I may be a little OCD.
Ok, I am definitely a lot OCD. I usually blame those genes on my mom, but in truth, it comes fairly equally from both of my parents. There was really no escape for me.
But, today I’m trying to use my
compulsions special skills for good instead of evil. It’s Thanksgiving Eve, after all, so today I’m thankful for my proactive nerd-ability (nerdyness? geekdom?) that will allow me to be stress-free in the kitchen tomorrow. I give you, good people, my Thanksgiving Battle Plan.
This is a comprehensive list of everything I have to do tomorrow.
I know. I told you there was some nerd-tastic stuff coming your way. But, hear me out.
Scott and I are headed over to our good friends’ house for the holiday. I’m responsible for five things: brie and caramelized onion puff, stuffing, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, and blueberry pie. It’s a lot to get done but not nearly as much as if I were hosting myself (which, pow, is another thing I’m thankful for today!).
When I moved to Florida and started cooking Thanksgiving on my own, I was happy because hooray! I get to cook Thanksgiving! But, it also made for sort of a stressful day. Getting everything on a table – hot – at the same time is not my strong suit. And, when there are that many moving parts for one meal, I don’t know about you, but I tend to overlook things. I’ll forget to get the cream cheese out so it’s at room temperature or I’ll forget to preheat the oven for a particular dish, and that’ll put me behind schedule. Little things, sure, but it adds to the stress of the day.
So, several years ago I started writing out what I need to accomplish in the days leading up to Thanksgiving as well as a step-by-step, timed-out schedule for the big day. I hear what you’re thinking: that sounds like a huge pain in the rear end, Christy. Which, granted, it is. Breaking each recipe down, step-by-step, and then combining all of the steps together into one list. It’s, yeah, a pain.
But, it makes Thanksgiving day so much more enjoyable for me. I don’t have to think about when to do what or if I’m ultimately going to end up at the right finish time. Everything’s planned out. From deciding which dishes can fit in the oven together and bake at the same temperature to remembering to take the stuffing bread out of the oven (which is where I spread it out to let it dry) before I preheat it for the pie, I just do what my magical paper tells me, and I know everything will be fine.
Special bonus: if you make a lot of the same dishes/recipes each year (which most of us do, right?), you really only have to do the hard work once. The following years will just require small tweaks for a new recipe or a different meal time. Easy.
Happy Thanksgiving Eve!