Here's a repost with some sage Thanksgiving Day advice. I've spent the better part of my adult life working holidays. Maybe that's why I enjoy them so much. Happy Thankgiving to all.
Thanksgiving is the big meal. If you are in charge your hands are full. By now recipes are lined up, ingredients are starting to accumulate and you're getting your game face on. Let's not forget the crazy cleaning regimen. This is as tough a holiday to host that we have. The only thing close is a home wedding.
Here is my advice to help you enjoy the day.
- You are not curing cancer here. Relax. When all else fails lower your standards. I know this sounds crazy. Lower my standards. Never. Maybe you have some fall themed frozen ice cubes in your game plan. The ones with dried orange peels, fresh cranberries and a hint of mint. Nice but if you have a choice between the cubes and your sanity, choose sanity.
- Let people help. A little planning now will go a long way. Everybody loves the kitchen, they will hang around there. You can quietly bitch to yourself and wish they were out of your way or you could give them something to do. Plan on someone coming in and have tasks all ready for them. Wash the pots and pans, cut the green beans, set the table. It's way more fun when everyone is involved. The Chef of a big kitchen does not cook, the Chef directs traffic. Be the Chef.
- Have the dish station ready. As soon as your guests arrive they will be producing dirty dishes and glasses. Empty bottles will need a home. All this can quickly overwhelm a busy kitchen. Plan accordingly and use the previous tip to keep your kitchen ship shape
- Your company came to see you not to be served by you. Enjoy the day and the company, don't treat this like a job. If dinner is ten minutes late because you were with your guests instead of in the kitchen, so what?
- Pay attention to the little ones. Have food ready from the get go. Easy food the kids will eat. Sliced apples, mac & cheese or rolled up cheese are pretty dependable. When the kids ain't happy Mom ain't happy. When Mom ain't happy no one is happy.
- Sit long, talk much. No hurry to clean up or get to dessert. Leave the food on the table and it will be eaten. People may get up and move but they'll be back. Keep conversations lively and not too narrow. Two people talking amongst themselves is not nearly as fun as a whole table. Separate the chatterboxes for best results.
There you go, Happy Thanksgiving
Cook like you mean it, Peace, Gerry