Thanksgiving is wonderful because it’s all about enjoying a magnificent feast with the people you love. But feeding an army requires your kitchen to operate with the precision of a quartz watch and expectations are high. The food must be ready at the same time – it can’t get cold and Cousin Bobby is notorious for sneaking bites if you set out dishes too early – and taste authentically homemade.
As commander of the kitchen, you can use these seven hacks to save yourself time, space, and stress on Thanksgiving:
Hack #1: Prep All Vegetables in Advance
Wash, chop, slice, and dice all of the veggies you’ll need a day or two in advance of Thanksgiving and store them in the fridge. Prepping vegetables can be very time consuming and will save you a lot of stress if you get it done ahead of time.
Hack #2: Peel Garlic Faster By Microwaving
There are easy ways to peel just about any food item, so look for a shortcut before you struggle through pulling off tiny strips of skin. Peeling garlic, for example, is a lot easier if you pop the cloves in the microwave for 10 seconds. The warmed cloves with slip right out of their casings.
Hack #3: Make Slow Cookers Your Kitchen Assistants
Shuffling dishes in and out of the oven can be the biggest stress on Thanksgiving. Free up space by using slow cookers as stand-ins for your oven. Plug in your slow cooker and grab any extras from friends and neighbors to keep gravy, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casseroles, and anything else warm until the dinner bell rings.
Hack #4: Put Your Camping Thermos to Good Use
Dig out that giant thermos you use for camping – or maybe it’s what you use for your daily coffee fix – and pour in the gravy you’ve expertly whisked and boiled. The thermos will keep your gravy warm, while saving space on the stovetop.
Hack #5: Turn Coolers Into Warmers
Thanksgiving feasts typically have a few coolers scattered around the house full of ice and adult beverages. Seize one of these coolers and line it with foil – voila, you have a makeshift warming oven. Large and rectangular, coolers are the perfect shape and size to neatly tuck away several side dishes until you’re ready to serve them.
Hack #6: Melt Vanilla Ice Cream for a Sweet Topping
Crème anglaise is essentially melted vanilla ice cream, so throw some ice cream in the microwave for a last-minute option when you need a sugary sauce. Pour the melted scoops over your sweet potatoes or any dessert.
Hack #7: Bring In the Professionals For Dessert
Pumpkin spice cake squares are just as tasty as pumpkin pie, so why stress about hand-shaping the perfect crust? Ne-Mo’s cake squares are scratch-baked from traditional family recipes and come in nine delicious flavors. No one will be able to tell that you didn’t bake them yourself and you’ll save the time and oven space.
What are some of your best Thanksgiving cooking hacks? Comment below to share with us.