Saturday, November 17, 2007

Discombobulated grocery list

Catrina in the window
Originally uploaded by Pockafwye
Current temp outside: 36°F (2°C) overcast and calm.

Snowed a bit this morning. Just enough to make everything damp. The cats are flopped all over the floor, napping in the weak sun coming through the patio door. The exception is Catrina, who is watching the squirrel feeding station in case one of the chipmunks or squirrels should happen to come by. Of course, as soon as Catrina switches to a different window, one of the chipmunks starts raids on the seeds she'd just been watching.

Spent part of the morning figuring out the grocery list for our Thanksgiving in NC with relatives. My Joe and I are cooking the main dishes, and dessert is taken care of already. Keeping things uncomplicated, but yummy.

Here's what I ended up sending in my email.

2 medium onions. Sweet (i.e. Vidalia) onions if possible, else brown.

sage (dried)



2 eggs

butter (unsalted) at least a couple of sticks

1 bulb of fresh garlic

rosemary (fresh, only need a few sprigs)

mild Italian sausage (1/3 lb or about 2 sausages worth)

Bag or box of dried bread cubes (or a loaf of bread to be dried the night before if no plain cubes are available). NOT boxed pre-flavored stuffing mix.

A red apple. Prefer one of the crisper brands, not mealy like red delicious. Fuji, gala, honeycrisp, or whatever is good in your region.

Turkey or chicken broth as available. Preferably one of the boxed "natural" brands like Pacific. 2 of the 1 qt sized boxes or cans. Will be used in gravy and dressing.

Non-stick spray. Preferably the "Mazola Pure" brand. Doesn't matter which "flavor". We usually buy the "butter" one since it's a better multi-tasker.

1 small jar/can of chestnuts (not water chestnuts) if you like them in your dressing. They're spendy, so consider them optional.

A 1/4 cup or so all purpose flour (for the gravy)

Salad (?) - whatever you like in your salad. Especially tomatoes if they're still flavorful where you live. Salad dressing.

We like green beans, steamed and then lightly tossed with olive oil that has been infused with a bit of garlic and a bit of caramelized onion. So a bunch of fresh green beans, enough for 6 adults. If you are from the "must have green bean casserole" tradition instead, get whatever is usually used to make that instead and we'll figure it out.

A wisk for the gravy.

Bread rolls if you want them. Believe it or not, the Pillsbury frozen dinner rolls are quite tasty.

We planned on doing savory chipotle mashed sweet potatoes. For that we'd need enough whole, raw yams/sweet potatoes (whichever looks better in your grocery store) for the 6 adults, figuring a half of a large yam for each. We figured it's more kid-friendly than our other favorite yam dish.

Tobasco brand sauce, chipotle flavor. Small size is fine. (

I'm bringing frozen cranberry sauce in my luggage. Easier and tastier made ahead.

Potatoes for mashing if you want regular mashed potatoes along with the mashed yams. If we go this way, we may not need quite so many yams.

A strainer/colander for draining potatoes.

Either a bit of milk, or some half and half for the mashed potatoes, depending on how rich you like them.

Tupperware for leftovers =)

Turkey notes: I understand we'll be using an oil-free "fryer". Joe says this new fryer thing lets you collect the turkey drippings (?) That's good news for the gravy.

Needless to say, if you do any prep to the bird before we arrive, please make sure to save the neck and other bits inside for the gravy.

Joe would like to brine the turkey the night before. We'll bring the brining spices. He'll also need a clean, unscented plastic trash bag, an ice chest that the turkey will fit into, and about 10 lbs of ice cubes. For a more flavorful brine, a couple of extra quarts of broth would be a bonus.

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