Cooking for a crowd can be stressful, but factor in a holiday or big event and the stress multiplies. Here are some tips from your friends at Mosquito Authority to help you navigate the kitchen during the holidays.
Pre-Plan the Day
Jot down the cooking times and temperatures of the main dish, side dishes, and desserts to help keep the oven and stove schedule flowing. Side dishes and desserts can be made the day before or early in the morning, then reheated as necessary.
Keeping to a schedule can keep you on track and ease some of the panic, but make sure you build in a little time for unexpected glitches. If you want everything to be ready before your guests arrive, this is the best way to ensure you are finished in the kitchen and ready to mingle.
Ask For Help
Ask your household to pitch in, or ask a few guests if they can come early to help you get ready. Even those who can’t boil water will be able to wash or cut veggies, prepare a salad, or assemble a platter. Kids can do things such as set the table, get water glasses placed, and keep your pets from being underfoot. Your guests will surely be willing to carry finished dishes to the table, arrange a dessert table, and open the wine.
Manage the Workload
There is no real reason the host has to commit to all of the meal prep, especially for a large undertaking during a holiday. Ask guests to bring a side dish, but be specific or you may wind up with three bowls of mashed potatoes for 7 people. If your guests are computer savvy, there are websites available where you can create a sign-up sheet of what you need, and allow them to choose from there. If you’d rather a traditional potluck, you may consider assigning dessert to a few people, side dishes to others, and paper goods or ice to those friends who panic when asked to bring food.
Your guests will appreciate the efforts and the important part is that you are all gathered together. Sit back, enjoy the day, and serve yourself a second helping.
Taste Of Home to start.