16 Tricks for Keeping Your Sanity If You’re Hosting Thanksgiving
All that cooking and cleaning you have to do can make you feel not so thankful. Here’s how to stay calm during Thanksgiving hosting.
Set your menu a month in advance
I know that sounds early, and can make you feel like you’re overthinking, but an entire month will flash before your eyes on top of everything else you have going on. In order to ensure you’ll have everything you need and enough time to prepare, write out what you want and need for your menu come Thanksgiving. Divide your list into perishables and non-perishables so you know what you can buy and stock up on immediately. Short on time? Here’s how to make an entire Thanksgiving dinner in three hours (seriously)!
Put your cookbooks away
iStock/Maartje van Caspel
Seriously, if you’re following a recipe this Thanksgiving it’s so much easier to print out and tape your recipe on a kitchen cabinet than to have a giant cookbook take up your counter space. It’ll also create an easier visual than to keep bending over and checking the pages with your food-stained fingers.
Set the table the night before
It might sound like common sense, but how many times have you actually set your table the night before? Taking one thing of that Thanksgiving “to-do” list can relieve more stress than you can imagine. Do it the night before that way you have one less thing to worry about come the morning.
Brine your turkey in a cooler
If there is one thing that takes up the most space in your fridge on Thanksgiving, it’s the turkey. You can brine your turkey by putting it in a cooler with a lot of ice, and this will create more room for anything that has to go in the refrigerator. In fact, you can simply use a cooler as an extra fridge for other items. Do whatever helps create the most space and organization for you on the food-packed holiday. Here are the quick answers to the most frequently asked Thanksgiving questions.
Serve a buffet-style meal
Yes, it is a very nice idea to have all the food gathered on the table, to pass it around, and carve and serve the turkey right in front of everyone. But you just spent hours cooking a beautiful meal for everyone in the kitchen—you don’t need to hand it to them too. Set up a buffet on a counter so everyone can put what they want on their plate without all of the “excuse me’s” and “pleases.” With less time serving and more time eating, funny Thanksgiving quotes are the perfect way to get a laugh out of everyone at the dinner table.
Line garbage cans
Double or triple lining your garbage cans can save you a lot of time when it comes to clean up duty. Once a bag is filled to the brim and taken out, a new one will already be set up and waiting for you. Little things like this make the day run smoother. As for the food you don’t throw out, here are some delicious and easy recipes for Thanksgiving leftovers.