I am driving 7 hours to get to Thanksgiving dinner and will be there 1 week in advance. Is there anything I can make in my own kitchen (or at least start) that I can take with me? I don't want to be a nuisance to the hostess by asking to use her kitchen and I'm tired of just bringing wine or chocolate. Any ideas? It doesn't have to be traditional but it should be seasonal and it can be anything: dessert, side, appetizer...

  • Posted by: MariaP
  • November 12, 2010


MariaP November 14, 2010
Thanks for the great suggestions! I'm thinking maybe some biscotti and some cranberry sauce...
innoabrd November 14, 2010
cranberries are great. They naturally keep, so cranberry sauce has good natural shelf-life. they used to be used to prevent scurvy on long ship voyages. Apparently, to sort the good from the bad, they'd dump them down a set of stairs. the firm, bouncy ones that made it to the bottom were good. The mushy ones didn't...
beyondcelery November 13, 2010
I agree with Mr_Vittles: go for cranberry sauce. Here's my own recipe, which has been a hit at the Thanksgiving table for years. You can also cheat-can it if you'll keep it in the fridge for the week. Just put the hot sauce into a sterilized canning jar, wrap in towels and keep on the warm stove until the top of the can pops (to declare that it's sealed).

Cranberry-Orange Sauce (GF, DF, SF, Vegan)
Makes enough for 5 8oz jars

1 ¼ cup apple juice
2 ½ cups brown sugar
4 quarter-sized coins of fresh ginger
1 tsp orange zest

5 cups fresh cranberries*
¼ tsp allspice
1/8 tsp nutmeg
¾ tsp vanilla

½ Tbls cornstarch dissolved in 1 Tbls water

*1 cup fresh cranberries yields 8oz cooked sauce

Skin and finely chop fresh ginger. Combine apple juice, brown sugar, ginger, and orange zest in a large pot. Bring to a boil and boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add cranberries to boiling syrup, stir well, and bring mixture back to a rolling boil on medium-high heat.

Cook until the berries are nearly all burst, about 10-15 minutes. Stir constantly for the first 4-5 minutes, then stir frequently. Crush some of the berries against the side of the pot with the back of your spoon if you would like a smoother sauce.

Reduce heat to medium-low and add spices, vanilla, and cornstarch water. Simmer, stirring constantly, about 3 minutes, or until sauce has thickened slightly. Taste for sweetness and add sugar if necessary, keeping in mind that sauce will sweeten slightly as it cools. Be sure to cook sauce until all extra sugar is melted and incorporated, or your sauce will turn grainy.

Serve hot or cold, depending on preference. This sauce cans well, with a processing time of about 10 minutes.

Note: Orange juice can be substituted for some of the apple juice, if you would like a stronger orange flavor. Brandy, Grand Marnier, Rum, or other liqueurs can replace of some of the apple juice, no more than ½ cup.
Soozll November 13, 2010
I agree with luv2cook, make fresh the night before you leave, whatever will freeze well when you get there so that it will be a simple thaw and serve. Quick breads are ideal for this. Let the hostess decide when she wants to serve it. Personally, I think offering to be her sous chef or kitchen aide or even just a sounding board, would be the most appreciated thing you can give, Take a bottle of wine, too!
pierino November 13, 2010
Continuing on the dough theme; pizza dough wrapped in cling wrap will travel and freeze well. Of course sticking a pizza pan in the oven with a turkey roasting could be a challenge. However, I'll be doing something like that myself. You could prep your pizza (or pissaldiere) ahead and when the turkey comes out to rest crank up the heat all the way. Hey, turkey sausage topping... I'm unconventional when it comes to Thanksgiving.
Kayb November 13, 2010
You could make a big pot of your favorite soup or stew, and bake a loaf of homemade bread before you left. Chill the stew, freeze the bread, take both in a cooler, and when you've arrived, dinner has as well.
pauljoseph November 13, 2010
Or try this chocolate brownies recipe

luv2cook November 13, 2010
If you want to help with the Thanksgiving meal, you might bake a pumpkin loaf or muffins (add chocolate chips if you wish) to bring along and freeze when you get there -- that is, if you and your host can delay gratification for a few days. Something like that should travel and freeze well. If you want to bring something in appreciation for being a house guest for a week, then a nice basket of goodies would be lovely (anything from dinner in a basket such as pasta, sauce, italian bread, pesto, wine etc. to coffee/tea/cookies to a fruit basket would work, depending upon your hosts' tastes). My last idea, if you don't want to bring food, is a nice serving piece like a pretty platter or bowl, which would both useful for the holiday dinner and be a nice gift for your hosts.
Mr_Vittles November 13, 2010
Definitely cookie dough as well as quick bread dough could make the trip, provided you stored them in a cool place and quickly refrigerated them ounce you had a fridge available. If you want prepared in advance, cranberry sauce (over medium heat, add one cranberry package, 1/2 cup sugar, pinch of salt, half of lemon, juiced, pinch of cayenne pepper and cinnamon, and a couple splashes of orange juice. Cook for 15 minutes, and cool), but a lot of other stuff will not travel well, a pie would be mushy after a seven hour drive, any meat would not be safe to eat, and vegetables would lose their snap. If you do try and bring produce or proteins keep them as cold as possible and store in a cooler of some sort.
nutcakes November 13, 2010
You could can some cranberry sauce or chutney. I probably wouldn't travel with frozen stuff. But I would do a few fresh things in a cooler. Not for a week later, just for the first couple of days. Cookies perhaps? A nice cranberry oat jumble cookie? Molasses cookies? Biscotti keep well. Spiced nuts? Handy for company. Cheese?
betteirene November 12, 2010
You can make slice-and-bake cookies, packing the frozen rolls of dough in a cooler. You can bring frozen loaves of raisin bread dough for breakfast, along with homemade granola (purchase good yogurt when you arrive) for yogurt parfaits with fresh fruit. You can prepare your own cookie or cake mixes by measuring the dry ingredients into zipper bags and packing the wet ingredients (butter, eggs, sour cream, etc.) in a cooler with ice bags or blocks and bake it Wednesday night. Arrange to have a gorgeous fruit basket delivered on Wednesday, or make one yourself. As for me, I'd be very happy to share the bottle of wine while you help be vacuum and wash pots.
pauljoseph November 12, 2010
My aunt always bring this when she visit us / ginger lime and Cashew pepper fry try this easy recipe


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