A Well-Prepped Thanksgiving
Yesterday, I went into the mall and heard Mariah Carey’s melodic voice singing “All I Want for Christmas is You.” Thus, I was reminded that Thanksgiving is right around the corner!
Some claim the American (and Canadian) tradition is their favorite holiday while others dread every single minute of it. But the good news is, the whole thing ends with a meal. And pie!
Holiday food preparations are a lot of work. It’s hard enough to think about portions, but there are family traditional foods, healthy twist traditional foods, “Let’s try this new thing” foods… Then add a cornucopia of outside food preferences, intolerances, and allergies. It’s enough to make an at-home-chef go insane.
This year, be thankful that you’re reading this article because it’s time to make your holiday as stress-free as possible. Here are some tips to make sure everyone is covered while you keep your sanity.
- The little things count – You have no clue who’s eating what. Is your niece still a vegan? Is she bringing her lactose intolerant boyfriend? Small pre-dinner munchies can cover many bases. Feature a table filled with healthy warm-ups like nuts, fruit, and crudités with a variety of dips (both dairy and non-dairy). People with food preferences/needs understand that there will be food that they cannot eat. They will appreciate a simple spread.
- You don’t have to repeat – Don’t feel as though you have to make a vegetarian version of every dish. Instead, sprinkle in original vegetarian dishes with your meat-heavy recipes. The omnivores will also enjoy the different flavors of a new dish.
- Bubble water is your friend – Not everyone imbibes during the holiday season, so make sure there are plenty of non-alcoholic drink options. Flavored soda water with a splash of bitters and lime is a dynamite alternative.
- Potluck – You really can’t go wrong if you ask everyone to bring a dish. Not only do people like showing off their fancy footwork in the kitchen, hopefully, they brought something that they can eat!
- Go to a restaurant – This is my new tradition, and it’s genius, if I do say so myself. I am not a fan of Thanksgiving food. When I am at a restaurant, I get to order whatever I want. And so does everyone else. Best of all, no clean-up.
Perhaps it is inevitable that that holiday will bring stress and strife. There’s family, bickering, and too many cars in the driveway. But there’s also hugs, laughs, and mashed potatoes (OK, I like mashed potatoes). If you’re planning a holiday meal at home, provide easy and inexpensive options, or if you’re like me, load up the car, and take it to a steakhouse. No matter how you spend your holiday, make it as stress-free as possible.