4 Ways to Curb Cooking Stress During the Holidays
Holiday gatherings are great – family and friends nearby, enjoying a meal, celebrating the season. But when you’re the host, those family meals can get a little overwhelming. Luckily there are ways to make your hosting duties less stressful.
Keep these points in mind when you’re planning your big holiday meals this month.
Spread the cooking duties
One of the best ways to keep the stress off one person’s shoulders when you’re hosting family and friends for meals during the holidays is to divvy up the cooking responsibilities. Potluck family gatherings continue to be a popular option, so as the host, pass off some of the meal elements you’re less inclined to do yourself (whether it’s the pumpkin pie or the veggie tray) on capable guests.
Cook early and often
Who says everything needs to be fresh-made the day of? When you’re the host and responsible for the feast, one of the best ways to reduce some stress is to do a little bit of the cooking earlier in the week and make use of your freezer. Elements of the meal like pies and desserts, certain types of salads and even baked ham freeze and reheat well. Plus, it can free up some of your oven or range space for items that are better fresh-cooked.
Not everyone has a flair for certain types of cooking – whether you’re stressed about making desserts or don’t have a feel for sweet potatoes, try to find affordable, low-sodium, low-sugar premade options in the frozen or fresh sections of your go-to grocery store. You can also simplify your cooking methods – investigate recipes that can be completed with “set it and forget it” devices like slow-cookers, such as brisket, apple cider, chicken, mac and cheese or even some types of desserts.=
Save some funds
There are several holiday staples that can actually be purchased using a WIC check, including fruits and vegetables, potatoes, 100 percent whole-wheat buns or rolls and evaporated milk (for your pumpkin pie). You can save a few bucks on your shopping budget by planning ahead with your WIC checks and setting aside your cash for non-included items such as a turkey or pie filling.