that you know how you want to organize your Thanksgiving dinner, it’s time to actually plan it. Starting to prep around two weeks in advance is the ideal time frame. This is when recipes should be gathered and narrowed down to the final menu. When planning the menu think about what time you are planning to serve dinner as well as what kitchen tools will be needed for each dish and how long everything takes to prep and prepare. As part of the planning process you will want to make sure you have everything required to complete those recipes.
Timing is another thing to consider. Since it’s safe to assume most people only have one oven, planning out the space and time every dish needs to be fully cooked is essential. At this point go back through your planned menu and see what can be prepped and prepared ahead of time. Items such as pie crust dough and cranberry sauce can be made a few days ahead a time. Many vegetables can also be chopped and prepped ahead of time. Take a look at the menu and decide which items can be prepped early to save you some time on Thanksgiving Day.
Now let’s get talking about that turkey. The weight of your turkey determines how long it takes to defrost if you have purchased a frozen turkey. It could take DAYS!( Please refer to our We Know Turkey guide for more information about defrosting and cooking turkeys!)Make sure you plan accordingly, no one wants a frozen turkey on Thanksgiving Day! Also make sure you have a safe environment to thaw your turkey out in. Plan out how you are going to cook your turkey and if you are worried about how it will turn out, it’s not a bad idea to practice on a smaller turkey or a whole chicken in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving. Pricechopper has plenty of different turkey recipes to try out and who knows maybe one will become your new holiday favorite!
I hope these tips help to make your holiday season less stressful and more enjoyable! Make sure to share your Thanksgiving table pictures with #PriceChopper and #Market32 on Twitter and Instagram!