Five Tips for a Stress-free Thanksgiving Meal from La Brea Bakery

Does your back-to-normal for Thanksgiving mean you’re already dreading meal prep, not to mention clean-up?

Whether your family are diehard green bean casserole fans or they’re all about the nontraditional and new, most Americans serve about seven different food options. And in some categories (think dessert), we like to offer our guests more than one.

Any way you slice it, that’s a lot of shopping, prepping, and cooking. How can you celebrate the holiday without spending all your time focused on one meal?  

La Brea Bakery, the pioneer of American artisan bread, knows a thing or two about preparation (think sourdough starter bread). They also know what it takes to make food-centered holidays fun, not frantic.

Here are five tips for a tasty Thanksgiving day table that celebrates without stress.

Ask your family what foods really matter to them. Are you sure they want five different side dishes? Ask them what makes the holiday special, and then narrow down your menu. (And if the answer is, yes, they still want all the sides, invite them to bring their dish of choice!)

Don’t make everything from scratch. Yes, baking bread can be relaxing and creative. It can also add complexity to an already full week. We know dinner rolls are a staple of this tradition (40m+ rolls are bought for Thanksgiving alone), but instead of starting from scratch, try the take & bake option, like the French dinner roll. (Also great for those left-over sandwiches!)

Less is more. Do you know what 40m pounds of mashed potatoes looks like? That’s about the amount that gets wasted (40% of food each year overall). Cut quantities when you can, and stock up on earth-friendly freezer containers – just in case!

Gratitude over grub. The real point of Thanksgiving is to give thanks. Use one of the serving dishes for notes where each guest can write down what they’re thankful for. In fact, fill up as many as you can. No preparation time and no clean-up!

Take deep breaths.  Remember to stop and enjoy the smell of good food. And use some of those notes for yourself to write down what you appreciate. Gratitude reduces stress!

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