The holidays are a time for friends, food and being thankful. It’s also a time where stress rears its ugly head. When we threw our first Thanksgiving at the Beekman, we were so stressed out making sure that everything was perfect that it spoiled the fun of being with family and enjoying quality time. Since then, we have come up with little tips and tricks to make the season go a little smoother and make hosting dinners and parties more fun. We hope that by sharing some of our favorite Thanksgiving life hacks, you’ll experience a little less stress and a little more fun during this season.

1. Have a potluck.

Stressed about hosting? Kitchen too small for one big bird and 10 different side dishes? Have a potluck dinner instead. It takes some of the cooking burden off you and sharing recipes is a great way to get to know guests both new and old.

2. Use snacks as a diversion.

Don’t get us wrong, we love having friends and family over. But while we’re cooking, we want them to stay away from the war zone that is our kitchen. To keep our guests occupied and satisfied, we put out bowls or plates full of snacks outside of the kitchen. A bowl of Goat Poop Poopcorn in the living room keeps the kids happy while they watch TV. Some Blaak cheese and crackers on a nice serving tray in our dining room keeps the conversation flowing and contained in one area. It’s a strategy that works and keeps people from getting hangry.

3. Preplan your dishes.

The day before, take out your pans and platters and assign dishes to each. Write the name of the food that will be in the platter on a post-it note and stick it onto the dish. On Thanksgiving Day, it will be one less thing you’ll have to worry about.

4. No roasting rack? No problem.

We prefer to bake our bird in something with a little more panache, like our Beekman Bakeware. To make it work, take some tinfoil, twist it into a coil, and place on the bottom of your dish. This will keep your turkey elevated and help it roast evenly and it will look great once placed at the table. Another alternative is to use carrots, onions, and celery. They will not only help your bird cook evenly but will also create more flavorful pan drippings for gravy.

5. Foolproof Potatoes.

If you pick any dish to take a shortcut on, do it with your potatoes. Make your mashed potatoes the night before and then put them in a decorative dish, cover and refrigerate. While the turkey is resting, pop your potatoes in the oven to reheat. No one will know that they aren’t freshly made.

by Josh and Brent

Reader Comments

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Lee Ann Nickerson

The words in your above texts that are the names of your products (done in different color) come out on my apple screen as VERY light grey. I have to take a second look to be sure it isn’t blank and what it actually says! Do you want us to work that hard at seeing what your saying? Hopefully not. (I did just have my eyes checked and was told they were fine.)

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Vicki Madden

Really enjoyed your practical hacks. I’m for sure trying several of your ideas, especially your mashed potatoes idea. Have s wonderful Thanksgiving, guys, love you.

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Yvette

Love the hacks…..have a few as part of my planning as well….mashed potatoes is one I have done for about 5 years and I do gravy ahead. Just buy a turkey leg or two, roast ahead and make your base gravy (a little thick ) the day before, then on Thanks giving add your juices from the big bird and it is no fuss on that day.

My family thinks I am the only one who labels my dishes ahead…..now I have proof I am not.

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Judith

My tip for easier prep–Early Thanksgiving week buy turkey legs. Cook with some celery and carrots on Weds. Make gravy. Refrigerate. Place in crockpot on Thurs. to reheat and save that last minute stress of making perfect gravy.

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Patricia

Great ideas! Making some foods ahead of time and putting them in a crockpot (like mashed potatoes) Thanksgiving morning on warm is a huge help too! I also make gravy ahead of time with turkey legs and other veggies. No worries about having enough drippings to make it after the turkey is done.

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Debra

Yes the mashed potatoes and gravy are my biggest woes. This year I’ll be making them ahead of time. Thanks for the tips!

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