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Planning a Stress-Free Thanksgiving Dinner

Nov 17, 2016

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Thanksgiving is one day each year that is set aside for giving thanks for what we have. That’s supposed to include family and friends. Why, then, do we stress so much over planning for this day?

Here are some tips to help you reduce the stress of planning Thanksgiving dinner.

  1. Estimate enough turkey. On average, plan 1 to 1 ½ pounds of turkey per person. If you have bigger appetites, add a couple of pounds.
  2. Accurately plan the thawing and cooking time for your turkey. A frozen turkey can take several days to thaw. Plan for 24 hours per 5 pounds in the refrigerator. Do not thaw the turkey at room temperature. It could foster bacteria.

An unstuffed turkey requires 12 minutes per pound to roast. After it’s cooked, let the turkey rest, outside the oven, for 20 to 30 minutes. This allows the juice to redistribute through the turkey.

Consider buying two smaller turkeys and roasting them side by side. They’ll cook faster and could provide more turkey without more effort.

  1. Make as many dishes in advance. Did you know you could make your mashed potatoes ahead of time and freeze them in a plastic bag? Thaw them in the refrigerator and reheat them in a slow cooker on Thanksgiving Day. Dinner rolls and biscuit dough can be made in advance and frozen.
  2. Let your guests bring something. When people offer to bring a dish, let them! Ask each person about their specialty dish or prepare an assignment list in advance. People who don’t cook are happy to bring breads, salad, fruit, cheese, and store-bought desserts. Let everyone chip in and take the burden off yourself!
  3. Do a quick, clean sweep. If you have clutter—like piles of magazines and mail, random toys, and stuff you just can’t deal with right now—place it in a laundry basket or box. Then stash your stash in a closet for Thanksgiving Day.
  4. Feed the kids first. Forget the kids table. Let the children have dinner before the adults. Then encourage them to watch a holiday movie or play a game while the rest of you enjoy a more restful dinner.

All of us Johnson County Siding & Windows wish you a Happy Thanksgiving!

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