The Cure for Holiday Cooking

For most people the thought of the holidays brings up memories of big family dinners gathered around the table with mountains of food and a never ending supply of drinks. However, for some the thought of the holidays brings up nightmares of planning the meal, getting jostled at the grocery store buying all the food, buying all the drink supplies, cleaning the house top to bottom and then getting up at the crack of dawn to make the array of food that everyone is expecting.

Creating the family meal for the holidays can be overwhelming and frustrating but it doesn’t have to be. We have collected a few tips and ideas to save you time, energy and money too.

Tip: Ask guests to bring the makings for their favorite drink.  That way everyone gets to enjoy their favorite beverage and you don’t have to cover the expense or worry about whether or not any is going to like your selections.

Tip: Ask guests to bring the side dishes and/or the desserts. The benefits are threefold; you take care of the main entrée only and save lots of time and money, guests get to bring their favorite side dish or dessert and last but not least you often get a better variety of food than if you had planned the entire meal.

Tip: Don’t mind all the planning, cleaning and cooking but feel like everything costs too much? Tell your guests that it is $10 per adult and $5 per child to attend the dinner. No one can go out and eat a huge dinner for that price during the holidays and it helps you cover the cost of putting the dinner on.

Tip: Hire someone to come in and clean your house for you. There are some great house cleaning services and they aren’t that expensive. Believe me; the relief of not worrying about this during holiday preparations is worth the cost.  Better yet, hire some of your friend’s teenage children to clean the house for you.

Tip: Have a dessert contest. Have everyone bring their favorite dessert and allow everyone to vote for their favorite. The person who brought that dessert gets to take home a prize. It could be as small as a couple of holiday cookies cutters from the dollar store. This could become a family ritual.

Tip: When planning your meal look for items that are easy prep or can be made days ahead of time and finished off the day of. For example, you can make homemade dinner rolls and freeze them on a cookie sheet before you let them rise. Then you can take them out in the morning and bake by noon.

No matter what your plans for the holiday season, everyone can use the gift of extra time. Be sure to pass on some of these ideas to your family’s dinner host. Happy Holidays from PEC!

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