So much cooking to do; so little time. Just because the holidays are on the way doesn’t mean that we receive extra time in our schedules to prepare for them. Life still goes on as do our daily commitments. With some preplanning and cooking some things ahead, you can prepare and serve a Thanksgiving dinner without completely stressing yourself out.
Go ahead and plan your menu now (or last week!). If you plan to serve pie for dessert, it can be made now and then frozen until you need it. Or, you can buy an already frozen pie, like Marie Callender’s pumpkin pie and cook that on Thanksgiving or the day before. Slip it into a glass pie plate, bake it and keep your mouth shut ... I’m just sayin’.
Make a squash, or other vegetable, casserole now, freeze it and pull it out to thaw the day before Thanksgiving. A day or two before Thanksgiving boil yams/sweet potatoes and have them ready to put into a casserole. Or better yet, just throw, or place if you’re not feeling violent, small sweet potatoes in the oven on Thanksgiving Day, bake them and serve them that way. Just think, that will save on your marshmallow bill.
Consider cooking a turkey breast or breasts instead of a whole bird. They’re easier to deal with; not quite as cute but much more compliant.
Try the cranberry relish/sauce below. The great thing about it is that you can make if for Thanksgiving dinner and it will then keep in your refrigerator until Christmas. No, I’m not kidding. You can find this and other great recipes that you can use during the holidays, and all year long, in my two humorous cookbooks “Have You Considered Cooking?” and “The Grits Shall Rise Again!” They’re available at www.carolgfrey.com. They make great gifts too!
Cranberry Cherry Relish
- 1 bag fresh cranberries
- 1½ cups sugar
- ¾ cups orange juice
- zest of 1 small orange, finely grated
- ¾ cups dried cherries - SECRET INGREDIENT!
Pick through cranberries, rinse and drain well. The reason for picking through the berries is not just to look at them but to throw away the shrivelly and squishy ones.
Combine cranberries, sugar, orange juice and orange zest in a saucepan.
Place saucepan over a medium heat and bring to a boil.
Boil slowly until berries pop open (about 10 minutes).
Skim foam off the surface with a metal spoon, stir in dried cherries and let cool to room temperature. Just guesstimate about the room temperature thing. Or, stick your finger in there and say either, “Hum, this seems like room temperature” or “Ow,ow,ow,ow,ow! Not room temperature yet.”
Cover and refrigerate. Will keep in refrigerator for 1 month.
About this column: Carol Frey is the author of two humorous cookbooks, "Have You Considered Cooking?" and "The Grits Shall Rise Again!" In her new column she brings us her own recipe ideas as well as recipes and stories from Johns Creek residents.