Friday Free for All: Planning for the Countdown to Turkey Day Series & Other Odds and Ends

Heather says:

First of all, if you are  Facebook fan and use Facebook to follow this site, you should be aware that the recent changes may be causing you to miss a majority of Home-Ec 101 updates. If you look at the upper right hand corner of this site, there are several other ways to stay current with Home-Ec 101. You can receive updates by e-mail, Twitter, or use an RSS reader. If you want to stick with Facebook and not miss any updates, it’s important to “like” a few things on the Home-Ec 101 fanpage. Facebook has its own method for determining what they think you want to see and it takes more than a single like to see the status updates in your news feed.  Trust me, I don’t enjoy saying, “Like my stuff!” In fact, it makes me feel a little dirty.

On to the Friday Free For All.

Today and tomorrow I’ll be gearing up for my big pre-Turkey Day cooking marathon. What is that, you ask? Well, Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite holiday and each November I put together a Countdown to Turkey Day series where I break up the monumental feat of hosting a company-worthy Thanksgiving into manageable daily tasks. Things like: finding your dining room table extensions, figuring out the guest list, determining how much to serve, getting the house company ready, etc. This Sunday, a bunch of local friends will descend on my home and pitch in with preparing many of the recipes I’ll be sharing over the month of November. I’ve found it’s a lot of fun to have extra hands in the kitchen and knock it all out in one marathon cooking session and photo-shoot. In the process my kitchen will be utterly destroyed, one of my tables will probably end up in the front yard for better light, and a lot of fun will be had.

How else would you end up with photos like this?

So the question for today’s FFA is:

What is your favorite Thanksgiving Dish?

Is there a particular recipe or technique you would like me to cover in this year’s series?

Foodies, feel free to link to your favorite recipe (one per comment or the spam filter will eat you alive).

Have a wonderful weekend, I have a turkey to brine, but I’ll be checking in throughout the day.


  1. deneicer1 on November 2, 2011 at 5:17 pm

    My favorite is to make my own Cranberry Sauce. It is so easy! Boil cranberries in orange juice. Add a little nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves. Add in sugar after the cranberries “pop.” I add in a box of Sure Gel to thicken it. If anyone wants the recipe let me know!

  2. Rachel@FoodFix on October 18, 2011 at 8:00 am

    The feast looks amazing, Heather. You’ve got me salivating for Thanksgiving!…for the person who asked for cranberries…I do have cranberries two ways for Thanksgiving on my blog…if you want to take a look.

  3. whatscookinglv on October 17, 2011 at 9:12 pm

    Hey! I really love the blog. We run a home economics based blog too over at Drop on by and say hi! In the meantime, I would love to see an article on candied sweet potatoes. Last year we made sweet potato croquettes, but they didn’t work out so well.

  4. BeccasCrazyBoys on October 16, 2011 at 12:18 am

    Stuffing. I love stuffing. I’m always open to new recipes, but I’m pretty traditional 🙂

  5. CouponSnob on October 15, 2011 at 7:36 am

    Oh please address cranberries! I grew up with a plate of sliced cranberry “jelly” every year on the table, until my Hubby’s mom taught me how to make them from fresh cranberries. SO EASY and SO MUCH BETTER! Here’s my recipe:

    I’d love to see what you could do with them! 🙂

  6. angela.busch.alston on October 15, 2011 at 4:13 am

    I love pies!!! Last year I made eight different ones. It was great!

    • deneicer1 on October 18, 2011 at 9:24 pm

      @angela.busch.alston I made a fabulous pecan-ish pie last year….I will go look for the recipe!

      • deneicer1 on November 2, 2011 at 5:12 pm

        @angela.busch.alston Okay, Angela…I couldn’t find it. But…I think it was generally the same but adding a good shot of Bourbon. It was fabulous! I made one with Amaretto but, it was VERY sweet. I am thinking of trying Jack Daniels! LOL!

  7. mydwynter on October 14, 2011 at 10:01 pm

    Gotta say, I’d never seen rice for Thanksgiving before I moved down here. After the first Thanksgiving at which I pined for mashed potatoes, I’ve made sure they’re there every year.

    Last year was the first time I made my oven roasted brussels sprouts (, and I’ve learned my lesson: Make more. Make lots more.

  8. Linda_Sellers on October 14, 2011 at 9:09 pm

    these panko crusted green beans are amazing. I just got the recipe last year and have made them several time since. they work with so many dishes. or by themselves 🙂

  9. rajean on October 14, 2011 at 9:01 pm

    Narrowing my favorites is a difficult task. I make a great sweet potato casserole (tastes more like pie, honestly, no marshmallows, but pecans), waldorf salad, we always like deviled eggs (I use pickle relish), my favorite is probably the stuffing – baked outside of the bird, crispy around the edges, lots of herbs and plenty of mashed potatoes & gravy. Then bring on the desserts. But I don’t have any of those mentioned as a link (yet) but I will share my Southwest Lasagna recipe, which calls for chicken, but I say, throw the leftover turkey in there instead. Bingo, great meal 1-2 days post feast, will taste completely different and satisfy!

  10. TonyaStaab on October 14, 2011 at 8:04 pm

    We have a very traditional meal – turkey, pumpkin pie and all kinds of yummy sides. My turkey and cranberry sauce are the best (or at least they are to me):

  11. TheAmyTucker on October 14, 2011 at 10:23 am

    I made a venison stew last year and some sort of dressing where I used cubed homemade bread. Those are my favorites. If I can find the recipes, I’ll pass them on to you and you can take pretty pictures of the results.

    • HeatherSolos on October 14, 2011 at 10:24 am

      @TheAmyTucker was the stew in addition to or in lieu of a turkey?

      • TheAmyTucker on October 14, 2011 at 11:28 am

        @HeatherSolos In lieu of a turkey. I got a wild hair to do an “authentic” Thanksgiving. If everything had worked out, I was going to have venison stew and pheasant or a whole fish. Ended up doing venison stew and a rosemary and garlic roasted chicken. 😀

        • HeatherSolos on October 14, 2011 at 11:31 am

          @TheAmyTucker did you post the recipe for the chicken?

        • TheAmyTucker on October 14, 2011 at 11:39 am

          @HeatherSolos Nope. I just chopped up a bunch of fresh rosemary, smooshed a bunch of garlic, mixed all that with room temp unsalted butter and some kosher salt and fresh pepper. Under the skin it all went. 425 oven to start, in goes the chicken then 375 oven for about an hour. Delish!

  12. carnellm on October 14, 2011 at 9:18 am

    Rice. @HeatherSolos, you know that! Gotta have rice. Well, that and pumpkin pie. Maybe pumpkin bread. Pumpkin muffins. Pumpkin soup. Wonder if you could make pumpkin rice?

    • HeatherSolos on October 14, 2011 at 9:23 am

      @carnellm I have rice on the menu, JUST FOR YOU. (See you made me get my caps-lock on) As far as pumpkin rice, I could totally see cubed pumpkin in a wild rice dish or a pumpkin risotto.

      • carnellm on October 14, 2011 at 9:24 am

        @HeatherSolos Once I said that, I started to think the same thing – cubed pumpkin with maybe sausage in the rice?

        • HeatherSolos on October 14, 2011 at 9:24 am

          @carnellm sort of a play on dirty rice?

        • carnellm on October 14, 2011 at 10:24 am

          @HeatherSolos Or make it after turkeyday with the leftovers??

        • deneicer1 on October 18, 2011 at 9:26 pm

          @HeatherSolos@carnellm What do I get pts. for? I have 6 next to my name in little shadowy letters….???? 🙂

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