Wednesday, November 17, 2010

My Thanksgiving Preparation- The Menu

Thanksgiving is fast approaching and I have finally sat down and made my menu.

Homemade Dinner Rolls
String Beans
Steamed Broccoli
Shrimp with Cocktail Sauce
Cheese/Cracker/Pepperoni Tray
Fresh Veggie Tray
Potato Chips and Dip
Brownies (minus the frosting)
Juice Boxes (for the kids)

I have made all of the listed recipes before except for the cranberry sauce. I am going to try this recipe tomorrow and if it fails I will just have to try and find another recipe. If I keep failing then I will just have to buy the canned stuff.

My husband's aunt is going to make the mashed potatoes and salad. My mother in law is going to make the corn and buy a cheesecake (I am in love with cheesecake and have not had it for a looong time- my eyes lit up when she said the word "cheesecake").

The reason I am making so much from scratch is because I really like to cook but I never have enough time to make nice gravy or homemade stuffing. Holidays are my time to shine!

Once I have my menu I then write out every ingredient that goes into each dish and figure out what I have on hand and what I will need to buy. Let take the stuffing as an example. The ingredients I need for this recipe are butter, onion, celery, parsley, bread, poultry seasoning, sage, thyme, marjoram, salt, pepper, chicken broth and eggs. I have on hand butter, parsley (fresh frozen), bread (I will be making my own bread and toasting it in the oven- I have the flour and yeast needed), poultry seasoning, salt, pepper, chicken stock (homemade, in my freezer) and eggs. I will then need to buy onion, celery, sage, thyme and marjoram (though I am pretty sure I left out those spices last year and just added more poultry seasoning). I do this for every recipe and then cross reference ingredients needed with other recipes so that I get a pretty good idea of what quantity of things I need to buy. I need celery for the stuffing as well as the veggie tray so I need to make sure I have enough.

I am going to do all of the prep work on Wednesday (cutting up veggies, etc.) as well as make the gravy, cranberry sauce and pumpkin bread. They only things I will actually be cooking on the big day are the turkey, stuffing (very easy) and the rolls (I am still experimenting with cooking them earlier and reheating them in the oven).

Cooking for holidays is so much work and I know that no one would even care if the food was made from scratch or not but it makes me feel good to put a lot of effort into the meal. I get a sense of accomplishment out of it that I don't get from folding laundry and cleaning up boogers.

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