The holidays are an extremely hectic and chaotic time for the vast majority of the population. We run from one place to another with more “to do” lists than we think we will ever manage to complete. One thing is certain and that is that throughout all the running around and festivities that are going on it is quite likely that you are going to either lose your mind because you are obsessively over organized or you are going to forget one dinner, event, or gift during the season that is going to prove to be important enough for a mad dash out into the cold, harsh, cruel world of reality. Depressing though the thought may be the
following tips can help you avoid potential breakdown as a result of the constant insanity of the holidays.
First of all, you absolutely must adopt the KISS policy. Keep it simple silly. The meals you plan for your contributions to holiday cooking in your own home and for various events and potlucks that take place this time of year should be simple to prepare, take little time, and cost as little money as possible.
Do things in bulk. Rather than trying to squeeze in a few minutes here and there mark out large chunks of your calendar and dedicate those times to tasks such as cooking, cleaning, shopping, and wrapping and stick to that one thing during its allotted time slot rather than trying to cook, wrap, clean, and shop at the same time. This saves confusion and lessens the opportunity of something getting boiled, burned, splattered, ruined, or forgotten.
Plan ahead and shop ahead. This saves valuable time and money because you aren’t impulse buying at the last minute. Whether you are shopping for food items for meal preparation and cooking or the perfect gifts for friends or family putting things off often tends to result in spending more money than intended and getting less value for that money.
Make sure you have enough room inside your fridge for the foods you need for preparation and storing the foods that need to be chilled once they’ve been prepared. Space is a must and if you do not have enough space in your refrigerator you need to be making other plans for food that needs to be kept cold in the interim.
Plan a quick and easy backup in case something goes wrong with one of or more of the complicated dishes or casseroles. A last minute substitution that is quick and easy is a much better option than not having enough to go around. You never know what’s going to go wrong when dealing with the holidays and it is best to be prepared when something does.
Make sure the turkey or ham is properly thawed and that you’ve allotted the necessary time for cooking. In fact, an extra hour is often the best way to go as you never know what kind of differences there will ultimately be in cooking time for your main course.
Clean as you go. This little tip will save so much time, trouble, and pulled hair that you will never really know how wonderfully valuable this nugget of advice really is. Dishes are simpler to clean when still warm and before food has time to dry and set in.
These tips do not guarantee a perfect holiday cooking experience, but they are an excellent way to guarantee less stress in the mix.
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