Sunday, November 23, 2014

T-4 prep

NaBloPoMo, Day 23.

I didn't get a huge amount of Thanksgiving food prep done today (having guests for Sunday breakfast and lunch used up most of my cooking time and energy), but I did manage to go over all the recipes, finalize quantities and ingredients needed, and make up my final shopping and food prep lists (the latter pictured above). The idea behind this is that I'm going to hang it up to keep me on track over the next few days. Then, on the big day, when all the people who've offered to help turn up in the kitchen, instead of flailing as I usually do, I can just point them to this. They can pick one of the remaining tasks from the list, and get on with it. I'm making up a similar one for non-food related tasks (set tables, etc.). I also managed to clear out one whole drawer in my freezer for temporary storage, as well as the whole of the overflow fridge in the guest annex.

In other news, the high temperature in Canberra today was 95F/35C. A little early for that kind of thing, but I'm not going to complain given the weather some other people have been having.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

T-5 prep

NaBloPoMo, Day 22.

So, how are you spending the weekend? Given my post yesterday, I'm betting you can guess how I'm spending a good chunk of mine:
(Note divided prep list - because of course I forgot to look at the whole calendar, and invited people for Sunday lunch tomorrow! A glutton for punishment, that's me.)

Cutting up bread to dry out for stuffing...was absolutely thrilled to find some really good local bread on sale at half-price, which means I don't have to bake my own stuffing bread.

One appetizer taken care of - a big batch of sweet and spicy roasted nuts cooling after coming out of the slow cooker.

Slow cooker doing double duty - now working on a large batch of caramelized onions, which will get used in stuffing, gravy, and possibly another appetizer.

Enough pie crust for at least four pies ready and waiting (and probably more, since there's at least one single-crust pie on the list).

No close-up of the stock, but you can see the pot on the stove; I roasted up a bunch of chicken wings, then threw them in with to simmer with some chopped carrots, celery, and onion. This will be used mainly for gravy and stuffing. (I would've liked to have made turkey stock, but turkey parts are hard to come by around here and us expat beggars can't be choosers.)

All of which contributed to a kitchen that looked like a complete disaster area by 5pm. (We got takeout for dinner, so it's clean again...for now.)

Luckily, this is actually one of my favorite ways to spend an afternoon. Hope you're getting to do the same today.


Friday, November 21, 2014

Thanksgiving prep


NaBloPoMo, Day 21.

So, it looks as though somewhere between 35 and 40 people are coming to my house for Thanksgiving next Thursday. In between bouts of hyperventilating, I'm making lists and perusing the following:

Rick Rodgers' (aka "Mr. Thanksgiving") Thanksgiving 101, Kindle edition (a bargain at $1.99, crammed full of useful info)

A 10-Day Thanksgiving Timeline from the kitchn (pretty sure I'm already behind schedule)

How to Make Stuffing without a Recipe from Food52 (no Pepperidge Farm in Australia!)

Food & Beverage Quantities for Catering

Any and all other suggestions welcome, including meditation techniques and recommended local chair rental suppliers....
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