So they passed the baton to you this year. You now have the honor of hosting the holiday meal. Yeah!? Wait a minute you just realized that you’ve never done this before. Time to panic. I mean you know how to cook but a holiday meal? Get those Martha Stewart ideas out of your head… I mean it’s your first holiday meal. Don’t get me wrong she’s phenomenal but kinda makes you crazy trying to get that picture perfect Holiday dinner.
So how do you go about having an unforgettable Holiday meal? Easy….all it takes is planning. “If you don’t have a plan, plan to fail”. It’s true. So here are some steps to get you going in the right direction.
1. Create a menu. Yes, actually know what it is you want to feed people. My rule of thumb is don’t try new dishes unless you have time to try them out beforehand. Stick to the dishes that are your strong points. This is also your opportunity to delegate. Yes it’s okay to ask your aunt who makes the best macaroni & cheese if she would do the honor of gracing your table with a dish. Or if you like you can cater a portion of your meal. I’m not judging and if the people at your table are then maybe you shouldn’t invite them to next year’s holiday meal.
2. Have a head count. Nothing worst than having a table full of people and not enough food for everyone. Talk about embarrassing. Knowing your head count helps you with the next step.
3. Create a shopping list. Now that you know what and how much of it you’ll need to cook. You can make a list of all the things you’ll need to actually cook dinner. Re-check recipes to make sure you have everything listed to complete dishes.
4. Shop. DO NOT WAIT UNTIL THE NIGHT BEFORE TO GROCERY SHOP! Waiting until the last minute causes so many problems. It’s unnecessary stress
b) unable to get all the items you need cause you’re not the only one wanting them
c). You miss out on taking advantage of sales.
5. Prep. Check recipes to see what you can make in advance. Make a timeline going from things that take the longest to the least amount of time. This way you’ll know what dishes need to be started first, do things that will help ease your cooking … like chopping onions and freezing them until you are ready to use.
These are some suggestion to help make your turn at holiday meal hosting easier to handle. If I’ve missed something or you know of anything that can make this easier please leave a comment. I’d love to hear what’s on your mind.
2 Comments on “Let’s Make a Plan ( Holiday Series Pt 1)”
Excellent tips! Especially the one about knowing the head count!
This is a great breakdown of “how-to” entertain for ANY occasion! It is so crucial that any host(ess) have an executable plan that carries them from invitation to prep work to a well fed crowd. Out of all #4 is the MOST important one out them all. Nothing worse than having to venture into the jungle that is Thanksgiving/Christmas Eve to do all your shopping.
Great post Madame Chef!