Nov 19, 2013

5 Things To Make Thanksgiving Dinner More Carefree

The holidays are a great time for friends and family to get together and catch up, especially when a lot of us are separated for much of the year. For some, however, Thanksgiving dinner prep can make anticipating the day a little stressful.

That's no fun!

And holidays are meant to be fun. So here are some quick fixes to simplify your Thanksgiving dinner preparation and cleanup process, so that you can focus on enjoying the once-a-year delightful holiday!

1) Disposable Roasting Pan

Sure, it might not be the most environmentally-friendly, eco-responsible choice out there, but this is one of those cases where I plead moderation and make up for my eco-irresponsibility by being a little more cautious somewhere else (like making sure to switch off lights when I leave the room). The last thing you want to have to bother with after a delicious Thanksgiving dinner, when your stomach is full and everyone is settling down in the living room to digest their pecan pie (a la mode, of course) is scrub away at a real pan.

wash dishes he says  what could go wrong he says

Just say no to proper bakeware.

2)  Large Cooler

Your fridge is going to be so full with sides, spreads, desserts, and so on that there won't be any space for drinks. Filling a large cooler with ice (you can buy a big bag for just a dollar or two) is a great way to keep drinks cool without causing a fridge-valance.

1950s overstuffed fridge
Because no full fridge is that neat.
3) Portion Measuring Spoons

What a great way to minimize clean up! I know having to wash endless measuring cups and spoons, as well as all the cooking spoons, can be a real hassle when I'm putting together a nice meal with lots of different parts and where I have to follow a recipe.

These are a great time-saving invention!

4) Pandora

This might be a bit of an unexpected addition to the list, but trust me - almost everything is less stressful and more fun with music! So give your Thanksgiving dinner prep a soundtrack and let yourself really enjoy it.

gif LOL funny gifs music funny gif true cleaning relatable so relatable

If you're really festive (y'all know I've been in the holiday spirit since just before Halloween) you can tune in to the Christmas station on Pandora!

5) A Store-Bought Pecan Pie

Baking desserts is always great, but if you're so busy with the meal - just get the pie from the store. I think they taste just as good, sometimes better! Making a crust is just so time consuming and it's important that the pie is just right since, in my opinion (and that's obviously what matters, guys, come on) it's the best part of the meal.

I've pretty much always had a store-bought pecan pie and I love it!

Having given you five ways to skimp, here's a commonly recommended 'trick' that I recommend avoiding: don't serve canned and bottled drinks just to try to make cleanup easier. It's expensive, environmentally unfriendly, detracts from the perceived quality of the meal, and only really saves you labor if you don't have a dishwasher.

If you're an adult who cooks and don't have a dishwasher? Um, GET ONE. Now.

Also, THANKSGIVING GUYS. IS ALMOST HERE. Which means it's almost Christmas!

And me on Christmas morning?

surprised baby

Actually, that's me all December. Christmas itself is the best present ever!

Are you hosting Thanksgiving dinner this year?

What's your favorite thing about hosting?

Which of these tips do you already use?


  1. As a bakery owner and a Thanksgiving meal eater, I loved your post today!
    You are so correct about music. We have music playing LOUD when we are baking every night, and cleaning up after :^)
    Especially love the recommendation about buying your pie (yes, I have a vested interest in folks buying pies from us!)
    That being said, I need to add one more recommendation for a delicious, stress-free Thanksgiving...
    PRE-ORDER, or buy a few days early. At Great Harvest in Greensboro, NC we offer a pre-order, pre-pay option... when folks come with their "FastPass" on Wednesday before Thanksgiving they can rest assure that we have what they want, already bagged and ready to go. No last minute disappointment of no pies, no rolls, no fun :^(
    Plus, it respects the time of the customer... zoom in, zoom out for other errands!
    Have a wonderful Holiday!
    With Thanksgiving out of the way, you will be one day closer to your favorite celebration of Christmas!
    Let us know if you will be in town :^)
    Great Harvest Greensboro

    1. Thanks, Sheila! I'm not going to be in Greensboro for Thanksgiving, but for (a long) Christmas - I'm going home right after my last exam on December 14! I'm already so excited!

      But preordering is such a great idea, it saves a lot of wait time (that could definitely be better spent doing something else) and makes sure you get what you want, instead of having to settle for what's left or to search at multiple places. I remember one year when we had to go to four or five places to find a pecan pie! Pre-ordering would have been a great idea.

      Have a happy Thanksgiving!


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