Recently frequent commenter JayMonster asked:
Have any tricks for getting “prepped” for Turkey Day any easier? I mean, we use dishes, chargers, silverware and goblets that typically only see the light of day here and at Xmas, so it becomes a chore as big as the meal itself to wash and polish everything. Any ideas on how to get through that mess?
Absolutely, the trick is to do it in stages.
The menu and shopping list have been written. Now it is time to ensure you have enough serving dishes for the big day. Do not wait until the night before to hunt up your servingware. One of the great unwritten laws of the universe states that the sticky mystery dust film’s thickness is directly proportional to how badly you need the dish to be clean.
First thing to ask, are you serving buffet or family style?
Cheap aluminum containers work well on a buffet, but they don’t hold up well to being passed around. If you don’t want grandma to end up with a lapful of sweet potatoes, I suggest finding sturdier dishes. Clearance stores such as Big Lots often have foil pans for a reasonable price. Thriftstores may have serving pieces for bargain prices, but the pickings may be slim. If you need more dishware, start looking now.
If you don’t use your serving dishes for every day meals grab a stack of 3x5s or sticky notes and write the name of a menu item on each. In each dish place the name of the food it will hold. This will come in handy if you have willing volunteers on Thanksgiving.
While you are checking your serving dishes be sure you also have enough large spoons, both slotted and non, serving forks, and a good carving knife