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Ideas for make-ahead, freezable Thanksgiving dishes -

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We always travel to the in-laws for Thanksgiving, which is an 8-hour drive. I generally don't get much kitchen time, much less the chance to grocery shop or prep. Can anyone contribute some recipes for things I could make, freeze, and take with me so I can contribute to the meal? I'm not looking for desserts, or any sort of "typical" casserole (green beans 'n' onions or sweet potatoes with marshmallows) - more a delicious side item. Any ideas would be much appreciated. Thanks!

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  1. Given your restrictions, the only thing I can think of are making a few interesting, unique cranberry sauces or relishes. Sweet ones, spicey ones, tropical ones, some with booze in them, etc. I usually make several ahead of time and sometimes they are the talk of the table :)

    4 Replies
    1. re: sedimental

      I cook a couple of days in advance instead, but the only things I can think of that might survive freezing in good condition are twice baked potatoes with plenty of butter, rutabaga puree (husband's family tradition) and home made cranberry sauce and/or relish. Pre made stock for gravy, too. I make sliced glazed sweet potatoes and apples, but if you make a mashed dish instead, you could freeze the sweets, too. I've frozen leftover , uncooked stuffing in the past when I had a huge amount, and it was ok afterward, but it's not something I've ever done for T'day.

      1. re: sedimental

        I've been trying to avoid the cranberry dishes, but am intrigued by the idea of a boozy one. Can you elaborate?

        1. re: NonnieMuss

          Hijacking to answer, but we do a bourbon cranberry sauce every year and it is super easy. Bake cranberries, water and sugar per typical recipe, and when done stir in half cup of bourbon. They are AWESOME.

          1. re: NonnieMuss

            I have made them with bourbon, brandy, orange liqueur, and a spicy one with jalapeƱo and tequila! Last year I made one with equal parts of blueberry and cranberries with some chipotle and Jack Daniel's for a bit of a Latin inspired side dish "sub thread" to our usual side dishes. Those sides were gobbled up before the traditional ones. I have also made a tomato, mango, cranberry sauce (indian chutney style) with Pernod that was great. This year I know I will be using huckleberries in the cranberry sauce in some way and maybe gin (juniper kick). Use google and your imagination and cranberry sauce can be exciting :)