For those brave enough to accept the challenge, hosting Thanksgiving is one of the most daunting holiday tasks that can be taken on. Luckily, there are plenty of tips and strategies to help reduce stress and improve efficiency. These 5 tips will help you rise to the occasion:
1. Be Prepared: Before you begin the epic battle in the kitchen, get your game plan ready. Know how many guests are coming, know all of the ingredients needed, think through the timeline of your event and what you’ll need at each step. All Recipes is a great place to find an abundance of delicious Thanksgiving recipes and tips.
2. Make the Most of Your Space: Hosting a large Thanksgiving dinner can be hard in an apartment, so it’s important to make the most of your space. Clean up the clutter in your home the week before, rearrange the furniture, and make as much space for guests to stand and sit as you possibly can. If you have a small kitchen, put your table in the center of your living room. If you are lacking in chairs, use your couch as seating. Put a cooler on your patio or balcony to use as a backup fridge.
3. Get More Done Ahead of Time: Look for dishes that can be made ahead of time even if this means just getting certain portions of dishes completed early. Set the table the night before. Taste of Home has a number of dishes that can be made ahead of time.
4. Make a Cooking Schedule: Most of us only have one oven, so you have to be strategic about what goes in and when. A good rule of thumb is to cook the turkey first and tent it with aluminum foil to rest while you prep the gravy, pop the vegetables in for a roast, or reheat mashed potatoes. Have a small group? Just buy and bake part of the bird. Turkey breasts cook much faster separately.
- Never Turn Down a Helping Hand: The fastest way to reduce hosting stress is to ask for help. Having some guests bring some of the smaller dishes can help save space in your kitchen. Use all hands on deck to divide the work and conquer!
With a few good tips, a little planning, and a good game-day strategy, hosting a successful Thanksgiving dinner is within reach. For more great tips and strategies for tackling your Thanksgiving, check out Genius Kitchen, and be sure to check back on Rent-One for more great ideas and advice!