Taking the stress out of Thanksgiving; what you can do one week out to make you a Holiday Hero

Home for the Holidays

ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — Thanksgiving is just a week away.

DON’T FREAK OUT!

Seriously, don’t.

You might be stressed because it feels like there is so much to do and you want the big day to be perfect.

That’s why we’ve consulted with culinary and event experts to find out what you can do right now to ensure your meal is delicious and you can enjoy the holiday and your guests at the same time.

Becoming a Holiday Hero doesn’t mean wearing a cape or fighting crime. Instead, it’s about breaking down the stress machine into manageable parts — get done with one stressful item and move on to another.

What do those experts say you should be doing?

  • If you have purchased a frozen turkey, get the thawing process started. A 16 pound bird will take four days to thaw in the refrigerator. You need to thaw it in the fridge to ensure food safety. You can also thaw it in cold water. It is labor intensive — you have to change the water every 30 minutes — but it will cut the thawing time for that same 16 pound turkey to eight hours. The turkey has to be thawed before cooking to ensure that it cooks properly.
  • Buy non-perishables. If you haven’t gotten things like potatoes, onions, stuffing mix, canned broth, or anything that doesn’t require refrigeration, buy it now. Stores are a lot less crowded, and some even offer better prices in the week ahead of Thanksgiving.
  • Buy perishables that can be refrigerated. Procuring them now saves you time and let’s you avoid the crowds.
  • Prepare to brine. If you plan to dry or wet brine your bird, you’ll want to start that process next Monday or Tuesday. Check your recipe and purchase the ingredients you’ll need.
  • Create a cooking plan. Look at your menu and figure out the order of what you’ll be cooking. Developing a game plan now will help you avoid stress later. Plus, a little pre-planning usually results in a more delicious dish.
  • Take an inventory of your kitchen gear. Make sure you have the utensils, pots, pans, and dishes that you will need to execute your menu.

A big part of Thanksgiving meal success is having the ability to embrace the process. Don’t look at it as work, look at it as fun with the smiles of your friends and family as the payoff. That will make the process more enjoyable for you and will make you a Holiday Hero for the people you love.

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