I serve an omnivore – vegan thanksgiving extravaganza each year. This year I will have about 12 people (I think). So because I am a little OCD and I love fresh food I always wait until the last second to get veggies. This causes a mess of a problem because now I must peel, chop, julienne, etc. in a short amount of time. I learned my lesson this year and started already. I peeled, chopped, diced, and whatever-ed all of my veggies that I could already. Bagged them and sorted them into the crisper. I have the bruises on my hands to prove it and a few knife cuts on my palm and some missing nail polish from that pesky mandolin. However I feel so accomplished! Here are my tips to fast track your Thanksgiving preparation:
- One month before, order your roast or turkey or tofurkey or field roast en croute.
- 2-4 weeks before, hire someone to clean your house the day before the holiday (It is about $150 for a whole house but you can prob get a good deal for just the downstairs). That way they can clean up whatever leftovers are on the floor from your chopping that the dog didn’t want.
- One week before get all linens, dishes, china, etc. cleaned. Get your hair done. Get your nails done (shellac or gel is smart in this case). Buy any theme holiday items that you need. Set your table aesthetics but not plates.
- Buy all your veggies the weekend before or a few days ahead.
- Wash, Chop, and Bag all veggies as you get them. This will make mashed potatoes and roasted veggies go fast the night before. It sounds crazy but peeling one large potato takes about 30 seconds. It will be worth it to do it as you get them when you have 10 lbs to peel and chop.
- Buy yourself something easy for breakfast so that you don’t need to cook. Donuts, danishes, or just plain old cereal and fruit. You WILL need energy the day of.
- Two nights before, pre-bake crust or buy them already done. Pre-chop all fruit and make any rice or pasta and bag it. Fruit can be tossed with a little water and lemon juice if you are afraid of browning.
- The day before Thanksgiving make any sauces and dips. They always taste better if they infuse overnight. Slice any cheeses and prepare any doughs (cookie dough or bread dough).
- The night before make any roasted veggies, casseroles, and prep desserts. You can bake desserts fresh since they come after dinner and all your casseroles and veggies can be warmed up while the turkey sits and cools a bit. Also brine your turkey if you get one and place in the fridge.
- The morning of place out all plates and appetizer arrangements without the food on them so that you are ready. Make your significant other get up early to put the turkey in the oven, you aren’t eating it anyway 😉
- Sit down have some tea and a danish and baste that turkey or tofurkey.
- An hour before arrival bring out ice, glasses, drinks, and appetizers and plate them.
- By the time you are done others will be arriving. You will look like you have it all together!
- When the turkey comes out place all precooked dinner entrees in the oven to warm back up.
- When it is time to eat place the desserts in and remove all appetizers and place in covered containers.
- After dinner place leftovers in large bowls and containers. At the end of the night you will have a buffet for people to make take home bags!
- Place out desserts and coffee and tea after dinner has been over roughly an hour to two hours. People need time to settle.
- Take a walk during this time or have an impromptu flag football game for the guys and kids! Or do the dishes if its too cold!
- Last, enjoy dessert. Set up the to go containers (I ask all my guests to bring some with) and set up the buffet for people to take home whats left.
- You will have less to put away or eat later on in the week 🙂
FOOD IS LOVE. Happy Holidays from My family to yours.
THE HIPPIE GYPSY