Go to My Holiday Readiness Tips
Your kitchenware can help reduce the stress associated with oven - to table last minute preparations. Put these kitchen tools to the task and reduce congestion in the kitchen. Here are a few tips to help you with this special dinner:
Day Before Check List:
- Spices & ingredients required for meal items & drinks
- Fill salt & pepper shakers
- Table accents like candles or centerpiece
- Camera film & batteries
- Ice for drinks or to place in cooler with cans of drinks
- Napkins & table linen ready
- Storage bags or containers for left-overs or 'take-home' goodies.
- Disposable glasses
- Do you have enough cutlery?
- Do you have all condiments? Cranberries? Dessert topping?
- Have sufficient hot pads and pot holders ready early.
- Chill beverages
- Sharpen knives
- Defrost turkey or other large meats and entrees
- Need a refresher on setting the table?
- Buffet style serving is great for large groups, and some items like butter, buns, and condiments, can be prepared early in the day, covered and ready.
- Use your crockpot to keep the mashed potatoes, perogies, or vegetables warm. Hint: Spray or grease the inside liner with a little olive oil.
- An electric fondue pot can keep the gravy hot on the buffet table. Just add a ladle.
- A vegetable steamer on a side counter or buffet table, can reduce congestion at the stove.
- A roaster oven that has a buffet tray can be used for keeping vegetables warm.
- An electric skillet or wok on a low setting can keep sliced ham or turkey warm.
- An electric knife is terrific for carving. Or ensure you have a sharp carving knife.
Basic, Simple Knife Sharpening
- Covered serving dishes and roasters are also handy for keeping side dishes warm. Consider using those that can go straight from the oven to the table - to reduce clean up.
- Make coffee ahead and pour into a thermal carafe, or hot pot dispenser.
- Arrange your desserts on a serving platter early in the day or the night before, and refrigerate or freeze until shortly before needed.
- An electric chocolate melting pot can be used to keep hot dips or cranberry sauce warm.
Chocolatiere Melting Pot
- A blender with an ice crushing blade can be used for small quantities of ice for special drinks.
- A whisk works well for smoothing your gravy.
- A fruit punch is always delightful and a punch bowl with self-serve cups makes serving easier. No punch bowl? Use an oversized salad bowl and disposable glasses.
- Not using your punch bowl? Use it for a delicious trifle.
- After carving your turkey, place the bones you want for soup in a zip-lock bag and refrigerate - easy to take out the next day, and empty it into a stockpot with other soup ingredients.
- If roasting your turkey in a low-sided or foil roasting pan, placing a cookie sheet under it will ensure no grease drips into your oven, and the roasting pan is more stable for easy removal.
- Empty your dishwasher early in the day - clean up will be quicker.
- Ready your servingware and kitchen tools early in the day. You can even napkin-wrap silverware.
Other Resources for a Great Dinner
- You can find great last minute recipes at Food and Drink at About
- Best Buffet & Hosting Servingware
- Housewares for Hosting & Large Events
- Hosting Tips & Resources
- Top Picks of Housewares & Appliances
- Appliance Buying Tips
- Party Appliances
- Fondues & Melting Pots
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