First Up: Cranberry Sauce, Pie Crust & Preparing the Veggies for Stuffing

You obviously can’t do ALL the cooking for Thanksgiving on Thanksgiving Day so some of it has to be done ahead of time.  When my mom walked me through the steps of making Thanksgiving dinner, she suggested doing a couple things Tuesday night and a few things Wednesday night so that Thursday I don’t have too much more than the turkey to prepare.

Last night I made my first 3 items: cranberry sauce, pie crust (for the apple pie I’ll make Thursday) and I prepared the veggies that will get mixed in tomorrow with the rest of the stuffing.

Whole Cranberry Sauce:

Combine 2/3 of a cup of water and 2/3 of a cup of sugar in a small pot on the stove over medium heat.  cranberrysauce

Once the water starts to boil, add 12 oz. of washed cranberries.  cranberrysauce(2)

Lower the heat slightly and let simmer approximately 10 minutes, until all of the cranberries have bursted open.  Stir frequently to prevent the sugar from burning to the pot.cranberrysauce(3)

As soon as your cranberry sauce is done cooking, put into a serving dish and cover.  cranberrysauce(4)

Allow it to come to room temperature before putting it in the refrigerator to cool.  This can be done 2 days ahead of time!

Pie Crust:

Put into the food processor: 2 cups of flour and 1 teaspoon of sugar.  pie crust

Then add 1 stick of salted butter, which you will have frozen and cut up into small pieces.  pie crust(2)

Quickly pulse the food processor blade on and off to combine the ingredients until they form little pea-sized balls.  Next, add 2-3 Tablespoons of ice water one Tablespoon at a time, pulsing the food processor between each addition.  Once the dough is just sticking together, it is done.  Dump it out onto some wax paper, and then roll it up into a ball.  Wrap it tightly in wax paper and then store in a plastic bag.

This can be done 2 days ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator until you are ready to roll out your crust and fill it with the filling of your choice!


Heat 1-2 teaspoons of oil in a pan over medium heat.  Once heated, add 1 chopped up onion.  Saute until soft & slightly translucent.  Then add 3 stalks of chopped celery and continue to saute another 2-3 minutes.  Add 3/4 of a lb. of chopped white mushrooms.  Season with salt and pepper, then add 3 cloves of chopped garlic and 1 teaspoon of ground ginger.  Continue to saute until the veggies are soft.stuffingstuffing(2)stuffing(3)

Veggies can then be put into a bowl to cool and then refrigerated for 1-2 days until you are ready to mix them in with the bagged stuffing for Thanksgiving!

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