Thursday, November 18, 2010

Put Thanksgiving Meal Stress on the Back Burner

As Thanksgiving Day approaches, the tension is mounting for the cooks. That's especially the case if company is coming!

But it doesn't have to be that way. For starters, it is, after all, THANKSGIVING DAY!
We have much to be thankful for, and so it is important to focus on that. All the rest is small stuff. For starters, if you have smiling faces on the people you love as they gather around the table, you could serve up macaroni and cheese and celebrate!

So if you're planning the traditional dinner, and you have the money to go grocery shopping because you have a job, and you have a table around which to gather the people you love ~
you're rich by the much of the world's standards.

The best strategy in getting ready for the big meal to plan ahead and keep it simple.

The central player is the turkey, so buy it early enough so it will have time to thaw. (The larger ones can take a couple of days to thaw in the fridge.) If you're planning on making a cranberry salad, that should be done the day before.

If you're having company, let someone else bring a potato dish (sweet potatoes or traditional, mashed potatoes) because managing both, along with gravy, is probably the most time consuming part. If your not having guests, assign that task to another member of the family.

Once the turkey is stuffed and in the oven (usually early in the morning to be ready by midday), you can then focus on a couple of healthy side dishes ~ with recipes calling for green beans, squash or carrots.

Here's another tip. Clean up pans and dishes as you go ~ then you won't be overwhelmed with the messy array spread over the stove and counter tops, and spilling over into the kitchen sink.

If you have children over age five, let them set the table. (You can fine tune the layout later!)

Another key: Focus on the moments and the tasks right in front of you and forget about the litany that remains to be done. Also ~ take a minute every now and then to just breathe!

Don't get hung up on the Norman Rockwell vision in your head of the perfect holiday setting. That guarantees it won't be what you hope for. Embrace what surrounds you, with all its imperfections.

And smile a lot ~ because that's what everyone will remember.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

1 comment:

Sheri said...

I'm thankful for your wonderfully wise tips.

And thankful for our friendship.

Happy Thanksgiving!