Tips For The Best Holiday Dinner For A Large Family
Whether your big holiday dinner includes homemade dishes, potluck style preparation or you’re having your meal catered by your favorite Pawleys Island restaurant, getting things ready for a large family can be stressful. Celebrating Chanukah, Christmas or New Year’s should be about spending time with family, not spending all your time planning a large dinner party. No matter your gathering style, we have a few tips to help your holiday dinner run like a fine dining experience.
Set The Menu
Decide on what you’ll serve for the holiday dinner and stick with it. Many guests will likely ask what they can bring when they receive your invite, so take them up on the offer. Have a list of guest-appropriate items that can be added to the dinner without needing much time in the oven or additional prep work. Holiday items easy for guest transport typically include desserts, pastries, beverages, or an appetizer.
Prep A Week Out
Don’t wait until the day before (or even two days out) the dinner to do your grocery shopping. You’re sure to forget an item or realize you need an ingredient that didn’t make the list. Start your prep work five to seven days ahead of the meal. Build your master shopping list, dividing items into dry goods, perishables, decorations, etc.
Clean Out The Fridge
Eat the last of your Pawleys Island restaurant leftovers and clean out the Tupperware containers. The fridge should be ready to handle everything from your shopping list. It’ll also be handy when you start preparing food to not struggle to find space for it.
Set The Kitchen
You don’t have to have a chef’s kitchen to prepare great dishes. Pull out the slow cooker, extra pots and pans, and holiday dishes for your guests. It’ll be much easier to prepare the main dish and side items when all your cooking tools and appliances are within reach.
Create Cooking Schedule
If you’re preparing a ham or turkey for holiday dinner, your oven will be in use for several hours, which may limit how many side dishes you can get done the day of the dinner. Take a look at your menu and decide which items can be prepared or even cooked a day or two days ahead of the meal. Potatoes, for example, can be sliced and stored in water the day before to be ready to be boiled and mashed.
Set The Table The Night Before
Save all your time the day of the dinner for cooking. Set the dinner table the night before to remove one item from your checklist.
Use Slow Cookers
Slow cookers are a great space saver. Use them to cook your side items – like stuffing, candied carrots, and turnip greens – and save stovetop space for other items.
Enjoy dinner with your family by preparing for the large meal ahead of time. Five to seven days ahead of the holiday meal, start preparing your list and your kitchen. When you’re organized headed into the event, things will go much smoother. Of course, if you’re not up for cooking for 10, you can bring your family to Chive Blossom and enjoy fine dining Pawleys Island style.