With the holiday season about to hit, here’s all you need to be prepared. (I may be overstating things just a bit.)
1. Inhale. It is a marathon and not a sprint. You aren’t going to get everything done in one shot (if you are, please offer sage advice in the comment section!). Give yourself a little wiggle room. It’s going to be fine.
2. Love Your Freezer. There is something so magical about opening a freezer full of food. Consider doubling recipes and freezing one batch for later. With all the holidays on the horizon, it won’t be there for long.
3. Say Yes. Guests often offer to help. Take them up on that offer. Hate making salads? Ask them to cut one. Know they make a mean brownie? Ask them to bring dessert. Often our inclination is to say “no thanks” to people who offer to help. With six meals looming ahead, you should be embracing the “yes.”
4. Keep is Simple. This may not be the best time to whip out the latest Gourmet Magazine and experiment. Pick dishes that are family favorites and perhaps supplement with a new dish or two at each meal. You don’t want to be left with a fancy flop right before Rosh HaShana.
5. Do Not Overcook. I will be the first to admit that I am completely guilty of overcooking. I sort of just keep going until I run out of ingredients or time. I’d like to pretend that I’ve moved past this stage. I guess the best I can say is I’m trying. No one is really hungry at meal six. Prepare thoughtfully.
6. Lists are Your Friend. There are so many new ways to make lists these days. You can be keeping computer files, using evernote or have a notebook by your side. I walk around with a notebook (think of it as a middle-aged security blanket). The notebook has lists of menus which are cross-referenced with shopping lists. Even as I write I’m hating myself but it keeps me from forgetting too much.
7. Lighten Things Up. There have been a number of articles written about how we tend to overeat on Shabbat and holidays. Make sure you have plenty of veggies and leaner proteins represented at your meals.
Got any tips that can help? Leave them in the comment section below. We cooks need to keep together!