Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Doomsgay Prepper


Well now that we're officially in November, I think it's downright appropriate to be talking about Thanksgiving.  Have you ever watched that show Doomsday Preppers? Okay I love those people.  If you haven't, it's a show about people who spend their lives preparing for the apocalypse.  They stuff their basements with bullets and flour and bibles and talk about the end of days.  And how they'll make it because they have enough bullets and you won't.  What's kind of tragic (for them) though is that more likely than not they won't ever be warding off marauding zombies and lava from the Yellowstone volcano.  I'm not saying they're wasting their time, because who knows.  I just feel bad for them that all their preparations are boring and ugly.  They have ten years worth of freeze dried bananas, I have thirty pounds of silver polish.  I love people who are both extreme and off beat.  I'm lucky because my version of apocalyptic prepping leads to something that undoubtedly happens.  I've often thought I could help these people by sharing the joys of holiday planning with them, but knocking on the wrong RV door in the woods can be dangerous, so I keep my thoughts to myself.
Because I went to vocational beauty school, I am an expert in psychology.  In my unprofessional opinion, prepping for doomsday and prepping for a holiday are pretty similar.  Linked by one key facet of either: No matter what, you can't ever do everything.  Each little project could conjure ten more little projects, and so on.  If you're looking for help on how many bullets to budget per day in the event of a solar storm, I can't help you.  If you're feeling a little overwhelmed by the tornado of Thanksgiving tasks and purchases--I can. 

Thanksgiving can be an abyss down which time and money easily fall.  Buh-jett-ing isn't my strong suit, so this isn't really about that.  This is just an incomplete list of things I think are worth the effort/time/money and those that are not. I decided not to cover more obvious territory like mixers, food processors, and Le Creusets.  Instead, opting to make my worth it list of items that are ubiquitous enough to be easily forgotten.  I don't like it when bloggers take a This Is Right, That Is Not approach.  So take this with a grain of salt, I'm a lot more interested in your worth it/not worth it lists. 

Worth the Time?
1 & 2. Setting up auxiliary storage and cooling.  So worth it.
Thanksgiving pushes any kitchen to its limits and often exceeds them.  With a packed pantry, the dining room table may be a tempting spot to store the spillover. I have done this and it has always been a mistake.  It will just rob you of another 15 minutes when you really don't have them to spare.  A spare folding table or set of shelves can be a lifesaver in keeping your counter space free for cooking.  Keep the chaos off the counters.  Similarly, poorly engineered refrigerator Tetris can end very badly as your stock comes rolling off diet coke cans and you cry on the floor in a sticky mess(I speak from experience).  Clean your cooler, set it reasonably close to the kitchen, and move beverages and anything else you can in there.  This also diverts foot traffic out of the core of the kitchen.
What's not worth the time, in my opinion?  Brining.  Brining your turkey takes a lot of work, a lot of salt and sugar, a lot of time, and way too much refrigerator space.  And it will ruin your gravy if you use drippings.  I made that mistake once and my gravy tasted like soy sauce.  I will admit that brining does give the meat wonderful moisture.  But so does dunking the carved meat into stock while you arrange your platter.  I do, however, endorse a dry brine. 
Worth the expense?
1. Bounty.  Even if  you hate paper towels and their environmental impact, they are so worth it for the long haul that is Thanksgiving.  Cross contamination is bad, easy clean up is good.   Plant a tree or two in the spring for repentance. 
2. Heavy Duty Aluminum Foil.   For roasting vegetables, wrapping your sheet trays in foil and not having to scrub caramelized honey and polymerized oil off of them is a huge timesaver. 
3. Sheet Trays.  I don't know what the normal amount of sheet trays for a residential kitchen to have is, but it's probably not enough.  If you don't have an armada of these, you may not realize just how convenient they are.  They are about $5 (restaurant supply) a piece where I live and padding your Batterie with  a few more may be very beneficial. 
4. A Big Ass Bowl (BAB, or BABs).  We have our jeans and button downs to remind us what it's like to squeeze 10 pounds into a 5 pound bag,  must we punish ourselves with insufficient bowlage too? My BABs are in constant use.  Tossing vegetables with seasoning, multiple batches of pumpkin pie filling, tossing a salad, seasoning bread cubes are just a few of the Thanksgiving tasks that demand a BAB.  Spillover be damned. 

5.  Electric Knife.  I avoided buying one of these until last year.  I thought it was kind of stupid.  I thought I was good enough with my knife to not need one.  Oh how wrong I was.  I was downright gleeful using it for the first time last Thanksgiving.  It made carving the turkey so much faster and so much cleaner.  With no skill, you can have beautiful slices with skin still attached.  I got this one and love it.  I enjoy it so much that I use it whenever I roast a chicken. 
 
See the measuring tape? My mom's sewing table was the buffet. 
Not worth the expense
1. Expensive wine.  I have another post on Thanksgiving wine, but the gist is don't feel the need to go overboard with it.  If wine is a hobby of yours, the expense may be justified.  Otherwise, don't lose your head and feel a special occasion demands an expensive wine.  Plentiful and inexpensive are my keywords with holiday wine buying, which is my sister's department.  It's a long day with conflicting, strong flavors.  Not the best way to highlight precious wine. 
2. Tabletop.  If you are expecting more guests than you have place settings, do not go to great expense to set your table.  Set a mismatched table of complementary patterns and colors with plates from Goodwill or borrowed from a friend/guest.  Flowers are worth the one time expense, plates you bought because you needed and you don't even like that much--are not.  Remember, you can always donate the plates right back.  Goodwill earns on them twice, and you'll return them cleaner than they were on the shelf. Obviously, I love all things tabletop.  But I do not like having to buy things at the last minute and say it'll do
3. All-Clad Roaster.  This thing makes me so mad.  Did you know that All-Clad cookware being all clad is not a safe assumption?  A long time ago, I had a wonderful All-Clad roaster.  It was a workhorse and went from oven to burner seamlessly.  A family member with good intentions cleaned it for me with Soft Scrub (with bleach) and it was never the same.  So I replaced it with a new one.  Well, things have changed at All-Clad since my original roaster.  It is not tri-clad and it buckled when I was using it on the burner.  It does fine in the oven, but you're paying about $100 more than a nondescript roaster that works just as well because it's "All-Clad".  And it's made in China, unlike real All-Clad that is made in Pennsylvania.  It's pretty though.  Le Creuset has a stainless line now that is made in Portugal and multi-clad.  I'm considering another trip down to the LC outlet as I have a 50% off stainless coupon. But I'm not to be trusted within those walls. 

The six boxes on the left are mine. The major damage was done by my friend
4. Disposable Roaster.  For the love of God--please--no.  Roasting your turkey in one of these would be like the Queen sailing transatlantic on a pool noodle.  They are flimsy and they are tempting fate. Dropping your turkey on the floor or burning yourself with molten turkey fat is not a nice way to spend a holiday. 
 
young buck

What's worth it to you?  What's not?  Where do you draw the line?
For all Thanksgiving posts, click here

45 comments:

  1. I am coming to YOUR HOUSE for THANKS -GIVING!
    BEWARE......with BANKSY in tow.
    I agree with YOU on so many points here.Especially the mis-matched table!Love that and your idea of buying from GOODWILL then donating BACK IS BRILLIANT!
    This is YOUR MONTH STEPHEN.........ENJOY every little part of it!I know YOU will..............and many THANKS for ALL the tips!

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    1. Thank you! Oh Banksy would love Barbie. And I'm sure he'd also love all the acorns!

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    2. YEP.........YOU GOT THAT RIGHT!

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  2. as we get closer to the day my guest list is growing at a ridiculous rate - like hire a caterer rate. i'm contemplating having the gourmet market around the corner cater it. that way i can focus completely on an outdoor ralph lauren fantasy. i'm seriously considering it this am. i will do some things to personalize the food. my own croutons, my own pies and maybe a vegan enchilada type casserole. i don't know? but the longer i'm typing the more i'm convincing myself that this could be a good idea. i'm with you on those flimsy roasters tho - nighmare! xo

    ps - like la contessa says this is your month!

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    1. Ooooooh I am sooo excited to see yours! I totally think you should have it catered. Especially since you can't eat most of it anyway! How many people are we talking? Thank you!

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  3. I love this 11/10!! Brilliant tips and all of your priorities would also be mine. I so agree about the wine, and I have two words to explain that: cranberry sauce. Cranberry sauce or chutney will completely alter the taste of any fine wine purchased to "go with the turkey". I stick with a 12 buck French sauvignon and a 11 buck Chilean chardonnay for the chardie lovers.
    SAJ you're so funny I'm just loving these posts so much it literally made me day to see the new post. XOX

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    1. Thank you! So agree, it's the cranberries that throw everything off balance with the wine. It can get too acerbic. I always love prosecco with Thanksgiving.

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    2. We drink PROSECCO like WATER HERE!!!

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  4. These are absolutely wonderful tips. You really have me thinking, in advance, about how to do this whole thing, which is kind of a first for me. But I think everything you mentioned will make Thanksgiving less stressful. And if I may add a wine tip -- IF you are going to serve expensive wine, serve it FIRST, because after the first bottle no one cares and after two bottles, the third bottle can be two-buck chuck and your guests will gush over how great it is. Because, wine.

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    1. Very, very good tip! Thank you! I'm sure your Thanksgiving will be just fabulous this year. A little planning goes a long way!

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  5. Great advice and tips...you have such a way with words Stephen. When I read your blog I always smile...and i agree about the disposable pan.
    My friend used a disposable aluminum roaster for her turkey at Xmas many years ago and when she took it out of the oven the sides caved in and hot turkey fat dribbled out all over the oven, my friend's Xmas outfit and the floor...her sister in law came in to help and slipped on the fat and ended up falling flat on her back in her best dress. It took all the paper towels in the house to wipe up the mess...then they had to mop the floor and by this time everyone was cranky...and the meal took on a very sombre tone. This story gets told every year at their Xmas table!
    I hope you have a fabulous time prepping your feast!
    Wish I lived closer...

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    1. Well thank you so much! Oh that is so terrible about your friend! Sort of reminds me of the scene in my favorite Christmas movie, The Family Stone. What horror!! But a great story the next year and every year since!

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  6. I don't celebrate thanksgiving but we do take a moment and think of all those people who do while I decide to ring the local Persian or Chinese takeout.

    Only thing similar for me would be Xmas. Brining turkey makes s big difference because let's face - the how dry/moist is the turkey game is one even non foodies play and to be frank only thing most people remember. Agree that any dinner with more than 6 doesnt require expensive wine because there's too much going on for people to savour it. As long as it's not vinegar most won't notice. Same goes for flowers. Unless it's one of Preston baileys wedding or a flower fiend or its your frenemies party, flowers don't matter.

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    1. I do agree that brining keeps the meat moist. I was an emphatic briner for a few years but realized if I just paid closer attention to my turkey it was just as moist. Then a whole new level when I switched to cooking my turkey sous vide! I'm a flower fiend so I always go nuts with that--but by volume, not expense!

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  7. "like the queen sailing transatlantic on a pool noodle" OMG!!! Made me spew coffee thru my nose!! :) You gave me just the belly laugh that I SO needed this morning. Thank you SA...*sigh* Thank you! Happy November my friend.

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  8. Oh, almost forgot! Thanks for asking about Charlotte. She is growing by leaps and bounds!! I love her so, and mostly, so does Ruby. There are those days though, where I do question my sanity...

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    1. Haha well thank you! Ohhhh she's so cute! I'm so happy for both of you! I'm kind of thinking about adopting another puppy this winter...now that Barbie has just settled into an easy dog schedule. What am I thinking?!

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  9. Holy crap you crack me up. You are so right about those prepper people. Anyway, I agree with you on everything and your description of refrigerator tetris is SO right on. Also, the one year I made the turkey I brined it. I have never been asked to bring the turkey again (I'm not totally blaming the brine but I think that had something to do with it).

    One more comment on BABs. My hubs works for a company that, among other things, is the main supplier of stainless steel stuff for the restaurant industry, which means he has access to the biggest BABs you can imagine. I once saw one that I could probably give one of my dogs a bath in. Anyway, if you ever need the mother of all BABs, let me know and I can probably hook you up. Getting it to you may be an issue though. Of course depending on how a certain vote goes in your state today, maybe a trip to Ohio is in my future.

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    1. Haha thank you! Yes that's right we might have a whole lot of tourists! I don't care too much how this vote goes as pot's never mattered to me. But I'm sure a lot of people will be very happy! Oh I am so intrigued by even bigger BABs!

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  10. My mom has jealously kept control of Thanksgiving, setting the menu and assigning who brings what. Dinner is usually late, but we don't care. We always drink a bit too much, eat too much, and laugh a LOT. The evening ends with what we refer to as the Pie Pig-Out.

    Big Ass Bowls? I love mine and I use them all the time!

    Prepper people? I took one of those online surveys to supposedly determine how long I would survive during the Zombie Apocalypse ... I didn't last the week ... no surprise.

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    1. That sounds so fun! But I'm sure Thanksgiving at your house would be so wonderful! Old houses in the country are the perfect place for holidays! Yeah I wouldn't make it either! But the silver would be gleaming until the bitter end.

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  11. Firstly, I myself am extreme and off beat- I have 2 speeds- all or nothing and I march to the beat of my own drum.

    Secondly, in this country Bounty is a chocolate bar filled with coconut swathed in chocolate. It is not a paper towel.

    Thirdly Mr FF likes paper towels, I use a linen cloth and wash like 50 of them a day because I really go through them. Whenever my kid spills something he says "I need a tea towel" as opposed to a paper towel.

    Fourthly we are too old over here to drink crap wine. Mr FF is really into it and buys it online.

    Fifthly, when we do a turkey we do it in an oven bag which keeps it moist so we don't brine.

    Sixthly I love a mismatched table.

    Seventhly, flowers are expensive here so I would do foliage (cheap/plentiful) instead.

    Eighthly, I do not bake anything ever without lining the base of the tray with alfoil and baking paper because scrubbing is not my calling in life.

    Ninthly, I would have a breakdown if there was anything on my kitchen benches apart from a kitchenaid and a coffee maker and I know too well the drama of fridge tetris. We have a spare "drinks" fridge in our garage which I kind of love when we are entertaining.

    Tenthly, Mr FF has an electric carving knife and wields it with what can only be described as Great Authority.

    If you were on fb you would know that I had posted a snap of the neutral tree! happy days xxx

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    1. Oh my I am not worthy of this list of FFdom. But I will try to rise to the occasion. We have a candy like your Bounty called Mounds. I make a homemade version that is at least 11/10 maybe, on a good day, 12/10. FF II yelling for a tea towel among his Legos is evidence of strong parenting and I applaud you. the first turkey I ever made was in a bag and I was impressed. An electric carving knife is a game changer! Emailing you now. Can't wait to see! Forgive me for not being on fb. Trust me, the world is a better place without my fb activity.

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  12. also could you please email me at fauxfuchsia@live.com.au or my work email and I will send you the tree visual? They changed our work computers and I can no longer find your email. Cheerio x

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  13. I love how organised you are. That photo with the SAJ bags in the background all lined up so neatly with the cubed bread in front made my little OCD heart sing.
    I agree with all your points. Disposable roasters are only for the BBQ in my opinion. Also, we only do turkey breast for our Christmas dinner, as it's much moister than doing the whole bird. But we add a ham. Except when my Aunt is at Christmas as she bans it. Some sort of ethics problem (she will eat the turkey though. No ethics problem with that). And my electric carving knife was purchased 15 years ago and still going strong. I use it to do crustless sandwiches for afternoon tea a lot too. Very handy. Agree with the extra cooling. we are putting in a drinks fridge to the new garage which will take spillover. I hate having the fridge stuffed full and things falling out, especially when people try to help by rummaging through my fridge and messing it all up!!

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    1. Oh and that Preppers show sounds so intriguing - I'm going to see if its on Foxtel. I love extreme hoarders (although it is sad as most of them are mentally ill and you know it will just go back to the way it was once the camera crew are gone).

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    2. why thank you! I thought about including my not totes in this list because they are so useful in hauling anything and everything around. And washable! Wonder why turkey is okay but ham isn't?! I alternate between ham and turkey for Christmas! I can't handle hoarders! It makes me feel like I'm suffocating! are you hosting Christmas dinner?! Or do you all convene at your dad's?

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    3. Well, the turkey/ham debate goes on. My sister (a vet) tried to point out that at least if you eat the ham there's a lot of meat for one animal, whereas the turkey just feeds one family for a meal and that's it. So in principle it's better to eat the ham. But she started going a bit ill looking so we had to stop talking about it. Pseudo vegetarian I guess, and squeamish about meat. I told her one year I'd found a heritage breed ham that had been fed organically and been hypnotised to death, but she didn't find it funny…
      We alternate Christmas with my inlaws and Dad. This year is my inlaws, and they have a big traditional do as well. I'm avoiding hosting for as long as I can. Plus they all have the beautiful old dining rooms and china etc, whereas I just have open plan living modern.

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    4. Oh that is too funny. You're so busy as it is, it's nice that you don't have to host too! Though you would do it beautifully. I'm so excited for my turkeys this year. I "asked" (begged) my favorite farmer at the farmers market to raise them. She and her husband are so talented and I know the turkeys will be fab.

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  14. I have been loving this series. So just a little thank you for the many laughs. You know what an admirer I am of your writing...
    PS. Another reason to come to France? Just think of how much cheaper Le Creuset will be. The trip would practically pay for itself!

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    1. Thank you, H! Have you ever been to the LC foundry? I know they don't exactly do tours any more but not sure when that started. Yes, they'd be so much less! Until I had to ship them home! My favorite LC pot weighs 27 pounds empty. But you'd better believe if/when I journey to France, I will be buying LC and copper pots until Chase suspends my card and sends agents to collect me.

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  15. Loved this post - so fascinating - have learned so much! But have questions. SA, you do such an amazing amount of work for Thanksgiving (as you know we don't celebrate in Oz) so I'm wondering what you do for Christmas Day. Do you cook turkey again? Or what else? Do you do another huge production - or is Christmas more low key?

    Had never heard of brining! I've always cooked a whole turkey but lavishly butter it all over first and then cover with alfoil, sit it on a rack in a roasting pan which I keep topped up with water (under the rack and turkey -so turkey isn't actually sitting in hot water). About 20 - 30 mins before turkey is ready I remove foil - add heaps more butter (also add butter before then as nec.) and allow it to go golden brown. It's usually fine and still moist - but oven's not so bright and shiny any more. Also bake most of veggies there. Granddaughters always beg me to make miniature Yorkshire puddings which don't go at all with turkey but they love them. Also make forcemeat balls out of extra stuffing. They love those too. With heaps of gravy made from turkey juices, and fats and vegetable water and flour. We usually have ham as well. But this year Husband has been worried by all latest health warnings about ham and cancer.
    Thank goodness I don't have to do it this year - it's our son and DIL's turn in Sydney. The blessing is it's summer here and Sydney is famous for seafood. We'll sit under an umbrella by the pool and dine on barbecued prawns, fish, crab, baked potatoes and lots of salads. Yes! The girls don't know it yet but I've bought a gigantic pink flamingo blow up floaty pool toy that they can sit on in the pool.
    Love the sound of electric knife. Dear Aussies - any brand recommendations for this? Also SA thank you for telling us about Le Creuset stainless steel roasters.

    Used to know an extreme hoarder once. At least she wasn't the hoarder - she was married to a computer guy and his family were doomsday hoarders in US. He insisted that every 3 or 6 months (forget which) they should stock up on heaps of things and store it for Armageddon. The first time I saw her pushing two overflowing giant trolleys (on her own - no hubby in sight) full of stuff around the supermarket (and her two little girls) I asked which army was coming to stay. She said she had to do this every few months because her husband's family always did it. She also had to keep track of the use by dates for the food and make sure everything was properly rotated in her storage. Poor thing. It was dreadful for her. But her husband insisted. Best wishes, Pammie

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    1. Hello Pammie! Oh that's so awful about your friend and her hoarder husband! How typical that it's his dumbass idea and he sends his wife out to execute! I'm sure he thought he was too important to do the actual shopping and organizing. I love Christmas! Christmas is actually a bigger production for me! I often alternate between turkey and ham. I think it'll be ham this year. We used to do a restaurant dinner on Christmas Eve and then a dinner/lunch at someone's house on Christmas Day. The tradition became tired as there were too many of us at the restaurant and the table was obscenely long so you could only talk to the two people around you. I took over Christmas when I was 19 and slowly started making the dinner a bigger production. I make different things but always make a croquembouche. We've let it evolve and have consolidated to one event, Christmas Eve, that is a huge party and dinner. I love it! your Christmas seafood sounds so delicious! I have to drive 8+ hours for good seafood where I live so I rarely eat it. The flamingo float will be such a fun surprise! Much of my Thanksgiving work also lays the foundation for Christmas, so that's why I try to get as much done as possible!

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    2. This is my Christmas post from last year: http://stephenandrewblog.blogspot.com/2014/12/hallelujah-holy-shit.html?m=1

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    3. Love it Stephen! Your family sounds wonderful! Sadly our close family has diminished in numbers. In the past ten or so years so many have died that it brings sadness to the occasion as we remember.
      We've had a tradition though of inviting one or two who are on their own to share with us. One year one of our dearly loved ones, who has since died, invited a young Afghan refugee to our Christmas table. The young man wrote later to thank us and said it was the happiest day of his life. So sad when you think about it.
      The saving feature though is children. They always bring such joy and pleasure and ensure we think of happy times ahead and not become fixed on regretting past losses. I'm sure your riotous Christmases bring cheer to every heart in your family! Warmest wishes, Pammie

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  16. OMG- I swear you are me in the male form...and younger...much younger...okay..and cuter..much cuter...

    Anyway, you are right on with just about everything...except I do like a matching table! lol I do have a lot of dishes and store them so I have enough for just about every occasion. Oh- wait- I do NOT have an electric knife. Like you, I always thought they were kind of a waste of money. I may need to adjust my attitude.

    I am like you, too, and do everything ahead that I can. I have a "trick" for you and your BBAB...is that right? Anyway...I have two or three of those big stainless steel bowls. We do have freezing weather here that time of year. I stick one inside the other and fill in between them with a couple inches of water--so that when I press the top bowl down the water rises to the top (almost). I then TAPE the top bowl in place and set it outside to freeze (or if you have a big freezer you can do it there, too. When it comes to serving a cold salad, I pull this into the buffet table-set it on a folded pad (for any sweating) and then toss my cold dish (salad-whatever) inside the top bowl (remove the tape, of course). It will keep the salad cold and non-wilting through 2nds and you don't have to wait until the very last minute to prepare your dish that has to stay cold.

    Yes- I know- I AM clever. lol

    Happy PREP!!!! xo Diana

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    1. Oh my gosh I love your salad idea. I may have burned myself out on ice projects when one year I made 25 ice lanterns. Do you remember those ice lanterns in Martha Stewart circa 1997? Well, fucking Ohio strikes back as when I made them it was like 15 degrees but then on dec 23 it warmed up to like 55. All my lanterns melted! I was so distraught as it happened in slow motion.

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  17. LOL I just love every single thing about this post - your writing, your humor, your honesty is divine, not kidding! You're spot on! And for the Love Of God, I have used the disposable roasting pan, I know I know I know... you are so right about that. Every now and again we splurge on Caymus wine because we love it... but somehow after sipping down $79 worth of wine in ten minutes, it just ain't worth it.

    Ask me how much I love LC.

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    1. Karen! I can't believe you've used one of those! I hope not in your current beautiful kitchen! Haha thank you. $79 is indeed steep! My favorite holiday wine is prosecco that's $14.99 a bottle. It's so good!

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  18. Hot damn but I love your blog. I wonder, is there anything to use besides aluminum foil? I'm 'fraid of aluminum.

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    1. Why thank you! Well there is of course parchment paper. I don't love cooking atop aluminum either. But I love the ease. You kmow I've actually contacted several foundries wishing to have custom sheet trays made of either cast iron (most preferable) or multiclad enameled steel but haven't found anyone remotely willing to hear me out. I've figured even if I had to get 100 made, I know enough people who would enjoy a highly premium sheet tray to go in on it with me. There is the Williams-Sonoma Goldware line but it's still only a single layer of metal.

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  19. I agree on all of your tips and as always, I am completely entertained by your writing! You are so freakin funny!!!

    I have the old All Clad roasting pan, thank goodness.

    We are not going to be on HHI this year. Our Savannah son is going to be joining his girlfriend's family, daughter will be in Bolivia, oldest son is staying in Aspen where he lives. So we will not see Dana and her family either. We just were there though, for a fun weekend visit last month. We will have dinner at a rustic mountain resort nearby instead so no cooking for me! But I LOVE hearing about all of your prep for the holiday!

    Do you do the same for Christmas? Christmas Eve is our big family dinner. Think we are going to keep it simple this year at my mother's home in Cincinnati but we always say that.

    You know that I am a total Prosecco girl? So is our daughter, our favorite cocktail!

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    1. Thank you! Oh I am so jealous of your old all clad roaster! Treasure it! Luckily, since I sous vide my turkey, the roaster isn't *that* important. I got the Le Creuset enameled cat iron roaster and love it, but it's much too small. Oh Thanksgiving in the mountains sounds so lovely! I love Thanksgiving at home, but do always miss HHI a little anyway. I didn't know you were a fellow prosecco enthusiast! I have Ina to thank. She convinced me on the Broadway dinner party episode :)

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  20. We don't brine, but like Martha Stewart, we spatchcock (butterfly) the turkey, and it makes for a quicker cooking time, a moist, flavorful bird, and a naughty frisson saying "spatchcock"!

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    1. Haha! It makes so much more sense to spatchcock. I cook mine sous vide and already cut into breast, thighs, drum, and wing and t makes carving sooooo much easier.

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