Pull out All the Stops for the Big Meal

Whether we’re talking about Thanksgiving or Christmas (or another holiday-related meal), food is where the memories are made.  The big meal is the one time when it’s okay (and even expected) to sit together at the table and enjoy food, conversation, and each other.  If cooking and baking (and hosting and entertaining) isn’t your thing, then fret not.  No one says we have to do anything a certain way.  We are the ones who get to decide how we’re going to do things.  But over the years, I have found that if I’m going to be in the kitchen anyway (though ready-made meals and buffet lines have their place and are great for their purposes because they get right to the point without all the prep work), then it feels better to produce something that was worth the work.  Some adjustments might need to be made if there’s anyone in the house between the ages of zero and two because of the demands of caring for children that young, but that’s a given.  No need to overdo it—just do what you can, where you’re at.  And besides, the more you make mashed potatoes by hand, the more you’ll see that they really aren’t that hard.  And the turkey?  The prime rib?  The ham?  They just require time to cook and a few prepping tricks once you find a recipe that works for your palate.  If you have a varied menu, then things may get tricky as we plan for what-goes-in-the-oven-when or how to layer the making of things to save time, but time is really the last thing we need to think about.  All we need to focus on is doing a good job that fits within our skill, experience, and interest levels, no matter how long it takes.

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