This year, because Thanksgiving fell on the last week of November, Ohioans have one less week of time to prepare their December holiday meal. The Ohio Poultry Association (OPA) is offering tips to cut time and costs to have an enjoyable family feast this year.
“Getting a delicious and nutritious holiday meal on the table at an ideal time can be tricky,” says Jim Chakeres, OPA executive vice president. “Cooking with wholesome eggs, chicken and turkey from Ohio farmers is economical, easy to prepare, versatile and a great enjoyment to serve as part of your holiday feast.”
Below are a few ways to streamline holiday cooking routines from OPA in an effort to spend less time planning for the perfect meal and in the kitchen as well as how to make it more affordable:
At the grocery store:
- Start looking for deals as early as possible and stock up on items that can be kept in the pantry. Also, be sure to scan the entire shelf. Most stores have generic items next to name brand items that are more affordable.
- When stores have discounted prices on eggs, chicken and turkey – buy them and store them safely. Refrigerated raw shell eggs will keep for four to five weeks beyond the “sell by” date. Frozen chicken and turkey can be kept in the freezer for nine months to a year. Tip: Store food separately, in serving sizes, in order to make future cooking more efficient.
With family, neighborhood and friends:
- If multiple people are coming for the holiday feast, ask for help with side dishes, desserts and drinks from guests.
- Host a cookie exchange! Now everyone will have a variety of sweets, without having to put in all the effort, time and cost.
At home and in the kitchen:
- Keep organized! From the shopping list to the pantry and refrigerator, having everything organized will make things easier and on track.
- Read the recipe before starting. Having ingredients ready during preparation, instead of during cooking, makes it a stress-free environment.
- Make a double batch to have leftovers or cooked ingredients for a different meal. For example, turkey can be used as leftovers in salads, soups, sandwiches and more. Leftover turkey will keep for three days in the refrigerator.
- Crunched for time, but want to make a show-stopping meal? Make it ahead of time. There are many recipes where dishes can be made ahead of time and then heated later.
Clean during all stages of cooking – making cleanup less of a hassle.
“As Ohioans work hard on their holiday meal, we hope these tips will help consumers save time and money,” Chakeres says. “During the holidays and year-round, Ohio farmers are proud to provide affordable, safe, high-quality, nutritious food.”
For more information about Ohio’s egg, chicken and turkey farms and delicious recipes, visit www.ohiopoultry.org or on Pinterest at www.pinterest.com/ohiopoultryassn.