Believe it or not, cooking for a large crowd doesn’t have to be stressful. Most meals during the holidays tend to be big, which means preparing dishes in advance. Having the littlest details planned out can make for a smooth day in the kitchen.
Here are some tips and tricks to help ensure the turkey stays moist and the mashed potatoes don’t dry out.
— Use coolers to keep baked side dishes warm. Since the oven will be used for cooking, seal any casserole dishes or side items in aluminum foil and place in a cooler with a lid. The heat from each dish will keep the entire box warm and ready to serve.
— Prep veggies the night before, and keep fresh ingredients in plastic bags to save time and space during the day of cooking.
— Tape recipes to cabinet doors so they are easy to see and won’t get in the way on the counter.
— Label pots and pans with notes the day before to aid helpers in the kitchen n knowing which part of the meal goes where.
— To save on oven space and dirty dishes, use muffin tins for stuffing. It makes for easy bite-size servings.
— Cranberry sauce is actually best when it has been sitting in the fridge for a while. Make the sauce days in advance, cover and place in the back of the fridge.
— Make your pies days in advance and freeze them. The freezing process can actually help the crust set up and make it more delicious later.
— Keep your turkey warm by covering, tightly, with aluminum foil and then a heavy towel.
— Save some time by prepping mashed potatoes a day in advance. Chop potatoes and place in a sealed container with cold water. When it’s time to cook them, drain the water and add new.
— Soften refrigerated butter by placing it in a hot container. Microwave a glass of about 1 1/2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Immediately discard the water and place the stick of butter in the hot glass. Let it soften and then put it back on the butter dish.