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Tips and Tricks For a Stress-Free Thanksgiving Meal 

Featured, Lifestyle

Family gathered around the table at Thanksgiving. | Image from AlexRaths

As the biggest meal of the year is quickly approaching, many may not be able to find everything they need to create their traditional holiday feast but there are many ways to have a stress-free Thanksgiving.

Cheesecloth Alternative

Martha Stewart swears by using a t-shirt in place of cheesecloth to keep the turkey moist. Simply soak a clean white t-shirt in butter and wine, then drape the t-shirt over the turkey breast and place it in the oven with the t-shirt still on. No white wine? Use chicken stock and lemon juice instead.

Have trouble finding a roasting rack? Use aluminum foil. Shape the foil into thick ropes and place the turkey on top or use onions, cut in half, carrots, and celery to create airflow for the turkey to cook.

Overcooked Turkey

One way to moisten it up is to pour chicken stock over the turkey. This also works if sliced turkey gets cold and needs to be warmed.

With supply chain interruptions, you may not be able to find a turkey, so how about turkey loaf instead? Use ground turkey to make a meatloaf-like dish that includes sage cornbread stuffing.

Late at night, and you’ve run out of butter? Use mayonnaise, and don’t forget to add your favorite herbs.

Keeping Food Warm

Don’t stress over your food getting cold while you finish cooking the rest of the meal; use a crockpot to keep mashed potatoes or sweet potatoes warm. As for the gravy, keep it warm in a thermos before putting it in a gravy bowl.

Pre-Cut Veggies

You may feel like you’re not really cooking Thanksgiving dinner if you don’t spend an hour cutting up vegetables, but pre-cut veggies are the way to go: they taste the same and will save you a lot of time. Find pre-cut celery, onion, and carrots in the produce aisle, or hit up your local grocer’s salad bar to get cut-up greens, chopped bell pepper, bacon crumbles, or hardboiled eggs.

Easy-to-Read Recipes

How irritating it can be to follow a recipe from a book or tablet! Print out the recipe (large-print, if you prefer) and tape it at eye-level to your cabinet door so that it’s easy to read or to make quick notes.

Delegate Tasks

It’s the first in-person Thanksgiving in a couple of years, so don’t stress over doing it all yourself. Ask friends and family members to contribute dishes so that your focus is only on what you do best.

Give your guests tasks so that you can focus on the final steps of meal preparation. Setting the table, filling water glasses, getting children set up, or taking out the trash are all helpful ways that friends and family can contribute to a stress-free Thanksgiving dinner.