Tips for preparing holiday meals for a crowd

October 25, 2007

As Thanksgiving approaches, there are ways to lessen the anxiety of hosting the holiday meal.

Here are a few tips from the United States Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition, to make things go smoothly.

· Late October is a great time to order your turkey. Shopping early will ease the countdown tension.

Ask yourself these questions: Do you want a fresh or frozen turkey? Do you have enough space in your freezer to store a turkey? What size bird will you need? If you're not planning to serve turkey, what are your options?

· Another chore that can be completed in late October or early November is the actual planning of the meal.

What will be on the menu?

If you are asking guests to bring a dish, decide who will bring what. If you need help in the kitchen on Thanksgiving Day, now is the time to recruit volunteers.


Shop early for food items, such as evaporated milk for pies; spices, sugar and flour for baking; and canned or frozen vegetables.

· If you usually rent or borrow extra chairs or tables for family gatherings, make arrangements as early as possible.

· Make sure you have the nonfood items you'll need. Do you have a roasting pan? Do you have all the napkins and decorations you need? Is your tablecloth clean and free of wrinkles?

· Check your cupboards to make sure you have enough place settings, serving dishes and utensils.

· If you are able to do some early baking, by all means do so. Be sure to wrap or package your baked goods well so they will have a freshly-baked taste when served.

· Clean out your refrigerator. It's a job no one enjoys tackling, but you'll be glad you did when you need to find space for leftovers.

The Herald-Mail Articles