The holidays are almost here. If you are hosting, it can be stressful with all the cooking and cleaning. You can also read this post for helpful cleaning tips.
Feel you are not ready for the holidays? I know I am not. I keep my house clean but once you get behind; it is hard to catch up. Some of us get busy with work. Everyone we know has a cold or the flu. That makes preparing much harder. Here are some of my favorite tips.
Confirm with your guests on Monday or Tuesday. Sometimes people forget you don’t want to make food for twelve people and have only ten show up. You also should double check in case someone brings a plus one.
Don’t turn down offers to help. If you have a relative that offers to come over and help you get your house ready to accept the help. If you can’t think of something for someone to do that can help you ask them to bring an extra bottle of wine or a side dish.
Consider making it a potluck dinner. That means less work and stress.
Cook now. Pie Crust freezes well so make it ahead of time and in my experience piecrust is a pain to make from scratch. Go ahead and Google make-ahead Thanksgiving and see what you find. If you want to do homemade pies, opt for ones with Graham cracker crusts.
Graham cracker crusts take minutes to make. I put crackers in a Ziploc bag. I poke two holes, so the bag doesn’t explode, and I crush them with the back of a spoon or the rolling pin. You melt butter, mix, and press it into the pie pan. Mix things up and add Nilla wafers. There are many recipes on the web.
I try to be earth friendly so I hate creating waste. You could buy some recycled paper plates and recycled napkins. Many retailers carry disposable recyclable or biodegradable cutlery. I know it’s so hard to serve food on a paper plate because it’s not attractive. Even serving dessert on a paper plate you can cut down on your dishes.
Don’t wait to go to the grocery store. The weekend before a holiday the stores are crowded. The day before it’s crowded even worse. If you like using Amazon Prime Now or some kind of delivery service take advantage. I suggest you check your fridge make sure you have forgotten nothing. There are fresh ingredients you may need at the last minute.
Consider Googling strange hacks for cooking. There are odd ones out there. You can use the rinse cycle of your dishwasher to wash potatoes.
Line your pan with foil. Bake your ham cut side down and baste it often for a juicer ham.
Use your Crock Pot or Instant Pot to make mashed potatoes. No boiling. It saves a burner. What’s not to like.
Opt for a simple breakfast like store-bought cinnamon rolls and fresh fruit. You will do enough cooking.
Buying prepared food is ok. You can make your sides but consider purchasing a precooked Ham.
Prep the night before. You can chop veggies and boil eggs the night before. I will use small containers or zip-lock bags to combine spices for dishes too.
Dig out your gravy boat and platters and make sure they are clean. We only use ours once a year, and they can get dusty.
Add baking soda when you hard-boil eggs. It makes them easier to peel. If you’re making deviled eggs, you want those eggs to peel perfectly.
Between, starting the food and waiting for the guests arrive you sit down and relax for 15 minutes at least. Try to worry about anything or anyone else. I know that’s hard, but you’re working hard and deserve a rest it will help you enjoy the day more to decompress.
I hope you enjoyed these tips and they are helpful to you. What is your favorite Holiday hack?
Need more help to prep for the holidays?
Read my post on how to get your home clean for the holidays.
Read my post on how to keep your tub clean without scrubbing.