Holiday Preparations

For some reason (am I forgetting something??) I have a little free time these days. But I know the pace will pick up so I decided to get some things done to make my holidays more stress-free.

I hate to admit it, but I am terrible about cleaning out my freezer on a regular schedule.   It has become somewhat of a mess with Mr. DB’s peppers taking up a lot of room, along with some random odds and ends I didn’t want to “waste”.  But I have gotten better at putting a date on the items I freeze which makes it easier to identify and toss old food.  I will probably make a vegetable soup this coming week to get rid of the little bits of frozen vegetables lurking around in the corners.  A good wipe down once it is cleaned out and I am ready to do some cooking and freezing!

Also, while I’m on a roll I may as well give the oven a good clean.  Most of us have self-cleaning ovens these days, but I still don’t seem to get around to actually getting it done.  Having a clean oven will (hopefully) motivate me to wipe up spills and try to maintain it for a couple of months.

I mentioned in last week’s post my plans to make my hot pepper jelly and I was surprised that it really took very little time – about 2 hours.  In addition to using this jelly as a topping for cream cheese, it is delicious as an ingredient in a glaze  for salmon fillets such as in this recipe from America’s Test Kitchens.

And now is a good time to see if you can locate those rarely used items:  twine (for trussing up those turkey legs), cheesecloth and the baster and gravy separator.  I can use some updates on these basics.

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It is not too early to buy some of those ingredients you know you will need on  Thanksgiving.  One year I waited until the last minute to buy cranberries and I had to go to 3 stores to find some!  Go ahead and buy them now and freeze them#peace of mind.  Also, a secret ingredient I use in my gravy is Heinz Roasted Turkey Gravy.  And it is not so secret because frequently I am buying the last two jars!  I add this jar of gravy to my homemade gravy for a flavor boost.  It’s really delicious and I will be buying mine this week.

What are your tips for making sure your holidays are less stressful and more enjoyable?



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