The Ultimate Holiday Dinner Feast

Table settings

Preparing your first holiday dinner—without any help—can be a daunting task. From basting the turkey to perfecting the stuffing, there’s a lot to do in a matter of a few hours. If your kitchen is on the smaller side, every task becomes even more cumbersome. That is, if you aren’t adequately prepared to handle it. Thanks to our trusty guide for crafting a holiday meal in a small kitchen, however, you should be armed with everything you need to make Turkey Day into a smashing success.

  • Organize, organize, organize.  Before you even head to the grocery store for your turkey, start by getting organized. Plan your menu, and keep it as simple as possible—the fewer ingredients and the less prep time, the better. Allow for any guests who have dietary restrictions, too (you might even want to ask them to include this when they RSVP to your Facebook event or evite). Keep in mind other stuff you’ll have to do around the apartment in addition to cooking, like cleaning up and preparing the guest bedroom. Make a comprehensive to-do list so that you don’t miss anything.
  • Keep it tidy.  The quickest way to get frustrated when making a meal is by knocking over a stack of dirty dishes. This can easily happen in a big kitchen, so just imagine how likely it is in a smaller space. In order to avoid this (and having to run out for more plates an hour before people start showing up), clean up after yourself as you go. Chefs use a technique called “mise en place,” or “putting in place,” to keep their kitchens tidy. It simply involves getting out everything you need ahead of time-and then putting it away when you’re finished with it.
  • Stash dirty dishes elsewhere.  If you can’t seem to stay on top of the dirty dishes, one home chef who was struggling came up with an ingenious hack: stow them in the bathtub. It’s not exactly a long-term solution, but just getting those extra mixing bowls and spoons out of the kitchen for an hour or two might be enough to help you get out in front of the mess. If you have an extra pair of hands, put them on dish duty and you might be able to avoid the bathtub dishwashing situation all together.
  • Work ahead.  Do you really want to have to wake up at 6 a.m. to have your Thanksgiving meal ready by noon? If the answer is no, here’s an alternative that will allow you to sleep in (at least a little): choose recipes that can be prepared ahead of time, at least in part. Chopping veggies and blending spices are things you can do before the big day—you can even do them weeks in advance, if your recipes allow you to freeze the vegetables and the spices will keep for that long. At the very least, make sure you actually have all the seasonings on hand that you’ll need for Turkey Day.

8 Real-Life Tips for Making Big Dinners in a Small Kitchen [All Recipes]
Cooking a Huge Thanksgiving Dinner in a Small Kitchen []
Big Party, Small Package [Tasting Table]

  • December 8th, 2015
  • Posted in: Avalon