The kitchen is where the bulk of Thanksgiving activity happens — at least before any guests come over. Between turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, cornbread, stuffing, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, pecan pie and whatever else is on the traditional menu at your house, there’s plenty of prep work to be done.
On average, we’ll spend seven hours cooking Thanksgiving dinner every year. And that food gets inhaled pretty quickly, with the average time spent eating the meal being only 16 minutes.
There’s also an added stress level while preparing such a massive meal for so many people. You’ll likely find yourself running around frantically, maybe leaving food, knives, towels or other supplies in precarious places. That’s inviting injury for you or one of your guests.
Even if you’re moving back and forth between the kitchen and other rooms of the house, take the time to clean up prep areas when you’re done making food. Try to clean in batches so it’s not a big undertaking all at once. If you have a movable island or kitchen table, try to create a path so people have plenty of room to maneuver. Never walk away from an open flame and don’t leave a towel or napkin near the stove.
If possible, prepare certain foods ahead of time. Stuffing, gravy and most desserts will still taste great a day or two later. By making those foods before the big day, you’re removing more distractions and stress from your plate. Alternatively, you can go potluck style and encourage everyone to bring their own dish, giving you less to worry about in the kitchen.
And if you’re really worried about your Thanksgiving meal, you can always opt to get turkey insurance.