Thanksgiving is by far and away my favorite holiday. It is an annual opportunity to spend an entire day with the people I love enjoying our favorite activities. From the hours in the kitchen to relaxing over an extravagant meal to watching football to playing games, it is a perfect setting in which to reflect on how much we have to be grateful for. Truly enjoying the day requires nothing short of complete mindfulness, but as the designated hostess and executive chef, a certain measure of planning and multitasking is necessary to ensure things run smoothly...
Enter the Thanksgiving "run sheet" - a staple in our Thanksgiving preparations. This single document brings together all the recipes, breaking down the various ingredients, steps, baking times and temps, and kitchen real estate - and pegging them to the time at which each step needs to come together to finish and present your meal at the designated moment.
The compilation requires a certain amount of tedious detailing, but it streamlines the process - eliminating duplicative ingredient chopping (why dice carrots three different times when you can tackle it all at once and portion them out for each dish in which they appear?) and ensuring the requisite bowls, measuring cups, pots, pans, burners, and oven space will all be available and clean at the moment you need them. It can also help you identify what small tasks can be completed in advance to minimize the amount of active work required on the big day. By investing time in planning and preparing before the celebration, you free up your mind to slow down and fully experience each moment as it unfolds.
The run sheet provides value far beyond one day per year - put it to work anytime you must balance the responsibility of hosting with your desire to be a guest at your own party. Important business dinner? Surprise birthday celebration? Romantic dinner for two? Map the steps out in advance and experience the celebration as it happens.