RODALE NEWS, EMMAUS, PA—Ah, Thanksgiving: The unofficial opening of the Holiday Stress Season. Whether you’re looking forward to the holiday or dreading it, stress can too often spoil the good times the occasion promises. Luckily, there are lots of things you can do to destress what might otherwise be a distressing time—starting now. A little Thanksgiving planning can make all the difference!
In my book, there is very that little isn't improved with a KISS (Keep It Simple Sweetie) strategy. Simple saves time, money, and, often, is good for the planet, too. Here are some ways to simplify and destress the Thanksgiving workload, making a happier holiday for everyone.
• Go fresh and local. To start your Thanksgiving planning, draw up a simple harvest menu using what’s fresh in your local area in mid-November. Yes, there are some T-day staples that you won't want to give up no matter where they came from. But choose as many fresh, local, organic ingredients as you can; they'll taste great, and it's a great reason to check out area farmer's markets before they all close down for the season.
• Spread out the work. Start shopping and cooking now (and cleaning, too; funny how I almost forgot to mention my least-favorite part). Make your piecrusts now, put them in the pie pans, wrap tightly, and freeze them. Buy all the nonperishable foods and supplies you’ll need, including extra plates and cutlery, napkins, even bed linens for overnight guests. A few days prior to the meal, go shopping for the perishable foodstuffs and start doing the prep work: Scrub, peel, and cut up veggies and put them back in the fridge all ready to go. Make pie fillings and put them in the fridge. You can even measure out dry ingredients and seasonings and put them in marked, covered containers so all you have to do is dump and stir at the last minute.