FlyLady’s Easter Preparations
If you don’t learn anything else from this list, I hope you get this one important message. A little planning now saves a lot of time and energy later!
Have you started planning your Easter Holiday Dinner? Do you know the menu? Have you bought the necessary groceries? Have you made out a to do list? If you sit down for 30 minutes and seriously think about the process, your life will have so much less stress. I am going to walk you through my planning process.
1. What are your plans?
2. Are you cooking or going out?
3. Do you do Easter baskets and dye eggs?
4. Do you have goodies for the baskets?
5. If you have to cook, what is on the menu?
6. Don’t forget dessert!
If you are like me, cooking a holiday dinner really zaps your energy. There is a way to cook this meal and still enjoy the family. I am going to tell you how, in step by step instructions. This plan worked for my Thanksgiving celebration. It was the first time I ever tried this method. I will never do another holiday meal without it.
1. Make sure the house is clean and ready for company. Keep it that way while you cooked.
2. Get the dishes ready for the table several days ahead of time (on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving Thursday). A couple of days is enough. Get out your table cloths and center piece. Have you thought about a center piece yet? Don’t forget silverware and serving dishes. Make sure they are all clean ready for the table. Either set the table if you do not have to use it, or put the dishes aside on a clean counter and cover with a dish towel. I have a cat. LOL! If I set the table ahead of time I also cover it with a clean sheet. This way, I don’t have to worry about it anymore. I even have time to fold napkins and do cutesy stuff to the table because I am not rushed. It’s a Martha S. Moment. LOL!
3. Write out your menu for the dinner. Examine your recipes and pick your family favorites. Also try one new thing. Surprises are always nice. It could become a new family tradition. Pick out some things that can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator until time to cook or serve. Some salads need to be made a day or two ahead of time so the flavors blend.
4. Make out a grocery list. Check the recipes for items you have on hand and list the ones you need to buy. Think of everything you will need from egg dye to candy, beverages and desserts. What is the main dish?
5. Clean out your refrigerator really well. Make room for covered dishes.
6. Go shopping early in the day or the day before you start to cook.
7. Today! Make an appointment calender for your cooking, especially the day you are serving the dinner. You can’t have everything in the oven at once so plan on what needs to go in the oven and stagger it according to how long each dish needs to cook. Some can cook together if you have room.
8. On your appointment calender, at the top, write: Only prepare one dish at a time. Set a time for each particular item on the menu. Follow this schedule and allow plenty of time to clean up after preparing each item. Don’t forget to thaw the turkey or ham. LOL! Write it on your list.
9. Cook or prepare something each day for 3 days. If you divide the work out over 3 days you will have time to plan something fun with the kids and you will have the energy to do it. You can do dessert early, a salad, throw together casseroles, etc. Pick items for your menus that allow you to make them ahead. This way you are only popping in the oven and setting it on the table
10. Anytime you start to cook, make sure the dishwasher and sinks are empty. Run hot soapy water in the sink so you can clean up as you go. Remember, only prepare one item at a time and clean up after yourself as you go. Do not start a new preparation until the mess is cleaned up from the previous dish. I mean this. I can hear you now. “Oh I can do two things at once.” Do you remember how overwhelmed you get and the feeling from turning around in circles in your kitchen floor because you don’t know what to do next. Focus on one item at a time. This relieves all the stress. I promise. Your kitchen will be clean too. That is the biggest stress reliever.
11. Don’t forget the rolls. This is a family tradition in our home. Someone always forgets the bread. LOL! Now, I buy the frozen roll dough at the grocery store. It is wonderful. All you do is follow the directions on the back. Put them in the pan to rise 3 hours before your meal. Make sure to put this on your schedule. 3 to 4 hours ahead of meal time. They have to rise and then bake. Read. They are great. Everyone thinks they are made from scratch. A new family tradition. LOL!
12. Give everything a time on the calendar. However, if you don’t look at it, you won’t follow your plan. Take your calendar or notebook with the schedule written on it and put it on the refrigerator or on the counter. Look at it every hour. It has the next few days planned out. Guess What? You don’t even have to think now, you just have to read! The thinking has already been done. Keep your recipe with this notebook too.
One word of warning. Do not let your sink become a catch all. Put everything away as you use it and wash up all your dishes. Then you can start the next preparation.
If you want to have a wonderful family celebration, the hostess can not be exhausted and at her wits end. You can do this. If I can anyone can.
One other thing. Get dressed in a nice jumper and put on an apron while you cook. I don’t know why, but I always feel so festive when I cook with an apron on. Have your hair fixed and your face looking nice as well. No sense scaring the guests.
Holiday celebrations are special memories for your children and family. Make them memorable, in the way that only you can do. You are blessing your family with your efforts. Don’t be a Martyr. Enjoy and love every moment of the preparation.
Wishing you all the joy and happiness that this Easter Season brings.
P.S. Here is a wonderful way to remember Christ’s Resurrection. It was sent to me by a Dear Friend.
These cookies can create a really nice family Easter tradition if you don’t already have one.
Easter Story Cookies
1 c. shelled whole pecans
1 tsp. vinegar
3 egg whites
1 c. sugar
Preheat oven to 300 F.
Place pecans in zipper baggie. Let children beat them with the wooden spoon to break into small pieces. Explain that after Jesus was arrested he was beaten by the Roman soldiers. Read John 19:1-3.
Let each child smell the vinegar. Put 1 tsp. vinegar into mixing bowl. Explain that when Jesus was thirsty on the cross he was given vinegar to drink. Read John 19:28-30.
Add egg whites to vinegar. Eggs represent life. Explain that Jesus gave His life to give us life. Read John 10:10-11.
Sprinkle a little salt into each child’s hand. Let them taste it and brush the rest into the bowl. Explain that this represents the salty tears shed by Jesus’ followers, and the bitterness of our own sin. Read Luke23:27.
So far the ingredients are not very appetizing.
Add 1 c. sugar. Explain that the sweetest part of the story is that Jesus died because He loves us. He wants us to know and belong to Him. Read Ps. 34:8 and John 3:16.
Beat with a mixer on high speed for 12 to 15 minutes until stiff peaks are formed. Explain that the color white represents the purity in God’s eyes of those whose sins have been cleansed by Jesus. Read Isa.1:18 and John 3:1-3.
Fold in broken nuts. Drop by teaspoons onto wax paper covered cookie sheet. Explain that each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus’ body was laid. Read Matt. 27:57-60.
Put the cookie sheet in the oven, close the door and turn the oven OFF.
Give each child a piece of tape and seal the oven door. Explain that Jesus’ tomb was sealed. Read Matt. 27:65-66.
Go to bed! Explain that they may feel sad to leave the cookies in the oven over night. Jesus’ followers were in despair when the tomb was sealed. Read John 16:20 and 22.
On Easter morning, open the oven and give everyone a cookie. Notice the cracked surface and take a bite. The cookies are hollow! On the first Easter Jesus’ followers were amazed to find the tomb open and empty. Read Matt. 28:1-9.
He has risen!———-