We have hosted Thanksgiving for 25 years and have had our share of large and small groups. So, to help you save time today, I put together these Thanksgiving time-saving tips.
Thanksgiving Time Saving Tips
- Don't worry about ironing the tablecloths. It's not necessary. The trick I use is to wash and dry the tablecloth and place it right on the table.
- Set the table early. I like to set the table in the morning. It looks pretty and doesn't have to be done at the last minute. Pull out chairs too.
- Write up a timeline. Start with the time you want to eat. Then subtract the cooking and prep time for the different meals and side dishes.
- Don't stuff the turkey. It saves time when cooking.
- Prep salad ingredients in the morning and place them in bags, and store them in the refrigerator. I like this one. It helps when I have to make a salad at the last minute.
- Setup up the appetizer tray and cover it with plastic wrap, and store it in the refrigerator around 12:00 PM. This way, you will have them ready when people come over later.
- Make desserts the day before. We make our pies the day before and set them aside. It works well. And, since our pumpkin pies do not need to be refrigerated, they can be left out.
I hope this helps you to save time on your Thanksgiving day. May your Thanksgiving be enjoyable and without stress. What is your favorite time-saving tip for Thanksgiving? Please share below. Until next time.
Feel free to check out these posts I found online:
10 Sanity-Saving Thanksgiving Tips, Tricks and Hacks from The Food Network
18 Simple Time-Saving Ideas To Help You Prepare For The Thanksgiving Meal from BuzzFood
I've read that it's not safe to eat stuffing cooked inside a turkey, so there's another reason not to do that! We did it all the time growing up and I don't remember anyone getting sick, but our food just isn't the same as it was back then, is it?
I heard that too. It also takes way longer to cook a turkey when you stuff it. I don't want to be up early in the morning to start cooking a turkey either. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. =)
Creating a timeline, especially with a complex menu, has saved the day many times in my house. I would add figuring out cooking/serving dishes and utensils a day or two before. Then if you need to borrow something, you’ll have time to do so.
Great tip, Andi, it's funny how we forget about the serving utensils. When I pull out the serving dishes, I make it a point to pull out the utensils right then so I have everything out and ready. Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Happy Thanksgiving!
I am a believer in all of these suggestions. I am frequently the host for Thanksgiving, and I start early. I make pie crusts and freeze them a couple of weeks ahead. There is one sauce I can make on Tuesday. All chopping and measuring, as well as pies, are done on Wednesday. I don't usually eat in the dining room so I might set that up today:) Great ideas!
That's a great idea about making pie crusts and freezing. Thanks for sharing, Seana. Hope you and your family have a great Thanksgiving!
We're like you and love hosting Thanksgiving. I'm not sure how many total times we've hosted, but the first one we hosted was 35 years ago. My husband and I tag team it. When our daughters lived at home, they enjoyed being part of the Thanksgiving prep too. My biggest time-saving tip is to invest time in planning: when we'll shop, cook, set the table, and who will do what, etc. The other thing I've done is generate some simple Word documents that I update each year which also help keep me on track. My husband has his own lists that he's created. We work our lists together. However, my favorite time-saver is a color-coded index card graphic I made which helps me organize pie baking times and temperatures so that I can be efficient with the oven. Wishing you and your family a happy Thanksgiving!
Thank you, Linda, for sharing. That's wonderful that you and your husband work together through this holiday. We do the same thing. We love to cook, especially together so while my husband deals with the turkeys (yes, turkeys), I prepare with the sides. A few days before we start preparing the stuffing and dessert dishes. We reuse an Excel file list of ingredients that have all the recipe ingredients on it so we can tabulate how many of each ingredient we need. Then, we start shopping for the pantry items a few weeks before then the fresh items the Sunday before so we only have to go out and pick up the turkeys a few days before. It's a process but it is fun. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.
Wow, that's a long history of hosting Turkey Day...I too always write up a timeline for what goes in the oven at what time. This holiday always calls for mad multitasking skills! Hope your Thanksgiving was a good one!