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Tip Time – no stress allowed!

Before we get to today’s timely tip, I want to remind you that if you need help with a Thanksgiving timeline, CLICK HERE.  And if you are looking for Thanksgiving recipes – go to the “Complete Recipe Index” over there on the left and scroll down to the red “Holidays” section and then scroll down to “Thanksgiving” where there are more than 30 Thanksgiving recipes awaiting you.

Weekly Tip #7

I know that at least some of you are hosting Thanksgiving in 3 days and that you are stressing.  One of the major stresses is, “How am I going to get everything done?!?” The reason this is a common stress is because many of us, including me, don’t seem to be able to delegate tasks. Even though several guests and family members have offered to help – it is hard to begin to even know where to start delegating when all the burners are blazing, timers are going off, and your mind is racing.  It seems as though it is just easier to do everything yourself. The solution to this common problem? Decide today what you can have people do for you when crunch time comes.

Make a list of non-cooking tasks – the last thing you need is more bodies in the kitchen. And make sure everything needed to complete those tasks is in plain sight, otherwise you’ll get stressed telling people what drawer or cupboard to find things in, or end up dropping what you’re doing and getting it yourself.

Here are just a few ideas of tasks to delegate, I’m certain they will help you think of so many more:

Someone can easily deal with drinks; opening the wine or making coffee or pouring the ice water in the goblets.

Another person can light the candles, turn on music, and turn off the television,  just before sit-down time.

Since a couple of guests (or a particular husband) always seem to straggle or suddenly need to use the restroom, appoint one outgoing guest to give a five-minute warning that the food is going to be hot on the table and have them herd everyone into the dining room.

DO NOT save all the cleaning for after the meal!  DO NOT sit down to dinner with the roasting pan soaking in the sink! Get that calming person who you would most like to talk to, while you are cooking, help you clean as you go.  And of course, since you know that you’ve already made some of the recipes days before or earlier on Thanksgiving morning, those dishes are already clean and back in the cupboards, right?! Please tell me I am right – this is essential!

And when you have all the “thought-out tasks” covered, ask the next people who volunteer, if you can take a rain-check on their help and if they could be there for you at the dreaded cleanup time. Then turn on some fun music, poor some more wine, and use those people as your cleanup crew…

Designate one as a runner to bring the dishes in from the table. Another person to transfer leftovers into containers. The rest can help load the dishwasher and wash and dry the more delicate dishes. Again, be prepared with food-storage containers, aprons, dish towels, sponges, and rubber gloves.

Relax, serve dessert, be thankful for – another wonderful meal, wonderful family and  friends, a somewhat stress-free day, and a clean kitchen!


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3 comments

1 Amy { 11.21.11 at 11:35 AM }

Great advice my friend! Now I hope you heed your own advice ; )
xoxo

2 Marissa { 11.21.11 at 1:23 PM }

Can I cook something this year? I’m getting good. My pumpkin bread pudding was the hit of our Thanksgiving.

3 Linda Hopkins { 11.21.11 at 2:09 PM }

Thanks Amy, I will! And, YES, Marissa – I would L-O-V-E that!

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