Starting with Thanksgiving straight through to New Years Day, this time of the year is truly about food, family and fun! With the holidays, especially Thanksgiving being such an important “food related holiday” the pressure of doing so much and having it turn out just right can be over whelming. So here are a few tips we hope will ease some tension and free-up a little more time for family and friends.
I can’t stress this enough, START EARLY. There are many things that can be done days, even weeks in advance.
2 -3 weeks in advance
Invites and Menu
Have a good idea how many people are coming and what you’re serving. A last minute change of one or two people won’t cause chaos if you’re well prepared.
Extra seating, tables, special food, kosher meal, desserts. The earlier the better and give yourself a reminder to call the week before to confirm your order.
1 week in advance
Call to confirm your earlier orders
Select music; if you have the capabilities make a CD so you can put it on and not have to worry about it for several hours.
Confirm guest; we all know those people that wait ‘til the last minute to RSVP.
Decide on center piece and home decor.
3 days – 1 week in advance
If you like to bake, start your ovens. 3 days to a week in advance is a good time for breads and pies. If it’s a week, freeze until the night before. Three days or less refrigerate until the big day.
2 days before
If you are planning on using a frozen turkey, please read the thawing directions. Most directions say to allow approximately 24 hours per 5 pounds of turkey. Which means; when thawing your turkey in the refrigerator a…
8 to 12 lbs / 1-2 days
12 to 16 lbs / 2-3 days
16 to 20 lbs / 3-4 days
Chop veggies for crudités and recipes. Celery, carrots, onions…have them all pre-chopped and in baggies ready to go.
Day and night before
Double check, double check
Make sure you have all the ingredients you need to prepare your holiday meal.
This should include utensils, containers, and that all equipment is in proper working condition.
Check that you have a roasting pan large enough to hold your turkey and a meat thermometer.
Chill drinks; if you are expecting a large number of guests consider having a back-up cooling system; Second refrigerator and / or coolers filled with ice.
Prepare dips for crudités.
Check and clean stemware and silverware.
Pre-set table and buffet station / cover with sheet or extra table cloth.
Holiday Party checklist:
Do you have?
-Coffee maker/filters and -cups
Trash and recycling bins
Left-over containers and zip-lock bags
…and plenty of warm, comfy seating and a variety of great music.
live, life, deliciously – chef andre