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Old 11-26-2013, 11:49 AM   #141
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So you make the roux ahead of time, then add the pan drippings the day of?
I recall my family making the gravy right in the roasting pan. I don't think they did anything ahead of time. That's probably what made me leave everything until it absolutely has to be done, but being able to breeze through it efficiently. At least until it comes to dinners with half a dozen things going on.
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Old 11-26-2013, 12:50 PM   #142
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Cooking the foods is second nature, it's the planning that can get some people in trouble.

I've already put pans in the oven to test for size, especially since I have a new roaster. I'll be able to do the Turkey in a roaster, with the breast beside it in another pan on one rack. The second has room for 2 9x13 pans. So the Turkey and the breast can be cooking with two sides tossed in just before they are done. The Turkey can come out to rest and the two sides can go into the warming drawer (already tested for the right temp setting). More sides go in and I can make the gravy. The mashed potatoes will be in a pot on the stove staying warm on the warming burner.

Our neighbors will be out of town so if we end up needing extra oven space we can use theirs.

The planning might be one of my favorite parts.
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Old 11-26-2013, 02:36 PM   #143
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So you make the roux ahead of time, then add the pan drippings the day of?
I recall my family making the gravy right in the roasting pan. I don't think they did anything ahead of time. That's probably what made me leave everything until it absolutely has to be done, but being able to breeze through it efficiently. At least until it comes to dinners with half a dozen things going on.

Traditionally, you make the gravy while the turkey is resting.

I use the pan drippings but not all the fat. Deglaze the pan, add stock and seasonings, whisk in the roux and season. No lumps and the dark roux adds nice color and flavor the the gravy.
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Old 11-26-2013, 02:50 PM   #144
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I made stock on Sunday for gravy and stuffing with roasted turkey necks, onions, carrots, celery and garlic simmered with white wine, water with chicken Better than Bouillon, bay leaves, parsley stems, thyme and peppercorns. The aroma was incredible.

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Tomorrow I'm baking white bread to use for stuffing and my pumpkin pie. I'll also make the cherry sauce and chop the veggies for the stuffing. I like doing some things in advance, too. Makes the big day so much easier.
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Old 11-26-2013, 02:56 PM   #145
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I make my pies on Wednesday. I have to make 3 because my husband will have one gone by Thanksgiving. On Wednesday evening, I will chop the vegetables for the stuffing. Everything else gets done the next day. Someone else is bringing the sweet potatoes and broccoli casserole, and another is bringing pumpkin cheesecake. So I don't have to worry about those things. Just the mashed potatoes and another vegetable for variety, probably corn.

My husband doesn't understand about meat resting. He asks me if it's tired. He spends too much time in the kitchen nosing around.
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Old 11-26-2013, 03:31 PM   #146
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Wed is prep day. Jr is taking the day off to help too, although he is going to his GF family T'day.

There's pies to bake, prep veggies for stuffing, make giblet stock, peel potatoes, hors d'oevres (sp) and dips, foods to be brought from the basement frig and bring non essentials to the basement. Bring up and put together the spare dining room table and move it up against a wall in the living room until dinner time. ( does every house have 2 dining room tables? I thought not.) Set the tables. Bring up folding chairs from the basement and have ready. I used to could carry 4 chairs at once, but lately I just bring one in each arm. Get out serving bowls and match with service pieces. Make cranberry sauce. Slice pickles,...

None of these take very long, but it compounds itself.

Ms Emphatic controls the master list. One time Mr Efficient moved the list (out of the way or somesuch) maybe even as far as the desk in the den, Out of eye-sight. You can touch the list only if you check off a completed task. Well, it is better if only one person is in charge and the rest are elves. While I haven't seen the list in a few days, I suspect it is pretty long.
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Old 11-26-2013, 07:02 PM   #147
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We invited a couple that we really think a lot of, but she isn't a very good cook. She offered to bring something and really wanted to contribute so I put her in charge of beverages. Thing is, she loves to "cook" but she is what I call an assembler, she combines pre-made ingredients.

She invited us to Christmas eve dinner last year. She served Honey Baked Ham straight from the fridge with instant potatoes, that's it, nothing else. We had a great time anyway!

Rob ate dinner at her house once and she served "lasagna", beef-a-roni layered with mozzarella cheese and baked. Her heart is in the right place though!


I'm playing it safe, bringing the dressing AND the gravy, minus turkey drippings.
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Old 11-26-2013, 08:01 PM   #148
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My stock is now reduced and cooling. I've skimmed most of the fat, but will refigerate and let the remaining fat solidify. It is a beautiful mahogany color and the aroma has our pugs almost in a stuper!
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Old 11-27-2013, 12:02 AM   #149
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Pies are done...
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Old 11-27-2013, 10:56 AM   #150
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I did my cranberry/tangerine relish yesterday.

Today is usually prep day.

BUT there is a water line break somewhere in my neighborhood. Which means the water is coming out VERY slow and I don't really trust using it. The water will probably eventually be turned off for HOURS!! Which will put me way behind in my prep.
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Old 11-27-2013, 03:32 PM   #151
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Turducken is on the menu tomorrow at son's house. Turducken - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Has anyone ever actually eaten one? I'm really looking forward to it, and he's really excited. I hope there will be drippings to add to the gravy I'll be making there. I cooked a killer turkey stock yesterday so I'll take that along for the gravy, along with the dressing I just finished, the fresh cranberry sauce just off the stove, and the always requested broccoli salad I've yet to put together.

Andy, I like the idea of making the roux today for the gravy tomorrow. Can you tell me how much roux to make for 6 cups of stock, plus whatever drippings will result from the Turducken?
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Old 11-27-2013, 04:53 PM   #152
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...Andy, I like the idea of making the roux today for the gravy tomorrow. Can you tell me how much roux to make for 6 cups of stock, plus whatever drippings will result from the Turducken?

A lot depends on how dark you make the roux. Darker roux has less thickening power. More or less will take about the same time and the ingredients are cheap. Make a cup of flour and a cup of oil. I'd go for medium dark. More flavor and color.

I've always wanted to do a turducken but it feeds so many and no one in my family likes duck so it's not practical.
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Old 11-27-2013, 06:47 PM   #153
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Thanks for your help Andy.

Since I picked up a jar of clarified butter at Trader Joes a while back, and didn't really have any brilliant ideas about what to do with it, I thought it would make an extra special roux for the Thanksgiving gravy. Can't wait to pull it all together tomorrow.
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Old 11-27-2013, 08:45 PM   #154
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I am not brave enough to make a roux and I don't want lumpy gravy. I made a slurry and added to the pan drippings from thighs and wings which were added to make giblet stock. Stirred the gravy really well and let it boil with continuous stirring, then added the stock. That made about half enough gravy. I will make a pan of gravy when the bird comes out of the oven tomorrow and heat the two pans together in the end. I think.

We tried out different table cloths today until we had them just right for the tables. Such a little thing that has to be perfect, just to start out. Well, I guess so. Then she made Jr and me fold them all up and lay them out again, and showed us where the Patterns go Both Ways from the Center, In case we are Blinded or she's busy in the kitchen when we set up the 2nd table. It doesn't get to stay up and pushed against a wall until dinner. Ok, then. I feel like I should start looking for matching sox, but I don't have lace, so I will just try to have 2 sox that are the same color.

I peeled potatoes, which went pretty fast because I was told it was a left-handed peeler. Then we polished some silver.

And on that shiny note, I came home.
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Old 11-27-2013, 09:16 PM   #155
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I am not brave enough to make a roux and I don't want lumpy gravy. I made a slurry and added to the pan drippings from thighs and wings which were added to make giblet stock. Stirred the gravy really well and let it boil with continuous stirring, then added the stock...
There's nothing wrong with making gravy that way.

Sometime when you've got a moment, try making a roux. It's not difficult at all. It's all about heat management and stirring.
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Old 11-27-2013, 09:22 PM   #156
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On different occasions I have made/ brought dishes I didn't make practice runs at home prior to serving. GRAVY on the other hand needs to complement the turkey, 'taters and stuffing. And I think some secretly mop their yeast rolls too. I did what I know is my TNT> You could drink this stuff. In your largest coffee mug and ask for more and it would not be enough. It turned out great.
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Old 11-27-2013, 09:53 PM   #157
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There's nothing wrong with making gravy that way.

Sometime when you've got a moment, try making a roux. It's not difficult at all. It's all about heat management and stirring.
I agree with you there, Andy. I got my stool from the breakfast bar, turned on the kitchen tv, and was determined the whisk would be in constant motion in the skillet till the right color appeared, (in this case a light golden brown) which was about 15 minutes. It smells wonderful and it's in a zip lock bag to take with the stock and make gravy tomorrow.

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Old 11-28-2013, 08:10 AM   #158
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We pulled our stock out of the fridge last night to put into smaller containers. Just setting the pot down on the counter set the stock to jiggling like jello. There was no pouring this stock when cold. Had to use a ladle.
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Old 11-28-2013, 09:01 AM   #159
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I agree with you there, Andy. I got my stool from the breakfast bar, turned on the kitchen tv, and was determined the whisk would be in constant motion in the skillet till the right color appeared, (in this case a light golden brown) which was about 15 minutes. It smells wonderful and it's in a zip lock bag to take with the stock and make gravy tomorrow.

Glad. It worked out for you Kayelle. Enjoy your day.
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Old 11-28-2013, 11:30 AM   #160
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