This is the first Thanksgiving in a long, long time that I’m a full time working girl and also preparing for a major holiday. I didn’t even have kids the last time I had to put in this kind of effort so I’m in brand new territory. Fortunately, I used to be a professional event planner so I know some short cuts and I’m happy to share them here. Sharing them here also serves as a reminder and a to-do list for me.
Here are some rules and tips the help you get ready this week and have a fairly effortless holiday. Rules are good and help us subbies set it right in our minds and hearts. Make sure you go over this with your Dom and make adjustments to suite your household’s needs and wants.
- DO NOT GO MARTHA STEWART! If you’re working full time and have kids then pulling a Martha Stewart may leave you exhausted and defeated. Martha Stewart has help! Martha Stewart doesn’t clean her own house or have to shovel her driveway. Martha has accountants, and assistants, and teams working behind the scenes to make it all look pretty and effortless. LET’S GET REAL!
- Go for the tried and true. I have recipes that I can prepare in my sleep and I’m sure you must as well. This is not the time to finally fry a turkey. Please, please, please only fry a turkey after you’ve been properly taught by someone who’s done it a million times, otherwise you’ll be the person who ends up on YouTube with the side of their house on fire. Same goes for brining your bird. If you haven’t done it then don’t start now. Figure out right now what you’re making, do a check of your kitchen for items on hand, make a list of what you don’t have and get your ass to the grocery store NOW!
- Make sure your refrigerator and freezer are ready to receive. Clean them out properly! I never skimp here because this is the food you eat and your frig and freezer need to be super clean and everything that has expired needs to hit the garbage can.
- Clean those bathrooms. Don’t skimp here either. I stay on top of the bathrooms because I can’t stand anything gross. Buy extra toilet paper, tissues, and paper towels while you’re out shopping, and pick up a container of Clorox wipes for each bathroom, too. Electronic wipes (the kind for computer screens) are the BEST bathroom mirror and window cleaners EVER! Not one streak left behind. Easy peesy lemon squeezy. I get mine from Big Lots for $4.00 (?) a container. Soft Scrub works great for tubs and don’t forget Magic Erasers.
- Clean your stove top oven, too! Your turkey and side dishes won’t cook properly in a dirty oven. Many people forget this step, but it’s essential Hopefully you have self-cleaning oven.
- Do only what you have to and enlist help with the rest. Make chore lists for your kiddos (bride ’em if you have to) and let your Auntie bring the pies (even if they suck). Better yet, pick up your pies from Ye Old Pie Shop. You probably don’t have the time or energy to do it all without a lot of preparation ahead of time so don’t sweat it. Have a friend that makes incredible pies? Lucky you – do a trade! Have him or her make the pies in exchange for you picking up a few things at the grocery store or something else you can get done.
- Semi-homemade goes a long way. See pie comment above. If you’re going to buy your pies then make some homemade whipped cream to serve with it and call it a day. Whipped cream covers a multitude of sins and your Dom may get some ideas, too! You can whip up whipped cream 15 min before serving those pies and you will be loved for it. It’s so freaking easy. I have always baked my own bread for the stuffing. I would then cut the bread up into cubes, toast it, and put it in a paper bag to get nice and hard. I would do this 2 weeks out! Not this year, subster. I’m buying plain bread cubes from the grocery store and no will be the wiser.
- Spot clean and hide the rest of the mess. I admit it, my house is a pigsty right now. I’ve gotten behind, but I know how to get ahead. Clean the obvious first. Have an obnoxious mocking stain on the wall, couch, carpet, or all three? Clean those places first because it will motivate you for everything else. Nothing beats the feeling of accomplishment. Unless you know you can steam clean your own carpets or can hire it out, don’t go down that rabbit hole…just get a good foam cleaner, and vacuum thorougly (throw a carpert runner over really bad areas if you can). As for hiding your mess…DO NOT HIDE IT IN THE MASTER BEDROOM. You will not be happy when the day is over and you know darn well much of that mess will remain in your room. Use the laundry room, a closet, the basement, and/or the garage. Get a few cardboard boxes and write in marker what you’re putting in those boxes so you can put it all back later. A whole house sweep of decluttering into organized boxes will do wonders and you may find how much you don’t actually want. Use one box for important papers that you need to get through and put that box in a very safe place. Use another box for homeless items…you know, the crap that takes up counter space and you don’t know where to put it so it just keeps accumulating in random piles. Do not put that ‘ish in a junk drawer. As a matter of fact, pull out those junk drawers and dump them into your random junk box. You can then do some end of year sorting the following weekend for donation, recycling, keepers, and garbage. Kid crap goes into another box, etc, etc, etc. Clean surfaces are a joy to behold and make the rest of the cleaning so much easier.
- Get your tupperware in order. I have a kitchen cabinet devoted to plastic containers, but over the course of a year we accumulate orphans. I have the kids go through everything and match up container to lid then everything that doesn’t match gets recycled. I then buy what I don’t have so that prep and left over containers are available and at the ready.
- Prep, prep, and more prep. I have already chopped all the celery, onions, carrots, and garlic I will use and they’re in neat containers and ziplock bags in the freezer. I already mixed up my pie crusts and they’re in balls wrapped in cling Wrap waiting to be defrosted and rolled out. Anything that can be done BEFORE is gold. Stuffing can be made in a crock pot the day before and then cooled and put in the frig. Take it out the day of, add a little bit of turkey or chicken broth, set it on low and it will be warm and ready for dinner.
- Have you started defrosting your turkey? I wonder how many Thanksgivings have been twarted because of missing this essential step? I pulled out my 20 pounder from the deep freeze on Saturday morning and it’s in its original wrapping on the bottom shelf of my frig sitting in a roasting pan to catch any juices. Thawing guide ~ 10- to 12-pound bird: 2 days; 12- to 14-pound bird: 3 days; 14- to 18-pound bird: 4 days; 18-pound-plus bird: 5 days. Do not count the day of roasting. http://www.butterball.com/how-tos/thaw-a-turkey. If you haven’t purchased your turkey and wanted to get a huge bird, you may be too late for defrosting in time. You can begin your defrosting immediately and then on Wednesday start a cold water thawing (see link) or you can buy 2-10 lb birds. Roast one for Thanksgiving and then roast the other for the extra turkey you want for your family. Roasting a 10 lb bird will also cut down on your cooking time and that’s a plus for a us busy submissives.
- Set the table and get out all your serveware the night before. Make the day easy on yourself. Have all pot holders, kitchen towels, cooking utensils, et al, at the ready. Make sure you have enough dishwasher powder/liquid and clean as you go.
- Don’t forget about YOU! Lay out what you’re wearing the night before and make sure you leave room in the schedule on Thanksgiving day so you can shower, do your hair and makeup, and get dressed properly. I have been known to forget this part and I would avoid the camera at all costs. Not this year. I will be elegantly comfy so I can enjoy myself with those I love, just as it should be.
- Remember to donate a little of your time and resources to those in need. Make this a part of your preparation right along with your cranberry sauce. Most grocery stores have a box in front for donations and you can even donate online to the cause of your choice. Bring some cheer to an elderly neighbor by inviting he/she over to share in your abundance. There are so many ways to give.
Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone. Abundant Blessings To You All!