Holiday meals are the best because you can stuff your face with delicious food without thinking of the consequences of overeating—there is no such thing as eating too much during the holiday season! However, if you need to cook dinner, you might put a lot of stress on yourself to make everything perfect. Don’t fret; use this guide full of tips for preparing the ultimate holiday meal.
Prepare Ingredients Beforehand
Nobody wants to cook their entire meal on the day of the holiday. Don’t put too much stress on yourself by waiting until the last minute to begin making the food. If you can, prepare the side dishes beforehand, cut vegetables, and make dips and desserts. The more you can do before the actual holiday; the more your sanity will stay intact.
Create a Cooking Timeline
No matter when you start your cooking, it’s wise to create a timeline to keep yourself on track. This could include the entire week leading up to the dinner. Preparing the ultimate holiday meal means completing as many things as possible in a set order to ensure everything goes off without a hitch. For example, shop on Monday, cure the ham on Tuesday, prepare potatoes on Wednesday, and so on. Breaking up your tasks in smaller increments can also lessen your stress and anxiety.
Try a Different Cooking Method
Do you eat the same kind of ham every year around the holidays? While it may be a tradition, consider cooking your ham using a different method, like smoking. Find the perfect wood for smoking a holiday ham and surprise your guests with a new and improved meal idea. Who knows, this may become the new tradition!
Don’t Forget the Little Things
You’re less likely to forget the ham and mashed potatoes, but what about gravy or that particular spice you need? Understandably, it gets hectic around the holiday season, and our brains often go haywire buying presents for the kids, decorating the home, baking cookies, and more, but you don’t want to forget the little things. Make a list of every ingredient you might use to ensure you have everything once you’re ready to begin preparing the dinner.
Have Enough Food for Everyone
Whether you’re feeding your immediate family or your complete extended family is coming over, you must ensure you have enough food for everyone. It would be a shame if grandma didn’t get to try that piece of smoked ham because your third cousin brought an unexpected date. Consider sending out a virtual invitation through social media to see who plans to come so you can make enough food.
Remember, you need to have fun and relax around the holidays too. Consider asking for help from your family or have each family member bring a dish to share to lessen the amount of work you need to do. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, use the above tips to get yourself back on track. How are you going to prepare your meal this holiday season?