Thanksgiving should be about spending time with your family, not your oven. So to help you cut down on the time spent in the kitchen, here are a few of my Thanksgiving Day time savers:
1. Making mashed potatoes? Use Yukon Gold potatoes and leave the skin on. Then use your apple slicer to cut them so they cook faster! Just like with apples, you’ll want to make sure you cut an end off so it sits flat on your board.
2. If your children (or significant other) insist on skinless mashed potatoes, boil them whole and the skin will rub off. Just stick them in an ice bath and let them cool down first! Second-degree burns do not make for a fun Thanksgiving.
3. Don’t waste time fighting for fridge space. Clear out the dressings and condiments and store them in an ice-filled cooler in the garage.
4. Put your gravy in a thermos so it’s off your stove and out of the way but still stays warm. Pour into a gravy boat just before serving.
5. Weigh the cost of prep time versus the cost of buying pre-cut and cleaned ingredients from your grocery store’s salad bar. Sometimes the cost of letting someone else do it is worth it!
6. Print out your recipes! Don’t risk destroying your tablet as you swipe through various recipes. Print out what you need and use painter’s tape to secure to cabinet at eye-level. Better yet, tape them up in the order you plan to cook and use post-it notes in between if there’s something that needs to be done prior to starting a recipe (like preheating the oven or boiling water).
7. Did your bird cook just a little too long? Moisten your turkey meat slices by drizzling a bit of warm chicken broth over them.
8. Have a houseful of guests coming that love to “help”? Have tasks planned ahead of time for those that just insist on assisting. Child-wrangling, table setting, hors d’oeuvres serving, and wine glass filling are all great options to keep people busy and out of your way.
9. Microwave your sweet potatoes to save time and stove top space. Just poke with a fork a few times and microwave 5-7 minutes. For a quick and delicious dessert option, you can then slice open, top with marshmallows, and stick in your broiler for 30 seconds.
10. Ginger makes for a great addition to many different dishes. Peel it quickly and easily by using a spoon.
11. Put your crockpots to use (borrow if you need to)! Figure out how much space you’ll need for prep work and then use whatever you have left to lay out those crockpots. There’s countless delicious dishes you can make, such as apple crumble, rosemary acorn squash, or even the turkey itself!
12. Wear latex gloves to mix by hand without getting yourself and your sink covered in food. This is especially great for creaming together butter and sugar if you’re making cookies.
13. Forget to take your butter out prior to sitting down to dinner? Heat up a drinking glass by running warm water over it or by putting it in the microwave for a few seconds then place it upside-down, over the butter. The butter soften quickly and will now be the right consistency to easily cut and spread.
14. Want your house to smell great without the fear of someone knocking over a candle? Have a pot of hot water, orange peels, and cinnamon sticks simmering throughout the morning before you start cooking.
15. If you plan to bake cookies, bake them ahead of time and keep them moist with apples! Store them in Tupperware along with an apple wedge and the cookies will draw in moisture from the apple, ensuring they taste fresh from the oven once your guests arrive. If you are storing them for more than 24 hours, replace the wedge as needed.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
I hope you are able to enjoy some extra time with your family this week!