Thanksgiving time-saving tips

Thanksgiving can be an overwhelming prospect if it’s your turn to host. You’re tasked with cooking a multiple-pound bird to moist perfection, having a boatload of side dishes and transforming your home into a holiday oasis. But don’t let yourself get too stressed out, because there are numerous time-saving tricks you can put to good use.

Make ahead
Not every dish on the Thanksgiving dinner menu has to be made the day of. Write out a game plan detailing which foods you can prepare in advance.

Dessert – Pies keep well for a couple of days. The evening before, recruit friends and family members for a pie-baking party. This way, you can still offer an assortment of treats, but won’t feel weighed down by all the work. Also, you can always purchase your pies from a bakery. There is no shame in showing your patronage at a deserving local shop.

Cold dishes – Most dishes that are refrigerated can also be made ahead. Make your lettuce-based salads and fruit salads a couple days before and store them in the cooler.

Seasoning – You shouldn’t pre-cook the turkey, but you can get started seasoning the bird. To ensure a moist final product, many people brine the turkey before cooking it. Place the thawed turkey in a container filled with water and a generous amount of salt. Then, add other seasonings like peppercorns and bay leaves and allow it to sit in the fridge for a few hours. Once it’s ready you can dry off the bird and apply your favorite seasonings. Then, place it in the fridge once again so it will be ready to pop in the oven the next morning.

A potluck dinner is the ultimate time saver. Have everyone bring their dish of choice and you can concentrate on the turkey and beverages. If you go this route, make a list to ensure all your bases are covered. There should be a variety of sides, desserts and savory dishes.

Recruit help
You can grab a friend or family member to help you with any and every part of Thanksgiving preparation.

Plan for leftovers
Be the ultimate hostess by customizing lunch bags for your guests. Write a special Thanksgiving message on each with an image of a turkey. At the end of the evening, your guests can pile in leftovers they can enjoy the following day.

Check out our wide assortment of fall customizable party favors and other goods to make your bash a success.

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