Preparing a full meal or even just a few side dishes for Thanksgiving can be overwhelming, especially if you don’t cook much during the rest of the year. Simplifying your cooking routine can make the holiday a lot less stressful. Whether you’re preparing your first holiday meal or have been in the kitchen for years, these simple ideas for Thanksgiving will make cooking and prep work easy as pie.
Make What You Can in Advance
Prepare as much as you can in advance of the big day. To make assembling side dishes easier, chop up the vegetables, cut up bread crumbs, and make sauces a few days in advance. Store the chopped veggies in zip-top bags or plastic containers in your refrigerator.
If you’re making a pie or two, prepare the dough for the crust a week or so ahead of time, then wrap tightly and store in the refrigerator until Thanksgiving.
Add Space to Your Oven
Your oven will likely be a crowded spot on Thanksgiving. Make more room by putting an extra shelf on the bottom of the oven. The additional shelf means you can put one more dish in the oven at a time, getting the most from the oven and cutting down on the amount of time you need to bake or roast everything. With an extra shelf, you don’t have to worry about dishes becoming too cool while others finish up baking.
Clean as You Go
Do as much clean up as you can while in the process of preparing and cooking food. If you wash dishes or load the dishwasher as you work, you avoid ending up with a kitchen that looks like a disaster zone at the end of the day.
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