Tips for The Perfect Holiday Meal » Moana Saves



Dec 03

Tips for The Perfect Holiday Meal

There is no better time than the holidays to spend time with family and friends.  Unfortunately hostingTips for The Perfect Holiday Meal them can be stressful.  With some advance preparation, you can host a holiday meal for friends and/or family with little or no stress on your part which means you can enjoy the season even more.
  • Prepare a cooking schedule for your holiday gathering.  Ideally, I would recommend doing so starting two weeks in advance with your planning, shopping and cooking, saving the cooking tasks requiring the freshest ingredients for the last.  For example, you can prepare dinner rolls (or the dough for dinner rolls) well in advance and freeze them.  You can’t do this with any kind of fruit or veggie salad.  But if you have the dinner rolls made and stored safely in the freezer, you have more time to make that dinner salad on the day of your party.
  • Set the holiday table a night before the party.  If you want it to look just right, the dinner settings can be done the night before.  You’ll want to save any fresh center piece to put out on the night of your meal, but all of the silverware and place settings certainly can be put on the table well in advance.
  • Organize your serving dishes.  Make sure they’re all clean the day before and make sure you have all of the necessary dishes and lids.  Decide what will go into which serving dish and what serving spoons you’ll need.  This will guarantee that you have everything you need in advance so that you can borrow or buy anything you  need for serving the food.
  • Prepare as much food in advance as you can.  I’ve talked a little about this above.  Freeze what you can and thaw those items on the day of the gathering.  Refrigerate what you can the day before and bring those dishes out for the meal on the day of.  Make the dishes that can only be made fresh on that day.  When you spread the cooking across several days, then on the day of your event you’ll definitely feel less stressed because you’ll have less to do while preparing for your holiday gathering.
  • Defrost your turkey or ham according to the instructions.  Don’t try taking shortcuts with the main course!  Make sure you leave plenty of time for defrosting and cooking the turkey and plan some of your other preparation tasks around cooking it.
  • In order to keep yourself from getting overwhelmed, delegate what you can to others.  Don’t be afraid to take up friends and family on their offers to help with the holiday meal.  Let them lighten your load a bit so that you all enjoy your get-together.
Don’t forget that the holidays should be more about spending time with the people you care about rather than the actual meal.  Bottom line: don’t sweat the small stuff!  Follow some or all of the tips above to make your holiday more relaxed so that you can enjoy it worry-free.
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Anna lives on the North shore of Oahu with her husband, daughters, ages 14 and 9, and a little dog. She likes to read, write, go for walks, bake with the 9 year old and take naps.

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  1. simply heidi

    Great tips. Planning ahead makes a huge difference!
    simply heidi recently posted..The Reading ChairMy Profile

  2. gingerlyspice

    Great tips for the perfect Holiday meal to go smooth!!
    gingerlyspice recently posted..unique collectible Christmas ornament in green and goldMy Profile

  3. PAM

    It has been a very long time ago, but yes, I do believe I can still remember thinking along those lines. In fact, I believe we all do to some extent. The idea of imperfection, rather than perfection, comes only with time and experience. When we are born we have to learn limits and boundaries, and those lessons are not easy ones to absorb.

  4. Unknown Mami

    Setting the table the night before is a great idea.

  5. Rochelle

    First, put away all clutter. Then clean everything. Choose objects to make a statement, such as fruit, candles, garlands, toys and arrange them on your newly cleaned and cleared furniture

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