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Thanksgiving...Want to bring Something to Future In-Laws but will be Traveling the Day Before

I would like to bring a few "home made" dishes with me when visiting my future in-laws for Thanksgiving. We will be leaving Wednesday morning for along drive down to NC from NY and so I will be cooking Tuesday night (I have a decent size cooler so keeping things cold will not be a problem). Therefore, my dishes would be about a day and a half old by the time they were actually enjoyed. I know some things get better with "age" but because some of the dishes I'm thinking of making are first time attempts, I don't know if this will be the case. Should I be concerned that they will not taste right if they are a day or so old? I was thinking of making a side dish (maybe corn casserole or spaghetti pie), maybe some sort of appetizer (was thinking spanikopita stuffed in phyllo dough) and a desert of some sort (homeade chocolate chip cookies, pie, or cake). I guess my question, since I don't cook that often, should I scrap the idea and just buy some kind of desert on the way down and/or some flowers and scrap the idea of actually cooking?

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  1. Do you have a good way to keep them refrigerated if necessary on the drive and afterwards?

    1. Could you take something partially prepared and finish it there? That way it would be fresh when it came time to eat it.

      1. I would probably make something like cookies or a cake, since you have such a long drive down there. Or maybe some muffins for Thanksgiving morning? Do they enjoy sweets? I once made huge baskets of homemade cookies, fudge and the like for my then-bf's family only to find out later that they don't eat sweets. I was heartbroken!

        1. We are driving from Denver to Houston for Thanksgiving and have the same problem. One of my daughters is making pecan pies to take with us. I'm preparing the dry ingredients for my pies, dinner rolls and stuffing and will complete when we get to Houston.
          Think of something that you can get in NY but would be hard to find (impossible) in NC and bring that. Great cheeses for an antipasto platter come to mind.
          I love your idea of wanting to contribute. Great way to become part of the family. Happy Thanksgiving.

          1. Bring a coffee cake or banana bread for Thanksgiving morning. Don't bring any sides for the meal unless you clear it with future MIL first- you don't want to show up with something unexpected- and definitely DON"T anything that requires any sort of prep or cooking on-site. The adult women in my family get along very well, mainly because we never cook in each other's kitchen, especially on a high stress day like Thanksgiving!

            2 Replies
            1. re: DeeCee

              I totally agree that you should not bring anything to go with the meal without clearing it first. The banana bread idea is a good one. Another suggestion would be to make a breakfast casserole in NY, freeze it and bring it down to be used sometime during the weekend.

              1. re: DeeCee

                DeeCee is a wise woman. I am one of those people who doesn't want anyone else cooking in my kitchen, especially if I am turning out a big dinner like Thanksgiving. My kitchen is huge, but I will still move faster and more efficiently with NO ONE under foot, not even the dogs. Bitc_y yes, but that is just how I feel. I am sure that I am not the only control freak out there. Be sure to clear this with your future MIL before you arrive expecting to keep things in the crowded fridge, or to ask to warm things in the microwave and oven, since those will likely be in use already. I would steer toward baked goods and beverages -- you can't go wrong with those.