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What can be made in the next few weeks and frozen for thanksgiving?

Young kids with no help so want to start cooking whenever have time to get ready for hosting thanksgiving

asked by Lara about 2 months ago
36 answers 1123 views
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added about 2 months ago

Breads such as rolls, cakes, even pies freeze well.

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Trena Heinrich

Trena is a trusted source on general cooking.

added about 2 months ago

I'll add to Stephanie's suggestions with homemade cranberry sauce.

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SK
added about 2 months ago

Great idea! Homemade cranberry sauce doesn't even to be frozen! The recipe on the bag of cranberries and lasts in the fridge for a long time!

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added about 2 months ago

One thing my mom does is sautee all vegetables in advance a few days before. For example, the onions and celery you add to stuffing. Boil the noodles for the mac & cheese. Make the salad dressing, clean the lettuce.

All day-of should be is assemble and bake. Hope this helps! good luck!

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SK
added about 2 months ago

You could even saute veggies for the stuffing and freeze them, no? Maybe just undercook them a bit.

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pierino

pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

added about 2 months ago

I was thinking about having myself cryonically froze u til after it's over.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added about 2 months ago

Superb idea, pierino. I'll be totally off the grid in November, at least as far as food writing is concerned, unless I absolutely need to look something up, which I hope will not be the case. The hype and fear-mongering are just too exhausting -- and annoying.

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PHIL

PHIL is a trusted home cook.

added about 2 months ago

Why? Thanksgiving is like the family version of Chopped!

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ChefJune

June is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added about 2 months ago

Pies and cakes, Breads and rolls, dressing, some vegetable dishes can be made ahead and frozen. Cranberry sauce.

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Susan W

Susan W is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added about 2 months ago

To add to this list, I always buy turkey wings and make a stock. Then I thaw it a few days before and make an uber stock with the neck and wing tips (if you're okay with the tips not being there when you present the bird).

I make cornbread stuffing so I always make that and freeze it.

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Susan W

Susan W is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added about 2 months ago

Mrs. Ardmore true and those brown bits always go into my stock. I'm speaking of the opulent drippings that you end up with when you roast a whole turkey. Easy enough to add them to the gravy base as AJ suggests.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added about 2 months ago

Susan W, there is nothing to prevent you from scraping all those lovely bits from the bottom of your roasting pan and stirring them into your "made-ahead" gravy at the time that you're warming it up to serve. I believe that is actually recommended in the recipe linked by sLx. (See step #10.)

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Susan W

Susan W is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added about 2 months ago

AJ is a genius!! Saved in bookmarks and making it this Thanksgiving. :)

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sexyLAMBCHOPx

Chops is a trusted home cook.

added about 2 months ago

No hun! This make-ahead (I do make a few tweaks) is great and I make double. https://food52.com/recipes...

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Susan W

Susan W is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added about 2 months ago

Chops, don't you miss using the turkey drippings when you complete the gravy ahead of time?

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sexyLAMBCHOPx

Chops is a trusted home cook.

added about 2 months ago

I agree! Also, you can make the gravy a huge timesaver.

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Riddley Gemperlein-Schirm

Assistant Editor at Food52

added about 2 months ago

Hi Lara! We actually have an article coming up next week about this very topic (so stay tuned!). However I do agree with other commenters! You can freeze rolls, cranberry sauce, pies, and soup with a lot of success. I often make a big batch of pie crust going into the holidays and freeze it, just so it's there when I need it.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added about 2 months ago

Great. Think I got enough info here!

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added about 2 months ago

Pies. And the vegetarian mushroom gravy on this site, http://food52.com/recipes... --just add the cream when heating to serve. Most kinds of casseroles--corn pudding, broccoli or green bean casserole, sweet potato or squash casseroles. You can even freeze mashed potatoes but it should be a recipe with a lot of cream, cream cheese, and butter; the richness of the dairy helps maintain the nice texture.

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MMH
added about 2 months ago

Make mashed potatoes ahead (not frozen) and use a slow cooker on low when you are ready to rewarm them. It frees up stove top space.

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BerryBaby

BerryBaby is trusted source on General Cooking

added about 2 months ago

I'd make the pie dough and freeze it, not the pies. Not crazy about frozen pies and it is so easy and quick to roll out the pre-made dough and add the filling. Never really have made anything else in advance. Just 4 of us. I would think it depends on how many guests and what is on your menu. The suggestions listed are great. Happy Turkey Day, and Happy Cooking! BB

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SK
added about 2 months ago

Could you roll out the dough ahead and freeze them flat?

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added about 2 months ago

Thomas Keller's leek bread pudding (you can find the recipe in a lot of places, including on this site: https://food52.com/recipes...) is delicious, and although I've never frozen it, I freeze other bread puddings all the time. The recipe calls for you to bake it for 1.5 hours. If you wanted to freeze it, I'd suggest adding just a little extra liquid and then baking it for 1 hour before freezing it. I tend to thaw my bread puddings in the fridge before re-heating them, but you could probably just bake from frozen (although it would need to bake for a while). If baking from frozen, I'd cover the dish in foil until the last 15 minutes of baking in order to avoid over-browning.

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Nancy

Nancy is a trusted home cook.

added about 2 months ago

In this ball park - stuffing for the turkey.

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added about 2 months ago

This isn't strictly on the freezing issue BUT if anyone has time/space/help restrictions and isn't committed to a whole-bird's dramatic entrance, I buy fresh turkey and have the butcher cut it up. It's a breeze to do stock for gravy, and a breeze to season and roast every piece. Flavour is superior, too. I'll never return to whole-bird roasting. Just a thought for people to consider. :-)

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added about 2 months ago

Sydney and Susan W - and everyone else who treasures their sanity in late November -- Paul Virant has a clear, intelligent and effective step-by-step make ahead game plan for a broken down turkey in his excellent book, "Preservation Kitchen." Tried and true, and a quite handy especially for those with limited oven space. Shoot me a note via my profile if you wish more information.

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Susan W

Susan W is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added about 2 months ago

I so agree. It's so much easier to cook turkey parts. Another good one is to cook a breast and put the stuffing under the skin. Delicious and it looks really pretty when sliced.

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MMH
added about 2 months ago

Along those lines, Alton Brown has a spatchcocked turkey recipe/process which is wonderful. He starts well in advance of the big day & the spatchcock method roasts much more quickly and evenly.

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added about 2 months ago

milled applesauce, pie crusts, NY Times gougeres for apps, IPK's mushroom pinwheels, Ina Garten's make ahead gravy. I make batches of Mrs. Wheelbarrow's raspberry and cranberry conserve as well, but they are processed in a water bath.

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Susan W

Susan W is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added about 2 months ago

Chops, Ina's is more what I had in mind. I like the base idea and using all those drippings to finish. I had a Julia Child's recipe from ages ago that's similar. She has you thicken it with cornstarch though which I didn't like. Ina's ticks all the boxes.

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sexyLAMBCHOPx

Chops is a trusted home cook.

added about 2 months ago

Bevi, I make Ina Garten's gravy, not AJ's although looks good. Here're a few ideas from Ina.
http://greatideas.people...

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added about 2 months ago

Chops, I love Ina's gravy. It hits all the right notes and it takes extra ingredients well, like a bit of apple cider or a fortified wine. Ina's Make Ahead book is a great guideline for preparing dishes in advance. I love it.

8f5038ed 8aca 4d33 aef7 8a0ce63adc40  img00019 20100929 0432 1
sexyLAMBCHOPx

Chops is a trusted home cook.

added about 2 months ago

I have the cookbook and love it. I don't think I've ever made a recipe of hers that didn't work out well.

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BerryBaby

BerryBaby is trusted source on General Cooking

added about 2 months ago

Reading about Thanksgiving food, I can't wait for the day! I love this meal! I think the stuffing is my favorite part. I use dried, cubed, bread, celery, onions, butter, sage, thyme and S/P. Very traditional recipe from 1973 Betty Crocker cookbook, and a family favorite.

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Susan W

Susan W is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added about 2 months ago

Have you ever made stuffing muffins? They are so good. You use any stuffing recipe and cook them in a buttered muffin tin. Each muffin is crunchy on the outside. Yum!!

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added about 2 months ago

Lara, my heart goes out to you. I've been there!
Here's a thought - a tip that doesn't get much play, but an excellent idea -- from an article posted a few years ago by a Food52 user (not an editor or food blogger contributor).
While you are thinking about what to freeze for Thanksgiving Day, also think about, plan and follow through on what you can freeze to serve your family for dinner during the 7 - 10 days before Thanksgiving. There are so many Thanksgiving tasks that can only be handled during that final week. It's quite helpful if you can free up the time you'd otherwise be spending in the evening cooking dinner, to do that advance prep during Thanksgiving week.
So, the idea is to make double batches of what you will be serving in the next couple of weeks and freeze as much as you can for those Thanksgiving week dinners. It's fall, so soups and stews are perfect for this.
Write out your menu for those 7 days. Combine holiday prep with week-before dinner prep, e.g., if you are making pie crust, make an extra and bake a quiche for dinner one evening when you'll have the oven on for pre-Thanksgiving prep.
Here is the article: https://food52.com/blog... There are a lot of other suggestions you may find helpful. The author developed the method over many years while raising two sons, with no help, and working full time.