10 Tips for a Stress-Free Thanksgiving Dinner-Part One

by Mary Papoulias-Platis

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Have you been nominated to have Thanksgiving Dinner this year?  Well, let me help you make that a successful day. I have it all planned out for you! There are two ways you can approach this assignment. Have everyone bring a dish, or prepare it yourself which is what I prefer, so the dinner is balanced and you don’t have too many of one dish and not enough of the other. If you start early with the little things, you won’t feel rushed. Trust me if you follow these tips it will be much easier and relaxing for you that day and have time to enjoy your family. Don’t forget to continue and read Part Two.

nov. calendar

Start planning two weeks ahead of time.

Pull out your recipes and read them.

  1. make sure you have all the ingredients including spices, nuts, flours, fresh baking soda and powder, dried fruit, rices, pastas, teas,coffees,etc.
  2. count how many baking pans you will need including; baking sheets, dutch oven, casserole dishes, soup pots, large and small bowls.
  3. plan out and visualize how each dish will look in that bowl or platter on your table and take out post-it notes and label each platter with that recipe.(do the same for appetizers and dessert.)
  4. draw out on a piece of paper where everything is going to be placed on the buffet table or on your table.  Use a card table if you need space next to your table.
  5. pencil out how your plate will look when you have everything on it, and is your menu balanced. Do have enough veggies, salad, greens, potatoes, rice or stuffing?
  6. plan your shopping trip by starting out with a list. Divide your paper by subjects.   Vegetables, Meats, Cheese/Dairy, Dry products, Drinks, Cans, Paper products, liquor,misc.
  7. list by starting with one recipe at a time, all the ingredients you will need even if you have them. (you might use them up before that date.) Closer to your shopping day cross out what you have in your pantry or refrigerator.
  8. take a look at what you need for your table setting regarding, dishes, glasses, silverware, chairs, flowers, pull them out and count them. Borrow to make up the rest.
  9. wash all your platters, tablecloths, flower containers, polish your furniture and silver, deep clean your house, wash the dog (that maybe too soon).
  10. plan a trip to your favorite store for decorations (look for coupons), your local park for green or dried cutting, acorns, pine cones, pretty dried leaves. (too soon for your table)

Label all your platter, dishes, and pans. Washed and cleaned. Visualize your plate, list your menu, make your shopping list. Break it up into three shopping days. Pull out your table setting, flowers, candles, and tablecloths. Set the table a week ahead of time.     Clip coupons from your local newspapers before you head out to the stores.

Clip flowers, branches, greens from your yard or nearby fields. And not your neighbor’s yard!

More Thanksgiving Recipes

thanksgiving picture

© 2011 – 2014, Mary Papoulias-Platis. All rights reserved.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Viki

An answer from an expert! Thanks for conrtuibting.

2 Lizthechef

Great summary – enjoy the holiday! FYI, your Facebook button on lower right is not working for me – but I “liked” you long ago…

3 Cathy | She Paused 4 Thought

I so needed this list. Thank you!

4 Mary Papoulias-Platis

Thank you Liz! I miss your cooking and great conversations with you!

5 Mary Papoulias-Platis

This list is a good guide, changing yearly. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

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