Thanksgiving is about a week and a half away, and if you’re hosting, you might be feeling the pressure. To avoid experiencing chaos and panic on a day meant to be spent enjoying the company of friends and family, here are four great strategies and make-ahead tips:
Buy beverages now
Any alcohol, juices, or soda pop can be purchased now, because they won’t get old. It’s not only saving you space in your grocery cart when Thanksgiving is closer, it also gives you more options. If you’ve ever shopped too close the actual day of a holiday, you know the disappointment of not finding exactly what you’re looking for because it’s sold out.
Make cookie and pie dough now
For desserts, cookie and pie dough can be prepared and left unbaked in the freezer for quite a long time. In fact, our research revealed that the dough can be frozen for months if necessary, and then thawed and baked for Thanksgiving! Lots of cookie dough can be baked right from the freezer, no thawing necessary, while pie dough with lots of butter should only be thawed overnight and then baked.
Make cranberry sauce six days before Thanksgiving
Homemade cranberry sauce takes more work than sauce from the can, but it’s worth it! The other great thing is that while freezing canned sauce often turns it watery, fresh cranberry sauce freezes and thaws really well. You can make it up to six days ahead of time.
Decorate with branches and dried flowers
Love decorating for the Thanksgiving holiday? Consider branches and dried flowers, which can be purchased or gathered right from nature ahead of time. Unlike fresh greenery, you don’t have to keep them alive. If you’re collecting right from the outdoors, just be sure everything is clean before it ends up on your dinner table. There are lots of blogs with step-by-step instructions on how to prepare branches and pine cones for indoor use, so they don’t start rotting. To add your own personal style, experiment with wood stains and spray paints!