Last Minute Thanksgiving Secrets from a Chef

As a general rule, you might cook 3-4 meals per week in a kitchen designed to accommodate 2 adults and 2.2 children and then Wham! You are expected to produce a meal for 20 for the family.

Add the crowd gathers in the kitchen, wine consumption, and scampering children and you have conditions tough for even experienced cooks. You’re headed for disaster before you begin. But wait! Just follow this advice for a stress free Thanksgiving dinner plan.

 

  1. Assign guests appetizers, wine or dessert. This frees up the kitchen for cooking and you are in control of the flow of side dishes.
  2. Don’t mess with family traditions. I still hear from my husband the year I put chocolate chips in the Pecan pie. We all get tired of making the same thing every year, but don’t omit the “mutiny” items. Add new items instead of replacing a family favorite.
  3. Choose items that can be held in a crock pot or made ahead if possible. Potatoes hold well in a crock pot, as well as sauces.
  4. Don’t try to make everything fresh on Thanksgiving day. This is impossible unless you stay up all night or have a commercial sized kitchen with multiple appliances. Make the gravy and desserts the day before. Keep Appetizers simple such as a cheese and smoked salmon platter, or fresh veggies with dips and spreads.
  5. You have worked for hours and planned for days. Linger over dinner and have another glass of wine before clearing any dishes. Give everyone a chance to relax and enjoy a delicious meal.
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