Monday, November 24, 2008 had some very good advice for the upcoming Holiday!
Thanksgiving Made Easy
By Stephanie Denton

All the Turkey Day prep work can tucker out any host. Here's how to make the day rewarding for everyone around the table.

Streamline Sprucing
Concentrate on cleaning and decluttering the big three:

1) the kitchen, which needs to be sanitized and organized for action

2) the bathroom, which is scrutinized in private; and

3) on and around the coffee table, where everyone gathers. Bedrooms, the garage and the home office can get a speedy spruce-up or simply a closed door.
Divide and delegate cleaning chores among the family the weekend before the big day, reminding everyone that the happier the head cook is, the happier the holiday will be.
A few days before Thanksgiving, take time to iron table linens, designate serving platters and make sure your glassware and silver sparkles.
For a quick silver shine, buy a pair of polish-impregnated gloves (found in select silverware departments, jewelry stores and kitchen shops) and massage your flatware to a luster.
Involve the kids in decorating the table by having them gather the choicest acorns, seedpods and leaves they can find in the neighborhood. Wash and dry their harvest carefully, then arrange it in a shallow glass bowl and display as a centerpiece.
Lay out what you'll wear to the table the night before the feast. It will feel good to slip out of splattered work clothes and into something fresh.
Suggest that everyone come to the table all gussied up for dinner. "Sunday best" will make the day that much more special and put the littlest diners on their best behavior.

Simplify Kitchen Time
Clean out the fridge and freezer for incoming foods by staging a smorgasbord before your big grocery run. Make soup, stew or omelets with bits of this and that or simply garnish your leftovers with whatever fruits and greens you have on hand.
Clean out the fridge and freezer for incoming foods by staging a smorgasbord before your big grocery run. Make soup, stew or omelets with bits of this and that or simply garnish your leftovers with whatever fruits and greens you have on hand.
Feel a little intimidated by that big bird in the fridge? Don't be. "Turkeys are really just oversize chickens, so if you can roast a chicken, you can roast a turkey too," wrote Joy of Cooking author Irma S. Rombauer.
Speaking of chickens, roast one or two a week or so ahead for dinner. Use the drippings to make Thanksgiving gravy, then freeze. No one will know the difference and you'll save yourself the hassle of one more task.
A turkey doesn't need to be trussed, buttoned or stapled to keep the stuffing from spilling out during roasting. Simply seal the stuffed cavity with a bread heel and pop the whole thing in the oven.
Consider replacing at least one hot side dish with a chilled make-ahead favorite like ambrosia, carrot or Waldorf salad. Toss in a few dried cranberries for a festive touch.
Making a super-size salad for your buffet? Place all the ingredients, including the dressing, into a large, clean plastic bag, toss, then pour it into a punch bowl.
Pack ice cream into buttered muffin tins or decorative molds early in the day, and simply plop them out on pie slices at serving time.

Forge Family Connections
Honor the eldest member of the family by asking him or her to say grace before dinner and to share a remembrance of a Thanksgiving past. Ask at least a few days before the holiday so there's time to prepare.
Reflect on life's bounty by having each person around the table talk about the three things that she's most grateful for.
Transform that collection of plastic Easter eggs into "turkey eggs" with Thanksgiving stickers or glued brown feathers. Fill them with seasonally wrapped candy, silly little prizes or fortunes. Hide them indoors or out, and host a postdinner hunt.
Looking for a classic way to bring all ages of the family together? Bring out an easy-to-master board game like checkers or Monopoly, or a deck of cards to play Go Fish or gin rummy.
Pop a fresh tape into the VCR early in the day in case the football game runs late and dinner won't wait.

Clean Up in a Flash
Place a large, absorbent, nonskid mat in front of the sink to catch crumbs, cushion tootsies and subliminally encourage helpers.
Want to cut dishwashing time in half? Simply soak all cooking pots, pans and utensils in hot, soapy water before you sit down at the table.
Ask for two volunteers to help clear the table before dessert. Three workers are often the most efficient clean- and-serve team. As you scrape and soak the dishes, one helper can pack leftovers into waiting containers, while the other can start the coffee and cut and serve the pie.
Hate to clean the oven after a major roast? You're not alone. Savvy cooks save themselves the fuss by shaking a heavy dose of table salt over fresh spills. Wipe up the residue with a damp sponge or paper towel once the oven cools.
Seal out frost and preserve flavor by packaging freezer-destined leftovers in a double blanket of aluminum foil or heavyweight plastic bags after squeezing out most of the air. For the optimum taste and texture, don't let cooked foods hibernate too long in a deep freeze. Cooked poultry, in particular, tastes its tender best when it's consumed within a few months of freezing.
Big platters often pop their wraps in the fridge. For a tighter seal, dip a clean finger in water and moisten the rim of a food-filled dish before you cover it with plastic wrap.
The next big feast is less than a month away. While your memory is fresh, make a note of family favorites to repeat and write off the recipes that weren't well received.
© Copyright
2008 Meredith Corporation. All Rights Reserved.


Linda said...

Joy, there are so many great ideas here...I love all the help I can get.
I bookmarked this site and I'm to going print all these helpful hints, thanks for sharing...hugs, Linda

PAT said...

Very good advice, Joy!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Terrie's Lil' Piece of Serenity said...

Great ideas!!! I really like them.
Happy Thanksgiving!!

Primchick said...

thanks for stopping by hope you enjoyed the visit...?
Marion ;0)






Primchick said...

Thanks Joy... it's nice when someone pops up on your blog & likes what they see....
Regards Marion ;0)

Maryjane - The Beehive Cottage said...

Great advice Joy! Thinking of you!


Dina said...

Happy Thanksgiving Joy.

Linda said...

Happy Thanksgiving Joy. I hope you have a wonderful day...hugs, Linda

Grammy Staffy said...

I love all of this good advice. I gave 12 tips on my blog but I like yours even better.

I hope that you had a wonderful holiday full of love, family and friends.

Karla @ Ramblin' Roads said...

There's a Kreative Blog award waiting for you my blog! Drop by and pick it up!