All PLS branches will be closed Thursday, November 23rd and Friday, November 24th for Thanksgiving! We will close at 6 p.m on Wednesday, Nov. 22nd and will resume regular hours on Saturday, Nov. 25th.
As we all know, the holidays can be a very stressful time, especially for those hosting the Thanksgiving Feast! Reduce your stress this Thanksgiving with Good House Keeping's "Ina's Stress-free Holiday Plan" (via MasterFILE Premier)!
- Write out a menu, then go through and simplify it. If a recipe has a huge ingredient list, forget it. (Do you really need five vegetables? No, you only need three.) Also think about what people don't eat -- nuts, for example. Can you make a crumble without nuts? You don't want to make a dish for each person; you want a menu everyone can eat.
- Never, ever test a new recipe on guests for any reason. This is particularly true on Thanksgiving, when there's so much to do.
- Make a game plan. I take a big piece of paper and write my timing on it, working backward. If I want to serve the meal at four o'clock, I think, the turkey must go in the oven at noon, come out at three, and then rest for an hour. Then I look at the carrots and parsnips: Can I make them in advance? Yes, they can be reheated while the turkey rests. I pencil that into the schedule. I make sure that there are some things in the oven, some things atop the stove, some things I can make in advance and reheat, and some things I can serve at room temperature.
- Next, take every recipe and write an aisle-by-aisle shopping list. Put all the dairy in one column, all the vegetables in another, and so forth, so you won't be racing around the store. I save a few perishables (e.g., raspberries) for the Wednesday before, but I get everything else a few days ahead.
- Do as much food prep as you can in advance. even just cutting the carrots two days before -- put them in plastic containers with a little water; they'll be perfect.
- Set the table a day or so before. Get it out of the way. Also, if you have flowers as a centerpiece, they'll look better when they've fully opened.
- For a quick centerpiece, put out a bowl of clementines -- it looks gorgeous. I have a friend who adds dates, and everybody eats them for dessert [see our easy ideas, page 142],
- I love to order cookies with people's names on them as place cards. They're from Eli Zabar ($24 for six, elizabar.com).
- Skip complicated appetizers; just serve nuts, good olives, or figs and prosciutto with wine or Champagne.
- Ask each guest to bring a dessert. They'll feel like they're part of the team (and they'll enjoy their favorite sweet).
For more tips, recipes, crafts, and more, check out some of these Thanksgiving books and other items at the library!
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