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Holiday time-saving food tips for family celebrations

Carol Schwarz
Buffalo County Extension Educator

Holidays are a wonderful time to be with family and friends. They can also be a stressful time if you are trying to make everyone’s favorite holiday dishes. To allow you to spend more time with family and friends, and less time worrying about holiday food, here are some easy tips to keep in mind this holiday season.

If you love to cook, plan your menus ahead of time and create a cooking schedule for yourself. Take note of dishes that can be made a day or two ahead, those that can be frozen, and those that need to be cooked the last minute. Most food items can keep for several weeks and months. Following a cooking schedule will not only help you save time, but also kitchen space the day of the event.

You do not need to commit hours in the kitchen to be a great hostess. The holidays are not a competition. Getting help may be the best alternative to having a great holiday season. Ask family and friends to bring their favorite holiday foods for dinner. This way you will save time and everyone will have the foods they enjoy.

Another way to cut out time spent on holiday cooking while still allowing you to prepare something and add a personal touch to the holiday meal, is to purchase part of the meal while preparing certain portions of the meal. For instance, you could purchase a fully cooked turkey or ham from the grocery store and simply personally prepare desserts or other family favorites.

Another alternative is to purchase holiday foods from well-known food companies online. All you need to tell them is the date that you need the holiday food delivered and it will be at your door. A lot of times the items are sent overnight to keep the freshness of the food items. Most of these companies adhere to strict quality control conditions, so you can rest assured that the food will be impeccable. All you would need to do to enjoy a great holiday meal is to heat the food.

For more holiday tips information call Carol Schwarz at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension Office in Buffalo County at (308) 236-1235.


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