Thanksgiving might be the most delectable day of the year. It’s a holiday that is heavy on tradition, but also heavy on the calories. Some of our favorite dishes make their annual appearance on the Thanksgiving table: that giant bird that is labored over, grandma’s butter-laden dressing, tart and tangy cranberry sauce, fluffy mashed potatoes, and those cloud-soft rolls. That’s just for starters; are almost too many delicious sides to name, and don’t forget about dessert.
Thanksgiving, however, is not just about the food (though the food lovers among us would argue otherwise). It’s a time when families come together to stuff their faces, drink hot apple cider (or a stronger libation of choice), and shout at the television when the refs make a bad call against their team — oh, and maybe make some cherished family memories along the way.
But other family members are trapped in the kitchen; all of that deliciousness has to come from somewhere. And that somewhere is the loving devotion (along with blood, sweat, and tears) of those preparing the feast that guests have come to enjoy.
Does Thanksgiving really have to be a hard, a long, drawn-out process that leaves little fun for the family cooks? There has to be a better way. In fact, there are better ways to make Thanksgiving just a little bit easier. Slow-cooking the turkey overnight makes the meat tenderer and leaves more space in the oven on the big day. Don’t waste time scrubbing endless potatoes for that heavenly mash; let your dishwasher do that thankless chore.
Thanksgiving should be a day of savoring, not laboring. Check out these “hacks” that will make this Thanksgiving a little less stressful.
Bake Stuffing in Muffin Tins
That large casserole dish holding all that stuffing goodness gets heavy and unwieldy, not to mention the fact that it doesn’t produce enough crispy edges to go around. Increase crispy surface area by baking your favorite stuffing in muffin tins. Perfect portion sizes are a bonus.
Add Baking Powder to Mashed Potatoes
Mashed potatoes are a popular dish at the Thanksgiving table, but let them be the star. In addition too tons of butter and cream, a little baking powder can make your mashed potatoes the stuff of dreams. The heat from those hot potatoes triggers a chemical reaction with the baking powder, wherein the carbon dioxide produced adds extra fluffiness. Science can be tasty, too.
*This article was originally published on November 6, 2014