Depending on how many you are planning to feed, there is much work that goes into planning a holiday meal. It starts with needing to know how many you are cooking for. You have the planning, the shopping, the prep, and the cooking. Just thinking about it is probably overwhelming.
Here are some tips that will hopefully help you plan the perfect meal, and get through it without tearing your hair out.
Probably one of the most stressful things about creating a huge meal for many people is forgetting something you need at the grocery store. Not having enough food for everyone would be a very close second. That’s why it is important to have lists.
Make a list of the people coming, and any special dietary restrictions they may have. Make a list of the dishes you plan to cook or bake. Then, make a list of the items you have on hand, followed by a separate list of items you still need to purchase. Do not go to the store without your list, and double check it before you even leave your house.
Make Sure You Have The Equipment
Aside from the groceries you need to buy, you also need to make sure you have all of the kitchen items you need in order to cook them. Do you have enough pots and pans? Do you have enough bakeware? If not, those will need to be added to your shopping list as well.
Serving dishes and utensils are important as well. Having enough room inside your oven for that too big turkey you bought is key too, or if it won’t fit you may need an electric roaster to cook it in.
Make Sure You Have The Time
You don’t want to be cooking everything at once. There just isn’t room in the oven for all of that. Plan out what can be cooked or baked when, and it will make it much easier. Some things might even be able to be done the night before.
You can cook desserts the night before, like pies, cookies, and cakes. Those can easily sit out on a counter or be stored in the refrigerator. Cold salads, pasta salads, and gelatin desserts can also be made the prior day and stored in the fridge.
This leaves you your main dishes that have to be cooked or baked for the day of. Make sure your meat is thawed ahead of time, and that you get up early enough for prep and cooking times, depending on what time dinner is being served.
Dinner will be less stressful if you just make sure that you have a plan set in place so that everything is there when you need it and done when it needs to be.