Thanksgiving revolves around the kitchen. Whether you are cooking for two or twenty, getting your kitchen ready now will help ensure your holiday goes smoothly on the 24th. From kitchen island ideas to planning a menu and setting a festive table, here are three helpful tips to get your kitchen Thanksgiving-ready, so you can be the host with the most fun and the least stress!
#1: Start with a clean kitchen.
If you are lucky enough to have a kitchen island, the holidays are the best time to put it to use! Not only do islands afford extra seating, but they also can serve as a prep station or buffet.
Make sure your island (and the rest of your kitchen) is clean and clutter-free. That means filing away the loose papers that have accumulated, stashing the leftover Halloween candy in the pantry cabinet, and wiping down your cabinet doors, countertops, sink, and floor. And don’t forget the places you can’t see, like the inside of the microwave, fridge, and oven. Your appliances are vital for a successful holiday, and you will be glad you tackled this now and not later.
No one can think clearly when surrounded by a mess. Clean your head and your kitchen so you can sit down and start your menu and shopping list.
#2: Create your menu and shopping list.
Once you have scoured the Internet for recipes and pulled out your favorite holiday cookbooks, it’s time to start creating your menu for the big day. Decide what you are going to make, then print or make copies of all the recipes to put in a folder or binder. This is your Thanksgiving playbook and will make your life so much easier when it comes time to cook.
Next, put together a list of ingredients and the amounts you will need for your feast. And don’t forget extra disposable containers for any leftovers! Check your pantry, refrigerator and freezer to see what you have on hand, and cross off anything you don’t need to buy. Then add the list to your playbook for safe keeping until you are ready to hit the grocery store.
#3: Gather what you need for your table.
Once your menu and shopping list are complete, make sure you have enough serving ware, napkins, utensils, glasses, and dishes. If you are going semi-casual (for easy cleanup), add paper products and clear plastic cups to your list. You will also want to make sure you have enough seating to accommodate your guests.
Naturally, you will want your table to be festive, so gather up all your harvest decorations now. If you are having a formal, sit-down meal you will need an autumn tablecloth or chargers, candles, and a nice centerpiece.
Set the table the night before so things don’t get lost in the shuffle, and make any pies or side dishes ahead of time so you are not leaving everything for the last minute. With a little early prep work, your holiday will be much more enjoyable. Have a happy Thanksgiving!
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