Thanksgiving Holiday Hacks

thanksgiving holiday hacks

If you have a hand in the Thanksgiving meal prep, now is about the time when you’re probably starting to wonder what you got yourself into. Cooking for Thanksgiving is a task no matter what, but it becomes exponentially harder when your kids are running around demanding attention too. Here are some hacks to help make the Thanksgiving prep a little easier.

Use the dishwasher to clean potatoes. If you just need to wash a few potatoes, scrubbing by hand in the sink is no problem. But if you’re making enough potatoes for a feast, this hack can save you a lot of time.

Free up a burner with slow cooker mashed potatoes. Once you’ve got those potatoes peeled, throw them in your slow cooker with some salt, milk and butter for a fix-it-and-forget-it essential Thanksgiving side. Alternatively, you can make them the traditional way, and then transfer to the slow cooker to keep them warm.

Fuhget-about-it green beans. Here’s another great use for that slow cooker – a green bean casserole like Grandma used to make, but better.

Tape your recipes to a cabinet. If you’re forever losing those printed-out recipes, or getting them so covered with food that they’re next-to impossible to read, tape them up to a cabinet to keep them easily accessible and clean.

Make room for the sides. Can’t quite figure out how you’re going to fit all your sides in the oven with a huge turkey in there? Try cooking your turkey overnight! Sounds crazy, but we’d be willing to try it. 

Outsource. Sometimes, it’s worth a little extra money to save your sanity. Hit up your grocery store’s salad bar for items like pre-cut onions, cooked and washed green beans, chopped tomatoes, and more.

Keep your gravy toasty. Trying to keep everything warm can be a herculean task when you’re making a meal for 12. If you’re running out of space, try putting the gravy in a thermos. It will do the same magic it does on your morning coffee. Just be sure to wash that thermos carefully before your next to-go cup! 

Flash-freeze. Did you forget to throw the white wine in the fridge? You can chill it quickly by wrapping a wet paper towel around it and throwing it in the fridge. It should be cold in just about 15 minutes.

Keep the kids busy. If you’re having a kids’ table this year, try this out. Cover the table with craft paper or that long brown paper you sometimes get with your Amazon packages. Lay out some crayons or colored pencils by each place setting to keep your kids busy and happy. Busy and happy kids = second helpings for you. Yum. 

What are your best Thanksgiving hacks? Let us know below! 

Ali Wilkinson
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Ali Wilkinson

Online Editor at PDX Parent
Ali Wilkinson is the Online Editor for PDX Parent, and is one of the founders of PDX Kids Calendar. She loves exploring Portland with her three small children, especially when the explorations lead outdoors, to music or to ice cream. You can read more from Ali at www.runknitlove.com.
Ali Wilkinson
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