When Thanksgiving is just days away, all those “how am I going to get this all done?” anxieties inevitably start to kick in. But before you start agonizing over a dozen things at once, we might have a few solutions right here for you:

  1. Don’t experiment with new recipes.
    Thanksgiving is all about the classics, so stick with the tried-and-true. Our readers said this over and over. Leave your brain free to deal with the turkey (especially if it’s your first time).
  2. Get a head start on those potatoes.
    Peel potatoes for mashed potatoes hours ahead of time (or even the night before) and leave them in a mixture of lemon slices and water in a salad spinner with the cover on. When it’s time to boil the potatoes, just pull up on the inner basket and they drain themselves. Toss the lemon, add the potatoes to a pot of water and you’re good to go.
  3. Kitchen shears are your secret weapon.
    Use them for more than cutting butchers’ twine and opening bags of pecans. You can quickly cut green beans, snip herbs, and trim excess fat off of the raw turkey.
  4. The Bakery and Market are your friends.
    Don’t think you have to make everything yourself. Your local bakery or even the bakery in your favorite supermarket has great baked goods. If you think you may be short on a dessert, pick up a plain pound cake or some cookies.
  5. Salt is the key to chilling wine faster.
    Put a handful of salt in a bucket of water and ice to chill wine in a fraction of the time. The salt allows the mixture of ice and water to be colder than just ice and water alone, plus the water is a more efficient conductor of cold than just ice.
  6. Set the table the night before.
    Don’t fuss with the table on the day of. Set it the day ahead and you have your goal in sight all day. (Tip for cat-owners: Throw a sheet over the table so curious kitties stay away.)
  7. Never turn down help.
    Thanksgiving is often a potluck affair, and that’s the beauty of it. Let friends and family bring things, and be shameless about delegating the parts of the meal that stress you out.