Monday, November 21, 2011

Manage the Stress: Hosting Thanksgiving

The rotation Gods worked in our favor this year, and somehow we have escaped hosting duties for any of the major holidays!
But, I can say I've been there and I know that right about now, some of you are freaking. out. about Thanksgiving.
How do I know?  Because when it was my turn, I was freaking out, too. :)

So today I'm sharing just a couple things I learned along the way - OK, basically things my Mom told me that I wrote down - that will help you manage your day and keep from a stress-and- turkey-induced meltdown into a pot of mashed potatoes.

So, here we go:

Plan a schedule for your day ahead of time, and for the love of God write it down.
Come that Thursday morning, depending on when your meal is being served, you may need to be up and at 'em early to get that bird in the oven, and the last thing you need is a battle with sleepy brain for all the prep work you need to do.  Don't forget to include things like "Shower and get dressed", because otherwise I forgot you might forget.

2) Clean in Stages.

In these last few days before the holiday, do a little bit each day to get your house in order.  Do the floors one day.  Maybe the next is laundry and bedding/towels/toiletries for guests.  The night before, do your surface cleaning and your food prep.  And don't be afraid to enlist your spouse/significant other/kids for help. 
 There's no medal at the end of the day for saying "I did every bit of this myself!".  Ask for help.  Your sanity will thank you.

3) The Potato Ricer

Yes, I'm totally including my favorite kitchen gadget on this list.  Why?  Because lumpy mashed potatoes stress me theheck out.
 I don't care about other peoples' potatoes, but when I'm making mashed potatoes nothing screams "they'll think I'm lazy!" like those fat lumps of starch.
So, I rice them. 
It takes 5 extra minutes once you get the hang of it, and it is oh, so worth it.
Smooth, creamy mounds of perfect potato-y goodness is all I'm saying. 
Add in some minced garlic, a tiny bit of sour cream and some Parmesan cheese and you'll get some rave reviews on those 'taters, I promise!

4) Take a Moment
It's okay to take 5 and have a glass of wine at noon when you're hosting Thanksgiving.  Or have some vino to sip on while you're prepping your veggies. 

Or just stop and watch a little bit of the Thanksgiving Day Parade while you're cutting carrots. 
Or whatever. 
The point is, you DON'T have to go, go, go all day.  It will be FINE.
Just because you're hosting doesn't mean you shouldn't get to enjoy the day, too.
So Stop.
Repeat. :)

Is this rocket science? 
Goodness no.  But hopefully a couple of these tips will help make your Thanksgiving go juuuuuust a bit more smoothly, and maybe you'll get to relax and enjoy yerself that much more.
  And that can make ALL the difference!

1 comment:

  1. I think I drooled a little bit as i read about your mashed potatoes hehe.