Senior Care Tips: Maximizing Your Kitchen Space and Cooking Time at Thanksgiving by Using a Slow Cooker
When many people think of Thanksgiving one of the first things that comes to mind is their mothers or grandmothers getting up before dawn to put the turkey in the oven, and then spending the rest of the day preparing a seemingly endless variety of side dishes, accompaniments, appetizers, and desserts so that by the end of the day, every flat surface in the home had some sort of delicious seasonal edible on it. While this may be a tradition in many households, if you are on a senior care journey with your loved ones and are also hosting Thanksgiving dinner this year, chances are you do not have the time or energy to devote an entire day just to preparing this meal, and you may also be contending with a smaller kitchen if your parents have recently downsized in their plan to age in place. You want to make sure that your family has all of their favorite seasonal foods, and that means that both time and space are hot commodities. Fortunately, you have an incredibly useful tool right in your kitchen that can help you to trim down on your cooking time, save oven and stove space, and even get your parents and their senior health care services provider involved in preparing the feast.
A slow cooker is a fantastic piece of equipment that can be used to prepare a huge variety of dishes for your holiday celebration without having to give up a burner or oven rack, or stand there babysitting it while it cooks. This means that you can condense your cooking efforts into less time, pre-prepare dishes and save them for dinnertime, and focus your energy and attention on other things on the holiday itself rather than just cooking. Do not let the name “slow cooker” fool you. While some slow cooker dishes are specifically designed to take up to 8 hours to cook, many of your Thanksgiving dishes can cook in the slow cooker for just a couple of hours and be amazing.
Try some of these ideas to maximize your kitchen space and cooking time this Thanksgiving by using a slow cooker:
- Dressing. If you are going the safer, healthier, and more crowd-pleasing route of preparing dressing rather than actually stuffing the bird, do not try to shove it in around the roasting turkey. Instead, add some cream of chicken or cream of onion soup rather than broth and cook it in the slow cooker for 4 to 4 1/2 hours.
- Apple butter. Apple, pumpkin, or sweet potato butter is a delicious breakfast option for your Thanksgiving or day-after morning, but it can also be wonderful on your dinner table or even served over ice cream for a simple, warming dessert. This one takes around 14 hours, so it is ideal for starting the evening before and letting it cook all night. It will not only be ready when you get up, it will greet you with a delectable sweet, seasonal fragrance.
- Turkey breast. You might love the image of a beautiful turkey sitting in the middle of the table and being able to carve it while the family watches, but if you have a small oven or your time is limited, that might not be practical. If your family only enjoys white meat, it is also not necessary. Instead of going through the hassle of preparing a huge turkey to only eat the breast, forgo the whole bird all together and put turkey breasts in the slow cooker. You will open up the oven for other dishes and you will eliminate waste.
If you or an aging loved one are considering elderly care in the New Haven Area, please call and speak to the caring staff at Talem Home Care. Call today at (203) 590-9099.