Thanksgiving prep – 8 days out

November 18, 2009

I love our Thanksgiving feast! For most of our married life, our holidays have been a grand total of three. Friends have come and gone through the years, and we shared our holidays from time to time, but we were blessed a few years ago to have family move closer. Now our holidays are bigger and better.

This year Thanksgiving is planned to be at our home, but this working woman, who has been trying to avoid processed foods, is making an effort to do as much prep work as I can ahead of time, so our actual holiday is pleasurable, not chaotic.

A few years ago I had the luxury of going to a cooking class that was called Thanksgiving 101, and it helped me learn some tricks to make the feast less stressful. Making turkey stock from legs and wings is one of them. Roasting them with aromatics, white wine, and some seasonings created a beautiful stock to use in the stuffing and gravy. The side benefit was I also had some dark meat to use for sandwiches in the meantime.

Turkey stock

Getting ready for the feast

Next project: Cranberry relish.  I absolutely adore cranberries.  I grew up with the cranberry jelly out of the can, and adored it!  For years that was the type of cranberries that was served on our tables.  I then went to the Thanksgiving 101 class, and sampled cranberries with oranges and Grand Marnier.  I was totally in love, and have made that recipe ever since.  It’s a recipe that can be frozen well, so I make a larger batch, then freeze the leftovers in small containers so I can enjoy it off and on through the winter.

Grand Marnier Cranberries

My favorite version of a holiday classic

Grand Marier Cranberries

My house smelled like Thanksgiving today.  Next chunk of time I have available: cornbread and pie dough.  This is going to be great!


One comment

  1. I love it! I’ve been meaning to get a head start as well, but haven’t had time. I’m hoping to at least get pie dough and corn bread (for stuffing) out of the way in the next few days. Eric does the majority of the cooking and doesn’t really seem to care about last-minute cooking, so I’ll let him have at it.

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