For the ladies who lunch
Thanksgiving Preparation: Stage Two

Thanksgiving Preparation: Stage One

I am preparing dinner for only five again, sigh. 

Still I like to go at it as though there are seven to twelve people, instead, as there often has been. It's my thing, you know, that I do each year. Actually, I am preparing enough for seven this year, as there's a slight possibility of guests.

I haven't decided on the turkey question. Going to look into that later today. The boys also enjoy duck on Thanksgiving, but for just five of us that seems a bit much, so I've sort of half-promised the youngest boy a splash-out duck dinner for Christmas, though I have never been one to spend Christmas in the kitchen.

So. Last month I cooked pumpkin and froze it. Yesterday, I bought six bags of cranberries for $1.29 each from the scratch and dent department at Jungle Jim's, and stuck them in the freezer. I might buy more next week. You can keep them frozen for quite awhile and do all sorts of things with them in addition to Thanksgiving cranberry sauce. I have emergency roll-out pie crusts in case something absurd goes wrong when I make pie crust on Wednesday. Those are good to have, anyway. You can make a quick quiche with them, or cut them up and stuff them with things for hand pies. 

This weekend I'll make chicken stock for stuffing (dressing, really,) and gravy. My Thanksgiving gravy would make you weep with pleasure. I need to pick up a bottle of sherry for it, because the one I have here is too sweet and also pricey to just be adding to gravy.

I have dinner rolls in the freezer. It's the one thing I never make from scratch for the holiday meal. The store makes them better than I do. I also have soup in the freezer for Thanksgiving lunch. I made two soups recently; split pea and butternut squash, and just stirred the leftovers together before freezing. (I tasted it to make sure it was good that way and not just weird.)

This afternoon I will order sweet potatoes and green beans from GREEN B.E.A.N., to be delivered Tuesday. We have gone over who likes what in the stuffing (the only other adventurous stuffing eater will be in New Jersey, sigh,) and are narrowing down the pie list.

We eat our Thanksgiving dinner around 5 pm, then I make whipped cream and we have pie around 7 or so, with the fire lit and music playing. I get out the tangrams or we play Apples to Apples. 

Yes, I also donate to food banks at this time of year as well as other times of year. But this thing I do, for my family, for myself, it's one of the few solid traditions I've been able to create and hold onto. It's the richest day of the year for me.