With just over a week to go, it is time to get ready for Thanksgiving!
Having to prepare an entire feast for your immediate family can be stressful enough on a typical day, but when you add in extended family, in-laws, and friends, the amount of preparation required can push you over the edge of sanity.
So in an effort to keep things calm during a busy time of year and to continue to live a simple, yet satisfying life, we have listed out several things that you can do now to prepare for Thanksgiving. Yes, these are the things you can and should do at least a week ahead of time.
So this year help yourself out and do what you can now, so that you can actually enjoy Thanksgiving Day the way it was meant to be.
What To Do Now To Prepare For Thanksgiving
1. Confirm Your Guest List
Find out now who is going to be able to come to the event and what food will be prepared by others. Knowing how much food to plan for and how many place settings ahead of time will help you have the correct amount of materials well in advance of the date.
2. Take Inventory of Supplies
As soon as you confirm the guest list, take an inventory of utensils, plates, napkins, and non-perishable items that you have on hand. There is no need to purchase another bottle of poultry seasoning for the third year in a row if there is still some in your pantry!
Write down now what you need to purchase or borrow. At the next trip to the grocery, purchase non-perishable items to decrease the pressure of a larger grocery shopping closer to Thanksgiving when the store is packed and the shelves are bare.
3. Make Homemade Stock
Get your veggies and/or chicken bones out now and make your own stock. Homemade stock is much healthier and tastes much better than store-bought stock.
It is easy to make in your crockpot and can be done while you sleep. See How To Make Your Own Stock. If you have purchased an Instant Pot/Pressure Cooker, your stock will be made in less than 2 hours!
Refrigerate or freeze the stock until you are ready to use it.
4. Make Pie Crust/Pies Now
Did you know that can make pie crust and/or pies now and freeze them?
If you truly think about it, there are frozen pie crusts and even whole pies in the freezer section of the grocery store. There is no reason that you can’t freeze your homemade version. The morning of Thanksgiving just pull them out to defrost while the meal is being prepared. See: The Easiest Homemade Pie Crust Recipe.
5. Make And Freeze Sauces/Gravy
One of the best things that you can do now to prepare for Thanksgiving is to make your cranberry sauce and gravy ahead of time.
One of the most stressful moments in the kitchen on Thanksgiving Day is the process of preparing the gravy. It’s not hard to actually make homemade gravy, however, the kitchen is typically full of your guests who are anxiously awaiting the meal and you are stuck making the gravy as the bird rests and the guests hover.
Decrease your stress by using some of your freshly made stock to make your gravy right now. (See our Gravy Recipe). Pour it in a freezer safe container and the morning of Thanksgiving, pull it out to thaw and simply reheat as the bird is resting.
Cranberry sauce is also simple to make and freezes well. We freeze ours in the serving dish that we use so there is no need to transfer it to a different bowl and create another dirty dish.
So do yourself a favor and get a jump-start on a no-stress Thanksgiving Holiday!
Mary and Jim
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