One year for Thanksgiving I had the stressful task of preparing two Thanksgiving dinners. I had Thanksgiving dinner for my family and with my husband’s family. My mother in law had just had surgery and was unable to leave the house. We had out of town guests coming. Here are tips for preparing two Thanksgiving dinners in one day. I am living proof that it can be done.
Tip #1 Get Organized
Don’t panic. Take a deep breath. The most important thing is to get yourself organized. Write down what groceries you need for the multiple Thanksgiving dinners. Plan out a schedule of what times you need to start the turkeys, and rest of the side dishes. You will have to plan out your entire menu so you know exactly what to do and when.
Tip #2 Make Pies Day Before
I just bought Sara Lee’s frozen pies and baked them in the oven. I bought a total of four. I purchased two pumpkin, one blueberry and one cherry pie. It saved me the headache of making them from scratch.
Tip #3 Drop off Groceries
After I purchased everything for Thanksgiving dinner at my mother in law’s house I dropped everything I needed there two days before. I started thawing the turkey by placing it in a roaster pan in the refrigerator. This way everything you need for Thanksgiving dinner is already there and you won’t have to lug all the groceries up there at the last minute.
Tip #4 Ask Help From Other Family Members
Don’t be afraid to ask for help from other family members to prepare something for Thanksgiving dinner. It can be as simple as a casserole dish, or squash. It will help you along and save time. I had my husband stop at his mother’s on Thanksgiving morning to put the turkey in the oven. We were eating there at 6 pm. This allowed me to prepare for my family’s dinner while he did the running around.
Tip #5 Other Options
You could prepare turkey legs in a crockpot for one of the multiple Thanksgiving dinners. Turkey legs are easy to do in the crockpot and just as good. The only drawback is you can only fit about four turkey legs in one crockpot so you would need two crockpots to pull this off. The one thing about this is it’s less mess to pick up after. If you start them in the morning they will be done for dinner time.
Tip #6 Prepare What You Can Before
Every year for Thanksgiving dinner I make a platter with pickles, carrots, and black and green olives. I put it together the night before and cover with saran wrap. You just have to do this twice. Grab and go the next day.
Tip #7 Take Shortcuts
Instead of making the gravy you can purchase bottled gravy from the grocery store. It just has to be heated up in a sauce pan. This will save you a lot of time.
Tip #8 Eat Small Portions
When you have more than one Thanksgiving dinner the most important part is not to stuff yourself. You will have to eat smaller portions so you don’t make yourself sick. Skip the pie, or just take a small sliver.
Tip #9 Use The Microwave
You can cook the vegetables for your Thanksgiving dinner in the microwave and also you can use instant mashed potatoes. I buy Idahoan instant potatoes in the tall canister from the grocery store. These are so good that my husband tells me you can’t tell they are instant.You just add milk, butter and water and do them in the microwave also.
Tip #10 Clean Up Time
Dishes will be your biggest obstacle. There may not be enough time to do them before you have to leave for your next Thanksgiving dinner. Make sure to scrap all dishes, rinse and just let them soak in dish water while you are gone. You can either do them the next day or if you have a dishwasher you will be thanking your lucky stars you have one right now.
When you get home put your feet up, take a deep breath and pat yourself on the back for doing a great job.