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Food Shopping on Thanksgiving Eve?

Okay tomorrow is the biggest food shopping day of the year. How many of you waited until the last minute to do all your grocery shopping this year? And are any of you having to make a oopsie how did I leave this off the list run tomorrow? This year I am in the latter category. I forgot celery. Duh! And I want my string beans to be really fresh and beautiful. Hmm I guess there is a third category at least. How many of you got stuck with a last minute request from your host or hostess and thus are forced once more into the breech on this craziest of all vittles gathering days? One year I waited til wednesday to do the whole enchilada and I wished I had worn body armor. Saw a cart ram into another cart hard and almost hurt an innocent toddler passenger. Good luck to you all tomorrow and a tip of the hat to those who Plan Ahead or eat out. Oh and Happy Thanksgiving to my fellow chowhounds!

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  1. I'd bought everything for tomorrow's efforts, and was happily contemplating a minimum of shopping yet. We also go down to visit my niece on Friday, when her dad/my brother is visiting from Tennessee, and have a sort of TG2. She's a busy career woman with a houseful of kids, and she always just orders in a packaged meal from Marie Callendar, quite adequate really, though any green vegetable included is totally boring. So this time I suggested I bring a dish of something more interesting, which means I do in fact now get to go do battle in the produce department again. Whoopee!

    4 Replies
    1. re: Will Owen

      What loot (veggie) did you bring back from your raid Will? I finally got my green beans about eight thirty tonight when everything finally simmered down. The hardest part of tomorrow's dinner is making sure the green beans are piping hot. They get cold so fast.

      1. re: givemecarbs

        Believe it or not, cabbage! I was going for Brussels sprouts, when it occurred to me that (a) those puppies are expensive, and (b) will the kids eat'em? Around the same time, I got this flash that I could resolve the question of whether to do braised cabbage with bacon, or scalloped cabbage, by doing BOTH in one dish: braise the cabbage (with bacon! Yes!) just to the tender-crunchy stage, then lay it into my big gratin pan with a sinfully rich bechamel and buttered crumbs on top. I bet even my cabbage-hating brother will have some of that!

        1. re: Will Owen

          Mmmmm. Sounds yummy Will. Post a post holiday update letting us know how yo bro liked it.

          1. re: givemecarbs

            Everybody liked it, though it was rich enough (and there was more than enough other food) that only a little over half got eaten...which pleased my niece very much. As she scraped the remains into a bowl, she grinned at me and said, "You WERE going to leave this behind for us, weren't you?" Having no more fridge room at home, I took it as a compliment and agreed.

            I think I'm going to pull the same trick next time I'm making Brussels sprouts for a feast, since I have both braised them and scalloped them just like cabbage. Oughta be tasty.

    2. I went Monday around 2:00 pm and it was a zoo! I have to go back tomorrow :::shudders::::

      1 Reply
      1. re: Chefsquire

        I found myself low on household staples. We dine out on T-giving and I guess I just went brain dead re milk, etc. I went in the afternoon yesterday and it wasn't too bad. The worst part was the people standing around talking on their cell phones! By the time I left the store the lines to check out were long so I must have picked a good time. Happy Thanksgiving all!!!

      2. I work second shift and HAD to make two forays to two different supermarkets. Brussels sprouts were on sale at one place and I've recently discovered tasty ways to cook them, so I took a quick lunch-hour (9 pm) trip and was rewarded with few people, two pounds of sprouts, and a 20-minute search that yielded the only bottle of prosecco in the store.

        Wednesday I got bold and went to the other supermarket--the one I prefer--at 3 pm before work...almost ditched my plans when I saw the full parking lot, but I found a spot after circling once and went in armed with a grocery list, a stout cart, and a (somewhat forced) smile. I was in and out in 25 minutes, and managed not to trip over the free-running kids or ram the long-lost friends chatting in the middle of the aisle. I actually got to work early!

        We're feasting Friday because my husband has to work tonight. I may just go for a box of 'dinner' and a beer! Hope you all had a fantastic pig-out and little need for antacids...and lots of leftovers.

        1. This year I got my turkey over a week ago. Hit Costco yesterday evening (tuesday night.) Even got some cranberries there! Plus two pies and a David's Cookies mountain berry tart. But when I got home I realized I needed rutabagas, sage, and cornmeal. Doh! So guess I am bound for bedlam again this Thanksgiving Eve 2010. How about you? Anyone else out there crazy enough to enter a grocery store today? Happy Thanksgiving to all!

          1. Oh, I'll be at the store very late this afternoon/evening with the rest of the masses. Last year there was a darling lady on a scooter hauling A** around every corner in the store, and laughing her head off. She ran over my foot.

            1. Procrastination gives me a buzz. I just figured out the menu this morning. New England seafood Thanksgiving in New Mexico, just for the halibut.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Passadumkeg

                You could go all manly on us and serve Beavertails, though I understand they have to be thrice-boiled and baked yet again to remove any hint of pine-tar taste.
                Next year, a Russian/Polish Turkey extravaganza! Kraut stuffing! Dumplings! Schii to start!!

                1. re: mamachef

                  I thought I was going to do elk roast or mutton roast, but my Yankee better half requested fish.
                  If I stuffed a turkey w/ kapusta (sauerkraut), I'd throw out the turkey and eat the kapusta. I think I grew up w/ such strong flavors, that turkey just doesn't satisfy.

              2. I planned a run yesterday, but weatherproofing the place took a lot longer than I thought, so . . . the boyfriend is aware he has to make a run after work today. He has to take one for the team. We need wine, pumpkin, and vanilla ice cream.

                I've made the day before run in years past, and I have to say, I enjoy it, a little. Two years ago, I was standing in the produce section, waiting patiently for the man who promised to bring me sage 'from the back', and I just looked around at the tense faces, the lists clutched close to the chest, the couples splitting up with determination and bravery (as if they might not find each other again, between bakery and frozen foods as hoped), and my eyes met that of an older woman. She smiled at me, and called, "Isn't this fun?" and we both started laughing.

                I was there on Sunday, and it was mobbed. I stood on my tiptoes and *loudly* called my boyfriend's name (he was at the other end of the aisle). The man standing next to me looked up, startled. I apologized quickly, and he said, "No," he said, "it's just that that's *my* name." "It must have been especially shocking for me to scream it at you then," I said, and we both laughed.

                I like going to the grocery when it's a little chaotic, and it's never more so than during the days leading up to Thanksgiving.

                1. I did what I thought would be my full Thanksgiving shopping on Sunday but then found that I had to return (which I did yesterday evening) because:
                  1. I discovered as I was loading my groceries onto the checkout conveyor on Sunday that the bag of onions included a rotting onion so I did not buy it. I could not, at that point, bring myself to go back to find another bag. I was hopng that perhaps we had enough onions on hand at home but concluded that we did not.
                  2. It ended up that I'd not bought enough Granny Smith apples as we ate some during the week and I need them for an apple pie. When I did return yesterday evening there were only 3 GS apples left on the bin, and they all were bruised. So I bought some Cortlands instead; never made apple pie with Cortands before but assume it should work.
                  3. I needed milk and orange juice, and decided I ought to buy more green beans just in case.

                  Most of the people I saw seemed to be doing spot purchases yesterday evening -- either they must be visiting someone and bringing an item, or like me were filling in a few missing items. I did not see any overflowing carts.

                  1. I have to work today, but it's OK because I'm not hosting the meal. I just need to bake a cake tonight then go to bed early so I can catch my 7am flight tomorrow. I thought I was good to go, then while waiting for the bus this morning I remembered that I used the last of my milk for the mac and cheese I took to a pre-Thanksgiving party last week, and I ran out of cinnamon a few weeks ago. Fortunately, there is a small grocery store across the street from my apartment and it shouldn't be too busy this afternoon on my way home from work.

                    1. Anybody else run into the no giblets in the turkey issue? Had to run to the store to buy some chicken gizzards and hearts for our stuffing and gravy. First store had run out - lady butcher there said it was because of the Turkey shortage this year - many turkey suppliers held back on the giblets. But the second store had plenty of chicken gizzards. Lines out the wazoo on both stores - not a lot of fun.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: applehome

                        Yes! I opened my local farm bought turkey up to brine it and went to pull out the giblets and was S.O.L... just a neck in there. Phooey.

                        1. re: applehome

                          There's a turkey shortage? Where? Every supermarket, meat market and farmer's market here is full of turkey.

                          1. re: gaffk

                            The offerings were in much smaller sections this year in my grocery, and were of just two producers, instead of the usual four or five. I haven't cracked the bird yet though. There had *better* be a bag of giblets for gravy.

                            The thought of the lack of makes me very glad that I roasted a over-large amount of garlic today (Epicurious has a cream of roasted garlic soup that I made once as such, and my household pronounced, in unison, that it was a fine gravy).

                            1. re: onceadaylily

                              I didn't notice any shortage or smaller selection here in SE PA. And my BIL had no issue getting his fresh Amish turkey this year. (Actually the turkey was raised by Amish farmers . . .probably not Amish itself ;)

                        2. It's three years later and this year I have a plan. But will I follow through with it? I can't decide whether to get my pumpkin pie from TJ's, Costco or Whole Paycheck. I sure hope I don't procrastinate til wednesday. How many of you are already done your thanksgiving day feast shopping or are planning to make it a done deal over the weekend?