Thanksgiving Prep Begins with a “To Do List”

I have been asked many times by my students, “How do you get everything to the table, hot and ready at the same time?”  “How do you not, get overwhelmed and stressed out?”  “How can I enjoy the hosting the holiday and still have time with the family?”

Well, it all begins with with a “To Do List.” For me the process of organizing myself is part of the fun of hosting a gathering here at my home or in a professional setting.  A skill I learned long ago when cooking and baking as a kid for my large family.  I’m a list maker and I love the feeling of crossing off each item from the “To Do List.”  Especially on the day of the event.  The Menu is hung on the wall so I can put a check next to it when completed and then I cross off each item as it goes to the table.  It’s my double check system that keeps that one dish from being over looked and only found after the dinner is served.  “Because, I’ve never done that!”  Believe me, I have done it.  When I didn’t make a list.

With the Thanksgiving menu written, the “To Do List” going, the shopping completed, and recipes in hand.  The prep begins for Thursdays celebration. More than 20 of the Ramon family members will be here to celebrate the holiday in our home.

The list helps me organize my time and reduces stress.  Planning and completing the menu prep in little bites starting today, so by Wednesday I can enjoy the time with my family as they arrive from out of town.

So what is on the list for today?  Prepping the Pie Dough, Pâte Brisée, Sweet Dough for Cinnamon Rolls, and Sour Cream Coffeecake.  Now completed and wrapped in plastic and stored in the freezer until Tuesday evening were they move from freezer to refrigerator to be made into the final baked good on Wednesday.

Everyday I’ll revisit the “To Do List” and cross off or even add something. Getting it out of my head and down on paper, so I don’t forget something as I think it.  Even more important than when I was younger.  Things seem to disappear from my memory as I’ve gotten older.

Even if your planning on having family and friends bring side dishes to pass, preparing a menu and who is bringing what, so you don’t end up with 5 desserts and no side dishes, will help you have a more relaxed holiday.

My hope for everyone is to have a fun and relaxing holiday with friends and family.  Remembering, it is about the time together that counts.  But, with a little planning and a “To Do List.”  You’ll find that hosting the holidays will be a lot less stressful and a lot more fun!

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