KSN/KODE — Not everyone has the time it takes to prepare for a full Thanksgiving meal. Even seasoned chefs will creatively prep what they can to make the stress of juggling multiple dishes a breeze. Here’s a few hacks to save time and space that you should consider when putting together your feast this holiday season:
1-2-3 Potato Hack
- Throw your dirty potatoes into the top rack of your dishwasher and run them through a rinse cycle while you prepare something else (don’t add soap of course). Skipping the handwashing will save you time!
- Cut and boil your potatoes until fork tender. Lay a wire cooling wrack on top of a large bowl, and push the skinned potatoes through. The potato skin will get caught in the wire rack while releasing the rest of those taters into the bowl. This will cut down on the time you might spend peeling potatoes.
- Put your potatoes in a crock pot to keep them warm and out of the way. While you’re at it, put your gravy into a thermos or insulated tumbler to keep it warm and out of the way, too! This can save you valuable oven and stove space!
Laundry Basket Hack
If you aren’t hosting but you’re bringing something to the holiday meal, load up everything into a short laundry basket. It’s easy to carry and then, you can put everything you take back home into the laundry basket as well.
Soup and Pie Hack
Prepare your soup in advance. Whether you freeze or chill it, on the day of your meal, you can put it into a crockpot to heat up while you utilize your stove for other dishes. This will make it easier to serve, as well.
Most baked goods can be baked in advance and froze without compromising the quality or taste. Make your pies ahead of time and freeze them. The day before your feast, take out your pies and bake them! The next day, you’ll have more oven space and time that isn’t spent on pie activities.
Condiment Cooler Hotbox Hack
Create more space in your fridge by clearing out everything you won’t need for Thanksgiving dinner. Put all the cold things into a cooler! If it works for picnics, float trips, and tailgating, it’ll be good for one day!
If you need a warmer, you can fill another cooler with hot water and let it sit for 10 minutes. Drain the water, quickly line with foil, and put the food you need to keep warm inside your new hot box!
Baking Sheet Recipe Hack
Put together each dish’s measured and prepared ingredients with a recipe card on baking sheets. That way, you can save yourself the time it would take to measure-as-you-go. If someone comes to help, they have everything they need without the hassle of asking you where the ingredients are.
Chop & Map Hack
Chop and prep everything you can the night before (like vegetables) and store them in ziplock baggies. Shred your cheese in a food processer with a grating attachment. When you’re finished with that, map out and label all your baking dishes and serving platters on the table they will be served on so you know exactly what goes where when the time comes!
One thing is certain – there’s going to be a lot of trash around holiday meals, especially for those who use disposable plates and utensils. We’ve all been there, hassling with a trash bag that seems to be sucked down into the trashcan for some reason. Drill a few holes into the bottom of the trash can to allow airflow for an easier release when the trash gets full. Don’t forget to double bag to prevent the holiday trash from leaking all over the house on its way to the garbage can!