I confess, I've always wanted to put on an awesome holiday dinner in a big house that's mine where I cook everything and it is AWESOME. Since I don't yet have a house, I've only entertained in small ways (college parties notwithstanding, ahem), but watching Mom the Homemaker utterly tame Easter dinner this year gave me some great ideas for holiday entertaining. Check out the helpful tips I learned from watching her!
1.) Prepare a menu ahead of time. Mom the homemaker walked around for days before Easter with a list of things she was going to cook, and made sure she had all the ingredients ahead of time. You might also want to make a cooking schedule for the big day, planning out when you should put things in the oven based on how long they take to cook and when you're planning to eat - this is especially important if you have one oven, not Mom the Homemaker's two.
2.) Don't wait until the day before to clean. When I was getting up to go to the gym and go to work, Mom the Homemaker was getting up a bit early to clean a little bit of the house at a time, until it was ready for guests. Many hands might make light work, but so do many days!
3.) Know what your guests enjoy. and give it to them. Sometimes making a special dish by request can introduce everyone to a new family favorite. When I became a vegetarian, Mom the Homemaker made a cheese souffle so that there could be a vegetarian dish, and now it's everyone's favorite and we have it at every holiday! This year, Mom the Homemaker made fried parsnips, which were a big hit! She knew that Grandma the Homemaker and she liked them, but it turned out other guests did too!
4.) Plan holiday-themed activities. My Italian side is of the opinion that food is the most important activity, but some people like to do, you know, other stuff. For Easter we have the Easter egg and Easter basket hunts, but there are always wacky holiday activities you can try! The internet is totally your friend here.
5.) Stay chill. You might feel like you're planning an event that everyone else can enjoy, but if you don't have fun putting it together then holidays will feel really sucky after awhile. Mom the Homemaker combats suck-ness by being utterly wacktard while cooking in the kitchen. Try it at home!
What are your tips for planning awesome holidays? What have you learned from your Mom? Tell me in the comments below!
-June the Homemaker
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