It's November! The Holidays are Coming!

Thanksgiving is early this year. So as I write this blog post today, we have exactly three weeks to prepare for the big feast; 55 days to prepare for Christmas, and 62 days to get ready for New Years Day. I don’t know about you, but that kind of makes my head spin, thinking about all that has to be done – culinarily speaking – between now and then! And since you’re reading this now, I imagine you’re a lot like me. You’re going to be doing a whole lot of cooking and baking between now and then. And if we let ourselves, we might get so overwhelmed that we throw our hands up and declare we’re skipping the holidays this year. How many times have we said that before?

Actually, I think this is good news for us as chefs. With 3 weeks until Thanksgiving, and 55 days until Christmas . . . we actually have lots of time to accomplish everything we want to do. That is, if we get organized! If we get organized, we have more than enough time to make all the amazing dishes, bake all the beautiful cakes and cookies, and serve all the amazing appetizers we want. But how will that happen?

I post a lot on social media. On any given Sunday or Monday, I read dozens of posts from home chefs who are ‘prepping’ ‘for the week ahead. Often that involves something like this: 1) Planning a weekly menu. 2) Preparing one big meal to serve twice – say a roast or a stew. 3) Making a big pot of soup to carry us through the week. 4) Creating a sauce or two that will work for a couple of nights of pasta. 5) Baking a large batch of something – cookies, brownies, etc. to enjoy throughout the week. And 6) Deciding which night to make (or order) pizza.

I get it! I’ve spent years going through the exact same exercise in my own kitchen. And usually, it works. But sadly this exercise doesn’t work during the holidays. It doesn’t allow us to enjoy our work in the kitchen over the next 62 days – or to enjoy our friends and family while we’re at it.

At times like this, I like to step back a little and take a look at the “big picture;” to consider how many events I'll host. How many people I'll serve. And more importantly, what food and beverages I’ll want to serve, and when I’ll serve them. It’s important to devise a strategy, to chart a course early – like today! It's time to get organized. And to get started - now!

Let me give you a small example of how this works in my kitchen. First things first, I’m going to get on the phone today to order my fresh Thanksgiving turkey and schedule its pick-up. I’ll put that date on my calendar now. Check, that one’s done! See how easy it can be? While not everything is quite that easy, it doesn’t have to be complicated either.

Over the next several days, I’ll be charting my course and planning my time in the kitchen for the next 62 days. Between now and then, my calendar will be my best friend. I’m looking forward to sharing with you as the season progresses!

So I hope you’ll plan to watch my blog for helpful holiday hints. Together we can make this season a lot of fun for us all! Happy November! Now let’s get started.

For great holiday recipes - and the seasonings to make them perfect - visit us online today at:

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