Make it a make-ahead Thanksgiving

thankgiving mealLet’s face it, preparing for a Thanksgiving meal is a lot of work. For some, it can be downright stressful, but it doesn’t need to be. Much of the stress of getting ready for Thanksgiving can be alleviated by following these tips:

  • Don’t procrastinate – the more work you have to do on Thanksgiving day, the more stressful it will be
  • Plan your meal well in advance, and that includes everything from appetizers to desserts
  • Prepare a detailed shopping list – going to the store for extra or missed items is no fun on Thanksgiving day
  • And shop for what’s on that list early – avoid the Wednesday crowds and the possibility of some of your items being out-of-stock
  • Prepare what you can as early as possible – some desserts will freeze, chop your vegetables in advance, and make any casseroles a day or two early
  • Thaw that turkey, probably three days ahead of time (see instructions); nothing can spoil a Thanksgiving dinner faster than waiting around for the bird to be done
  • Get help and try to delegate, if you can – there’s no need to do the entire meal yourself, and it is okay to have your guests bring a dish if they ask
  • Give thanks and enjoy the holiday! After all, that’s what Thanksgiving is all about!

There are many Thanksgiving dishes that can be prepared in advance. Try this classic Make Ahead Mashed Potato recipe that you can prepare on Tuesday before your Thanksgiving meal on Thursday: http://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-makeahead-mashed-potato-casserole-recipes-from-the-kitchn-212438.

And here is a healthy Wild Mushroom Stuffing that can be prepared on Wednesday. In fact, there are many stuffing recipes that can be prepared ahead of time: http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/wild_mushroom_stuffing.html.

And check out this Roasted Butternut Squash Soup that can be prepared ten days in advance, that’s on Tuesday, November 18: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/roasted-butternut-squash-soup-and-curry-condiments-recipe.html.

So get started as soon as you can and avoid the stress of last minute preparations. And by all means, take a few minutes from you meal preparation and think about how lucky you are and how thankful we should be for the blessings we’ve been given.

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