Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Thanksgiving Eve Prep Time

The night before Thanksgiving is always a fraught time for home chefs.Not only is tomorrow a time for tears and triumphs, the night before can be crazy too. However, the insanity can be lessened just by being orderly and doing some of tomorrow's prep tonight.

This is the time to assess all your ingredients and make sure you have enough and then some. If not, make that trip to the grocery for anything extra, whether it's a couple of bottles of soda or more salad. Also, ask family and guests if they're bringing any last minute plus ones. An extra plate at the table could mean shortages. It's better to have overage than be short and now is the time to go out and get enough for tomorrow. It's the night to make pies too. If you're too tired, always get help. You could make a night of it with friends and family turning the night into a baking party.(just be careful with the libations - no one wants a pumpkin pecan mash up pie). Also prebaked crust or pre made pie dough is a huge help.The same goes for any dessert, from pumpkin mousse to sweet potato pudding. It's also a good time to whip cream and put the butter onto the fancier butter dish. The less smaller chores can be done tonight. If the kids aren't too engaged with their devices they can also help out with polishing the silverware and setting out the plates and utensils. They can also help with decorating the table too along with any last minute dusting and cleaning.

Many home chefs wonder if they can start prepping the night before to save time in the morning.The answer is yes.Veggies can be cut tonight for use tomorrow. Keep them in a bowl of ice water until they're ready to use. This also works perfectly for iceberg and romaine lettuce  too. Any lettuce can also be kept fresh by wrapping a cold damp paper towel around the leaves.It's also a good time to make the vinaigrette or any homemade dressing too, storing it in a cruet  in the fridge. Another must is tearing up the bread for stuffing and then storing it in airtight plastic bags.This will cut down on the time spent making the stuffing and let home chefs move quicker onto the next dish. Pots and pans should all be out tonight too. That way it's easier just to grab them instead of spending minutes searching for them .Breakfast is another meal to think about tomorrow.Unless there are guests staying over, keep it simple.  A bowl of cereal or oatmeal is always a good way of starting .If the whole family is together then just have a bagel brunch where there's a minimum of fuss and bother Let the family cook and clean up after themselves if they want something more involved like scrambled eggs and bacon or French toast.

Don't turn Thanksgiving Eve into a night of panic and craziness. Keep it cool and calm by doing prep time tonight.It makes for an easier holiday tomorrow.

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