Plan Ahead for the Big Meal
The first idea is to begin the preparations early. Many people will buy their groceries early and let everything set until the night before at the earliest. This year, try to create a list a week before of the food items you will be serving on Thanksgiving Day.
Another great idea is to cook ahead and freeze. A few of the food items that are great candidates for freezing include casseroles, macaroni and cheese, and rice dishes. Make sure these items completely cool before placing them in the refrigerator. This prevents condensation from forming on top of the food. Once the dish has completely cooled, cover it with an airtight lid or even freezer bags. Place the dish in the freezer until Thanksgiving morning when they can be pulled out and reheated.
Want to save a little more time? Buy a fresh turkey instead of a frozen one. This will definitely save you some time as a frozen turkey needs to thaw in the refrigerator for four to five days before it can be prepared. This will also free up some room in your refrigerator. By going with the fresh turkey you have the option of buying it later, without worrying about where you will store it until Thanksgiving Day. A fresh turkey can also be cooked a day or two before and reheated on Thanksgiving Day.
The next idea is to purchase or make appetizers. Is your Thanksgiving dinner always ready at a precise time that you set for it to be done? It's hard to believe that there are many households that have dinner on the table at an exact time. In case dinner is running a little behind you can munch on a tray of raw vegetables with ranch dip. A fruit salad even works well as an appetizer. These appetizers are light and healthy and won't spoil your appetite for dinner.
Do you have a plan for the big turkey day? Or are you pretty much planning to just wing it? By planning ahead it takes the guesswork out of the occasion. This leaves plenty of time to enjoy your family and friends and the great food you've prepared.