Thanksgiving Help from Around the Web

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Shopping for Thanksgiving Dinner?

When I was in my early 20s and living in my first apartment I made my very first Thanksgiving dinner.  I wasn’t allowed to bring anything substantial to my family’s Thanksgiving celebration (“Sure, you can bring some rolls.  Bring the ones from Costco, they are so good.”) so I started cooking Thanksgiving dinner the Saturday before Thanksgiving and inviting my friends over.  There are certain dishes (cornbread stuffing) that I have made every year since that very first year.

Cooking this dinner has always been a several day event for me and I LOVE IT!  But, it has changed since I’ve had kids.  For three years I was either pregnant (food and I were not friends during my pregnancies) or I had infants.  I just didn’t feel on top of things those three years.  And when I feel a level of incompetence it starts to snowball for me.

Last year at this time I was finally in a better place.  Our move had provided a nice big kitchen space and I had company coming to stay with me for the holiday.  I got on top of things and made a list of all the dishes I planned to make for the big dinner and then I listed EVERY ingredient (and supplies such as cheesecloth and parchment paper) that I needed to make that dish.  In the past, I made lists just of what I needed to buy but then I would run out of, say,  butter … because everything for Thanksgiving dinner takes butter!  This way, I could calculate how much of everything I needed.  But here is the best part.  I STILL HAVE THIS LIST. I now have a single location from which I can make this year’s grocery list.  I don’t need to pull out every recipe and sort through it all again.  All Done!

As I’ve been reading blogs on the web, I’ve noticed a few helpful links that I thought I would pass on to you:

  • There is quite a bit of prep work that I can do even now, a week ahead of time.  For instance, I can make pie crust.  My go to pie crust is the one from Closet Cooking but Amy, over at MomAdvice, has put up a nice tutorial.
  • Thanksgiving is over for Canadians but one of my favorite blogs, Simple Bites, has a great list of how to prepare for Christmas (less than 6 weeks away).  She has several make ahead meal ideas on it to get her through her busy time.  Since I am having company for Thanksgiving, there are several of these I am planning borrowing, namely, her onion soup base.
  • I recently met Jyll Everman at a cooking demonstration at a friend’s house.  Jyll is a local chef/caterer but you may know her nationally as a finalist from season 7 of Food Network Star.  She has a podcast giving advice on all aspects of cooking Thanksgiving dinner.

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