Saturday, November 21, 2009

Learning to plan

We are tightening our bootstraps around here. We are trying to save some money. Or rather, spend less, as the case may be. As many of you are too I expect. So I have taken to clipping coupons and comparing them to the store circular. Stocking up when things are on sale and hopefully avoiding buying too much at full price. Obviously the more you stock up, the eaisier this is. I spent the last few days planning our Thanksgiving menu, clipping coupons, checking circulars, and trying to be sure the scale of our meal is scaled down to our smaller group. The smaller group... well that is another post in and of itself.

With Thanksgiving, and actually any big meal I am cooking, I like to plan it well in advance, know when things move in and out of the oven, when I am to be doing what. I like to be on a schedule. It helps me to feel in control and relax and enjoy the cooking.

The Menu

I will have cheese and crackers, and my dad is making Lobster Rolls as an appetizer.

"Mom's Roast Turkey" from Elise at Simply Recipes.

Gravy from that same recipe.

Stuffing- this I make myself, I use a mix, some sauteed onions and celery, some chicken broth and my slow cooker. It's not a science. I add enough broth to moisten (Apologies to Kelly who doesn't like descriptive food words.), and add more broth every hour or so when I stir it if the stuffing needs it. I like having it in the slow cooker, frees up valuable oven time.

Mashed Potatoes- Again, no recipe to speak of. I use Yukon Golds, peel, cut in small chunks, put in a pot of cold water and boil till soft. I mash them up with some roasted garlic, melted butter, heavy cream, salt and pepper to taste. Wa-La! Yum. One day I will have to write up these recipes but I am too busy planning now. ;)

Roasted Asparagus- I chop off the ends, put in a ziplock with olive oil and kosher salt and toss. Lay them out on a baking sheet and roast at 400 till done. Usually somewhere around the 10 minute mark.

Corn Bread- I am trying a new recipe this year, it looks good.

My Dad is making a port wine cranberry sauce.

For dessert, two pies. One I have made before and it is amazing and one new one I chose to help me not waste some ingredients....

So here is my plan-


Move Turkey to fridge


Move Turkey to counter at 11
11:30 Roast Garlic
12:30pm Make Turkey (4 hours?) eat at 5, so start cooking at 12:30
12:40pm Stuffing in crock pot
prep ingredients for corn bread
Prep Pies
3pm Serve cheese and crackers and lobster rolls at 3.
4:00 prepare corn bread
prepare potatoes
4:30ish Take Turkey Out
bake corn bread
make mashed potatoes
make gravy
carve turkey
corn bread out
Roast Asparagus
bake two pies
eat dinner while pies bake
take pies out and serve

Could I do more in advance? Yes, I could. And some years I have. This year I am looking forward to spending the day cooking and eating things fresh and hot. I am having a small group this year, of people I see all the time, and I dont feel as much need to socialize. Plus, people will gather in the kitchen and cook with me. It seems like the right plan for this year. I will let you know how it goes.


  1. Thanks Mary! I am enjoying the planning, how was your Canadian Thanksgiving? ;)

  2. Haa. Feel free to use food words. I know what I'm getting into when I read your blog. Your Domestic Goddess side is one of my favorite things about you, so describe like crazy! Your dinner sounds wonderful.

  3. And Kelly, feel free to edit! Paul found a gazillion typos last night. ;P