Monday, November 16, 2009

Odds and Ends-Thanksgiving Prep Edition

As you may have noticed, I've been MIA for a few days. My DSL modem conked out on Thursday - seems the Connectivity Gods have not been smiling on me of late. Its frustrating to say the least.

I'm behind in posting and way, way behind on my Thanksgiving prep. How can it be that the holiday is next week? Is that a joke? Did I miss the punch line?! Well, the joke's going to be on me ... or rather my guests ... if I don't get to work. So work, I will. Today will be dedicated to making my mother in laws's famous pork stuffing and Wednesday will be devoted to make-ahead gravy. Both items will take up residence in my freezer, once completed, and perhaps then I'll finally feel like I've got the holiday prep under control ... or at least begun!

Making a batch of flavorful gravy ahead of time is just one of my tricks for a less-stressed holiday. Let's be honest, people really like gravy - and I'm always worried that there won't be enough for everyone, so I make a LOT. Of course, I'll still make gravy on Thanksgiving day itself; I'll add it to my defrosted version and before you know it we'll all be swimming in gravy. More importantly, there will be plenty leftover for reheats.

I'll be posting the make-ahead recipe later in the week, perhaps on Thursday, after I've had a chance to snap a few pics. In the meantime, I thought I might direct you to some my other holiday offerings from last year:

Pumpkin Cranberry Bread - A simple and delicious quick bread that's just perfect for Thanksgiving morning

Pumpkin Pecan Waffles - The miraculous result of some leftover pumpkin puree

Glorious Gravy - A discussion of my Grandma's unusual method for making gravy

Its off to the kitchen for me ... what about you? Are you knee-deep in holiday prep? Do you like to cook in advance and get a jump start on the festivities? Tell me about what you'll be cooking this week for Thanksgiving ... curious Diva wants to know!


stephchows said...

gahh I can't believe it's here either! John and I are adopting two families this year... I need to get planning and shopping for all their stuff! We don't host the big day for our family though so I'm in luck in that way :)

The Diva on a Diet said...

Oh, Steph, what lovely way to celebrate the holiday! You've just made me smile so BIG. You guys are wonderful! :)

charmian @ Christie's Corner said...

Being Canadian, we had our Thanksgiving last month.

Turkey, stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes, roasted sweet potatoes, green beans, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie... pretty standard. Although we tossed in a chocolate birthday cake for my sister and a concord grape galette for good measure.

Steph's really into the spirit with adopting not one but TWO families. I'm sure you'll all have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Fresh Local and Best said...

Thanks for the helpful links. I love gravy too, and I know this is going to sound gross, but I love the versions where the gizzard is added. I think this is a Southern thing, but I was shocked at how much I liked it.

Krissy @ The Food Addicts said...

Wow - looks like you have a lot on your plate for Thanksgiving - literally! Good luck with the prep!

Anonymous said...

Definitely struggling to keep up with pre-Thanksgiving schedule this week; still blogging now but next week just before Thanksgiving I'll focused just on cooking, I think :)

The Duo Dishes said...

Those turkey tips will come in handy if there's turkey on the table this year. Just may be chicken. :)

Katherine Aucoin said...

For seom reason this year I haven't completely settled on what I'm serving,,,I need to get in gear or the joke will be on me!

The Diva on a Diet said...

Charmian - ya know, there's some small part of me that envies that your holiday and all the prep is behind you! LOL Needless to say, I'm envying the chocolate cake as well. ;)

FLB - I've always been afraid of giblet gravy ... I won't make it myself, though have probably eaten it without even knowing!

Krissy - there will be a lot on our plates ... very soon! Sooner than I'd like to admit! ;)

5 Star - its nice to know I'm not the only one struggling to manage it all. Good luck to you in your prep as well!

Duo - chicken works for me ... especially if there's stuffing and gravy to go with!

Katherine - I'm still kind of debating some dishes myself. Can we get an extra week?! Good luck in your menu planning!

Anonymous said...

Sorry you've been in tech hell - that's so frustrating.

As you know, I celebrated Canadian Thanksgiving earlier in October so I'm not in prep mode. I read yesterday that a startling number of American's aren't either:
So glad there are still folks like you keeping the home fires burning!

Daily Spud said...

Thanksgiving passes us by over here - we just shoot straight on through to Christmas. Having celebrated Thanksgiving at various times with American friends, though, I hate to miss out on some of the good eats involved, so I'll be making a few Thanksgiving-type dishes, but just to satisfy my own personal cravings!

Tangled Noodle said...

You are way more organized and ahead of the game compared to me! And I don't have much hope that I'll catch up; thank goodness my mother-in-law is taking up the slack. But after reading about your schedule and seeing your suggested holiday recipes, I may be inspired to add a little bit more effort. Have a marvelous Thanksgiving holiday!

Astra Libris said...

Such a great idea, making the gravy ahead of time!! You're brilliant! I'm so impressed that you've already started your prep - we have 13 family members coming to stay in our house next week, and I haven't started cooking yet! Eeek! :-p As soon as my first day off work arrives, I'm headed straight for the kitchen! :-)

Lisa Michelle said...

EEEK, your post is reminding me of all the baking, cooking and prep I have to do. I'm so not into it this year, which is weird, considering i thrive on T-Day and cooking in general. You have it so toegther, Diva! I'm jealous..but hey, I can pilfer some of your recipes, right? :P

The Diva on a Diet said...

Dana - I think my family would revolt if I were to either buy prepared foods or suggest that we go out! With the exception of the dinner rolls, its all homemade chez Diva!

Daily Spud - nothing wrong with making some TG inspired dishes just for the fun of it! Certainly, you should be having some mashed spuds, as no TG is complete without them. :)

Tangled Noodle - Thanks and I hope you all have a wonderful holiday as well! Its nice to have someone taking up the slack ... or at least I imagine it is. LOL

Astra - 13 house guests?! Yikes, you're more brave than I! I know you'll pull it together though and I can't wait to read all about it. Here's hoping your day off is soon! ;)

Lisa Michelle - its taken me a while to get into it this year too, not sure why. I kind of feel like the holiday snuck up on us. Wasn't it just Oct. yesterday?! I can only imagine, and drool, at all the treats you'll be baking up. Yum!

Deb said...

I'm a Thanksgiving eve and day cook but I will get my grocery shopping out of the way this weekend. Still debating the dessert but the turkey stuffing and sides are pretty traditional.