I like to start grocery shopping about a week before the holiday. I buy non-perishables… and start picking up some produce like potatoes, onions, celery and carrots. By buying ahead… and crossing them off my grocery list… I make it that much easier for the “just before the holiday” grocery shopping trip. It also gives me a chance to look over that list and check it twice. I think it reduces the stress of being overwhelmed with all the details.
Checking Linens, Dishes and Glassware
By checking my table linens, serving dishes, plates, silverware and glassware the week before, I give myself a week to fill in any gaps. I also wash and iron anything I think needs it.
TIP: This tip is from a Great Aunt of mine…. she always rolled her table cloths never folded them… this way there weren’t any creases to iron out at the last minute….
Follow-up with Everyone Bringing Something
I always like to follow-up with everyone that has volunteered to bring something. By doing it a week before…. it reminds them you haven’t forgotten they are bringing something…. by reminding them close to the weekend… it gives them time to purchase what they need to….
A word about volunteers…. be sure they’re reliable …. I have been burned by people I considered very reliable…. either they forget… or don’t even show-up… or in some cases.. they unfortunately get sick and can’t attend…. I never leave something to someone else that will ruin the dinner if it doesn’t show up…. I have learned that the hard way. If someone has offered to purchase the turkey… be sure to pick it up a couple of days before so it can be thawed properly and put in the oven early.
I try to limit what other people bring to “extra” specialty items or basic ones that can be replaced easily in a pinch. If someone makes an outstanding apple pie… by all means… let them volunteer to bring it… but be sure to have other pies on hand as well…. who cares if you have leftover pie (I should be so lucky as to have leftover desserts).
Another good item for someone to bring is dinner rolls. I always purchase a couple cans of crescent rolls… just in case…. if I need them… I have them.. if not.. I know I’ll use them before the expiration date.
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White Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Filling and White Chocolate Coconut Frosting
Sweet Potato Pancakes with Pecan Butter