Holiday Stress-Reducing Secret No. 3: Take a Trial Run

I am as guilty as can be on this one. Over the years, I have repeatedly treated my holiday guests as guinea pigs. This year, I’m only preaching a different line because I have been conducting a series of holiday cooking classes that feature the recipes I’ll be making for Thanksgiving. So I am experiencing firsthand how nice it is experiment on myself and my husband—not 20 other people.

It’s tempting to look at a recipe and wonder, “What could possibly go wrong?” In a word, “Plenty!” The amount of spice may be too much or too little, the recipe’s cooking time may produce a way-overcooked dish, your taste buds may wish for more onion or mushrooms, the dish may be too dry. . . . Trust me, there are any number of things big or little that can be off in a recipe. The good news is that most are easily fixable with just a little tinkering–something that’s possible if you’ve made the recipe once before!

Remember that recipes are just starting points. There are a few well-tested ones that will strike your taste buds perfectly right out of the box. Most, however, are best after a few adjustments to suit your particular tastes.

Of course if you don’t have time for a trial run, don’t get stressed (or check out Stress-Reducing Secret No. 4:  Go Casual.)  If you do have time, however, a little practice will provide a big boost of confidence and an equal reduction in meal-making anxiety on the big day.

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3 Responses

  1. […] you’re getting stressed about making a new recipe but don’t have time for a trial run (Stress-Reducing Secret No. 3) ? In that case, go casual, but don’t forget the diamonds. In other words, take a familiar […]


  2. […] Stress-Reducing Secret No. 3: Practice Makes Perfect […]


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