With Thanksgiving just under two weeks away, the countdown is on for those hosting the big meal. In between juggling guests’ food preferences, getting the turkey in the oven, and making your home presentable, preparing for Thanksgiving can turn into a storm cloud of to-do’s. We’ve got you covered; we’re heading straight into the eye of the storm — the kitchen — with some tips and tricks for staying organized before, during, and after your Thanksgiving feast.
Prep: Before the Big Day
Check utensils and cookware. In addition to making sure you have all the ingredients for your recipes, you’ll want to check you have everything you need to prepare them. Do a quick inventory to make sure your pots, pans, roasting racks, meat thermometer, whisks, and other tools in good shape. This includes one of your most important kitchen tools: knives. Sharpen them for the hours of prep work ahead!
Clean appliances. Start Thanksgiving prep with a clean slate. Make room in the fridge by tossing out leftovers and moving unneeded items to coolers or the garage. Give your oven a thorough scrub, whether via the self-cleaning setting or by hiring a Tasker to help add some elbow grease. Line the bottom of the oven with fresh aluminum foil to catch turkey drippings. You’ll thank yourself later when it’s time for post-meal cleanup.
Make ahead and freeze what you can. The key to a low-key Thanksgiving in the kitchen is to do most of the work beforehand. With a bit of planning, you can stock your freezer with most of your menu in the weeks ahead, including rolls, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, pie crust, and stuffing.
Cook & Clean-up: Kitchen Hacks
Get creative with storage. Kitchen space will be a luxury as you get closer to Thanksgiving, so repurpose common household items for extra food storage. Reassign those condiment bottles to coolers for extra fridge space, or use a cooler to brine your turkey. Taskers tell us they also love using thermoses and slow cookers to keep gravy and mashed potatoes warm.
Get room temperature butter in 8 minutes. We’ve all been there: a recipe calls for softened or room temperature butter, and we’re halfway through mixing but the butter is still in the fridge. You try Next time, try this shortcut. Microwave a glass of water for three minutes. Then empty the glass and place it over the butter for five minutes to speed up softening.
Easy pie crust prep. Pie crust is notoriously tricky. If the butter is too warm, the crust won’t flake. Rather than mess with a pastry cutter or attempt to cut butter with forks (always messy processes), grate frozen butter for an extra flaky pie crust.
Quick-peel potatoes. Make mashed potatoes an even easier side dish with this easy potato peeling trick. Boil potatoes until cooked, then place into ice water for 5-10 seconds until cooled. The skins will slide right off.
Wish you could quit the holidays cold turkey? Book a Tasker to take some stress off your plate.