Whether you favor the traditional turkey or are more daring to try a hummus appetizer dish, creating a menu planner will help to keep you sane this holiday season. Not only will it help to prevent unneeded five-dozen eggs, but it will also help to keep you on schedule and allow you to make your home look its best too. Here are our tips to get your holiday menu planner settled.
- Get the Facts
Before you get too far into the planning, first you need to know the basics such as how many people you are serving, the ages of your guests (all adults or kids too?), and what time they are arriving. From these facts, you can start to think of how many courses you can realistically serve.
- Set the Menu
We like to think this is one of the fun bits as you begin to see everything start to come together. You want to have the name of the dish and all of the ingredients you will need. While some people prefer to go into detail down to the grains of salt, do what you feel comfortable with. You should definitely get all of the main ingredients down, though. While you could create your own spreadsheet and have the ingredient list from a recipe posted in, there are some great apps you can find for your tablet or smartphone so you can take your menu with you electronically.
- Shop and Schedule
Once you’ve finalized your menu it’s time to make a shopping list. Consider what ingredients are shared in different dishes so you don’t buy an overload of ingredients. Also, see what you have in your pantry so you don’t overbuy (unless you want four cans of pumpkin hanging around even after the holiday season has passed – we won’t judge you!).
If you know you’ll be short on time, also start a schedule. Note how many weeks or days in advance you can go shopping for ingredients (this might also help you avoid those nasty day-before-Thanksgiving crowds). Then also consider your resources. For example, if the turkey is roasting, you might not be able to bake the pies at the same time. You want to see how much time each course will take and if there are ways you can streamline any processes. Remember, some side dishes can be cooked before and then warmed up a few minutes before the feast begins. Also, some dishes need an extra day of prep if they need to be chilled. You’ll want to allocate enough time for these dishes. Set up reminders ahead of time to keep you on track throughout the weeks leading up to your event.
- Stay Calm and Follow Through
Don’t let the bustle of the holidays turn you into an angry mess; it should be a happy time of year. You’ve got everything planned; just try to stick to the schedule! Even if everything doesn’t go to plan, this will give you an opportunity to tell some great stories next year.
From all of us here in West Berlin, we hope you found these tips helpful to help you get organized this holiday season. If your home is in need of a more serious organization upgrade, contact us today to learn more about our custom pantries, closets and organization systems for your whole home!