Thursday, January 11, 2018

15 Thanksgiving Hacks That Are Good As Gravy

While Thanksgiving is an enjoyable time of year that's filled with family, friends, and plenty of delicious food, it can be stressful for those lucky enough to be hosting.

If you drew the short straw this year and need all the help you can get when it comes to making Thanksgiving as painless as possible, I'm going to suggest studying the list of tips and tricks below. 

1. Prep In Advance

While there are some things that can't be done ahead of time, tasks like chopping veggies and making gravy can be. Simply store them in airtight containers and keep them in the refrigerator or freezer, depending on how far in advance you plan on doing your prep.

2. Use A Slow Cooker To Warm The Potatoes

To prevent mashed potatoes from getting cold and gluey, cover the insert of your slow cooker with butter, pour in a bit of heavy cream, and add the mash. Turn the slow cooker to low, place the lid on top, and stir every hour. If you do this, you should be left with warm, smooth potatoes for dinner.

3. Protect Your Tables

If you don't own a proper table pad, you can use newspaper to protect wooden tabletops from spills. Simply layer the newspaper on the table and then cover it with a tablecloth. My mom did this a few weeks ago for a dinner party she was hosting and it worked like a charm. 

4. Mini Pie Hack

If you decide to make small, individual pies, place strips of parchment paper underneath the dough so that it's easy to remove them from the pan once they're baked. Instead of a batch of broken, disheveled pies, you'll be able to serve your guests pristine desserts that will look too good to eat.

5. Simmer Potpourri On The Stove

If you have time (and space on your stove top), you can make your home smell like the holidays by whipping up a batch of simmering potpourri. All you need to do is combine things like cinnamon sticks, citrus, ginger, and vanilla in a pot, add some water, and bring it to a gentle boil. Check on the mixture from time to time, add more water when necessary, and enjoy the warm and cozy aroma.

6. Purchase A 3-Tier Oven Rack

If you're going to be baking multiple dishes in your oven at once, it would be wise to invest in a 3-tier oven rack so things don't get overcrowded. Rather than playing Tetris with your turkey, pies, and casseroles, you can place them in the oven at the same time without any fuss.

7. Easy Centerpieces

Even though having tasty food is important, making your home feel warm and welcoming should be, too. For a quick and easy centerpiece your guests will love, fill mason jars with seasonal things like popcorn kernels and acorns and add a simple tealight to them. It doesn't get easier than that!

8. Use A Paper Plate To Keep Things Clean

If you need to work with a hand mixer, use a paper plate as a splash guard to keep the mixture in the bowl and off of you. The last thing you want to worry about while preparing Thanksgiving dinner is cleaning up an unnecessary mess or changing your clothes. 

9. Put A Fun Spin On Leftovers

Turkey soup and sandwiches are amazing, but if you feel like doing something a bit different with your Thanksgiving leftovers this year, why not make a batch of nachos with them? These Thanksgiving Leftover Turkey Nachos look amazing and are worth a try! Think about it — turkey, cheese, green onion, tortilla chips — how bad could they possibly be?

10. Avoid Lumpy Gravy

There's nothing worse than lumpy gravy — so to avoid this common fiasco, use quick-mixing flour instead of all-purpose. This handy little tip should prevent lumping and won't impact the flavor.

11. Know Your Portions

It can be hard to know how much of everything you'll need if you're hosting a big group of people — especially if you've never done it before. If that's the case for you this year, use the chart below as a jumping off point.

12. Set The Perfect Place Setting

If you're feeling extra fancy and really want to impress your guests this holiday season, follow the diagrams below to set the perfect table with ease.

13. Make Perfect Pie Every Time

For a tender and flaky pie crust that guests will love, make sure you add a tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar to the dough.

14. Baste Your Turkey With Cheesecloth

You have way too much to think about while trying to prepare the perfect Thanksgiving meal. If you're worried you're going to forget to baste the turkey, cover it with cheesecloth soaked in flavored butter instead. That way you can set it and forget it.

15. Wash Potatoes In The Dishwasher

This may sound strange, but it's actually genius, especially if you're going to be hosting a large group of people. Simply load the top rack of your dishwasher with potatoes and run it through a rinse-only cycle that uses cold water with no soap or detergent. Once the cycle is finished, remove the potatoes from the dishwasher and dry them using a rag or paper towel.

Have you ever tried any of these hacks?

Tell us in the COMMENTS, and then SHAREthis list of tricks with anyone you know who will be preparing Thanksgiving dinner for family and friends this year.


Author: verified_user