Last year I cooked up the big family Thanksgiving dinner all by myself – no mean feat for a young guy. How did I do it? I made most of it three days before and froze or refrigerated the various dishes. I even made the gravy beforehand. Now, usually I’m super stressed when I have to cook for company. That day, one of the biggest extravaganzas of mass food consumption, I was cool as a cucumber.
In preparing for the big day, I asked my parents for any make-ahead recipes they might have. In reply, my mom gave me her nearly new Better Homes and Gardens Make-Ahead Recipe Book from 1970-something. Did you know food was fluorescent in the seventies? It was! And almost all of the dishes were carefully held together in a lifelike assemblage of gelatin and frozen vegetables. Know the strata. Fear the strata.
Needless to say, I didn’t use the book. I found a make-ahead Thanksgiving menu on the internet instead. If Suzie Theodorou had of been around though and her book, Can I Freeze It? were around I might have looked for it. It sounds like the make-ahead Bible. From the book description:
In Can I Freeze It? veteran food writer and stylist Susie Theodorou explains the tips, tricks, and rules of freezing food, from containers and wrappers (foil or Tupperware?) to the best methods for retaining moisture and flavor to what ingredients and dishes can and can’t be frozen. She provides a wealth of recipes, along with color photographs, for whole and partial dishes. Some are completely preassembled (for example, chicken in a marinade), frozen, and cooked later. Others combine frozen ingredients with fresh ones—pair a pastry from the freezer with berries from a farm stand, or defrost a sauce and use it to top fish straight from the market.
I didn’t have to sweat it out in the kitchen for Easter this year but before you know it Thanksgiving will be around again – maybe I should start looking for Can I Freeze It? now.
Via The Cool Hunter.