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Thanksgiving shopping list necessary extras to have on hand

Planning on doing shopping for thanksgiving next day or two, in addition to the items from recipes/planned dishes any suggestions for extra ingredients to have on hand? For example, I always make sure to have buttermilk, oranges, all sorts of fresh herbs...anything else that you find gets good use once cooking is underway?

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  1. stock in a box... I always seem to need that at the last minute.

    1. I make sure I have a pound of good butter in the house. Lemons. This sounds weird, but we always have an extra pound of good Italian sausage (the sweet kind, no fennel) in the fridge. I add it to stuffing, and it's something good to fry up with eggs for a quick brunch/supper. I also keep plenty of nuts on hand (almonds, walnuts) for snacking when guests drop in, and cooking.

      1 Reply
      1. re: pinehurst

        I buy fresh sage sausage for this it's great

      2. Butter, eggs, milk and if you're baking, vanilla extract and flour (if it's not already on the list)

            1. re: fldhkybnva

              Containers, yes. How else to send leftovers home with people?

              1. re: Violatp

                My guests are instructed to bring containers for leftovers. They're most happy to oblige.

            2. A couple of extra turkey legs, for the extra stock I know I'll need. A couple of bottles of champagne (hidden away for some emergency or other - unexpected guests, mimosas for brunch, a break for the cook, etc.)
              Twice the cream, butter, and eggs I think I need.
              Lemons! Garlic! Fresh sage and thyme, chestnuts! Useful, but also pretty on the platter.

              2 Replies
              1. re: elenacampana

                What's your quick turkey stock? Just boil with some aromatics until bones are soft?

                1. re: fldhkybnva

                  If you need quick stock, buy ready made. Home-made is easy though - for a fairly neutral stock, put the meat and bones in *cold* water with some onion and maybe a bit of celery. Bring it to a simmer (not boil) very slowly - on medium heat at most. Don't worry if it takes most of an hour to get to that point, because slow is good. Let it simmer (not boil) for a couple of hours, let it cool a bit, strain. Cool, and skim off the fat.

                  For a richer, darker tasting stock (one good for gravy), you can roast the meat and bones first, cool, and then follow the instructions above.

                1. In addition to what was said above, a couple of cans each of evaporated and condensed milk, chicken or turkey base (Better than Bouillon, not bouillon), cream of mushroom soup (if you like that sort of thing), wild rice, and a couple of different kinds of nuts (walnuts, pecans, almonds). The latter can be kept in the freezer for Christmas dishes if you don't end up using them for Thanksgiving.

                  7 Replies
                  1. re: ePressureCooker

                    the kind of question posed by the op always makes me scratch my head. for epressurecooker's list? the only thing on there i would buy is nuts.

                    it totally depends on what you are making and how well-managed your pantry is right now.

                    1. re: hotoynoodle

                      I was thinking along the lines of things you forget about that most people need ala my post above about aluminum foil and the reply suggesting toilet paper. Sometimes simple things go missing because you're focused on the food. Even things like enough chairs, plates, etc.

                      1. re: fldhkybnva

                        was totally not being snarky about the tp! some folks get so focused on the menu, other necessities get forgotten.

                        epc: was in no way dissing your list. :) it's just lots of stuff i don't ever use. if the op is starting to shop and doesn't have a final menu, we have a bigger problem, lol.

                      2. re: hotoynoodle

                        My list assumed that the OP hadn't settled on the final menu yet. Evaporated or condensed milk are used in a number of desserts. Evaporated milk can also be used to give a richer milk flavor to dishes like homemade macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, etc. Chicken or turkey base to amp up the gravy if it comes out a little weak (or there's too little of it). Cream of mushroom soup for those who like green bean casseroles. Wild rice if you decide not to go with bread stuffing.

                        1. re: ePressureCooker

                          I agree, I think that most of those are extras most people might need no matter what dishes they are making. I always have extra milk, butter, cream, and stock on hand. You never know when the mashed potatoes will dry out or the stuffing get crusty.

                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                            Definitely. And also important to check on really basic things like how much kosher salt is left in the big box, if you use a smaller, countertop receptacle like I do. What a pain it would be to discover you had half a cup left when trying to brine the turkey, let alone season all the other dishes.

                            1. re: chevrelove

                              I remembered salt only because the store had it displayed. Otherwise I would have been that person discovering their storage supply was empty. This is why I usually hoard! Anything that's 3/4 empty always has a spare.

                    2. Definitely a couple of cans/boxes of good chicken stock, a couple of pounds of butter, a quart of heavy cream, lots of fresh herbs (sage, thyme, rosemary, parsley at a minimum), extra onions/garlic/shallots and plenty of eggs. I also like to make sure I have a couple of inexpensive dry white wines around to cook with - we don't drink a ton of white wine, so it's unlikely that I'll have a bottle open, and if I do, it's probably more expensive than anything I'd want to cook with.

                            1. re: TorontoJo

                              Haha! I have to add this to my shopping list.

                            2. I always find that I run out of things that I assume I have in bulk. Flour, sugar, foil, salt, butter, eggs and milk.

                              1. Paper towels. Cause life and gravity happen.

                                And ice. We don't have an ice maker, so I like to have extra in case

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: autumm

                                  Wow great point on ice! We're a house that prefers uniced beverages so never have any. I can't count how many times someone has to run out for some.

                                  1. As long as we don't run out of bourbon or ice we never hyperventilate on Thanksgiving. Another essential is our CD of Alice's Restaurant. I keep it with the silver plated gravy boat.

                                    1. Onions, garlic, celery, carrots, dried herbs, butter, olive oil, tea, coffee. If you'll be doing any baking, check the date on your baking powder and yeast. Mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: MrsJonesey

                                        Along the condiment line, anything you need for leftovers whatever form that does or does not take for your gathering. It is just not ok to forget bread or mayo for night of sandwiches, no one is going out to get it

                                      2. Anything you forgot that you'll remember to have on hand next time?

                                        9 Replies
                                        1. re: fldhkybnva

                                          We used the last of the coffee for yesterday mornings pot. Fortunately, we had back up espresso for this morning but really.... how on earth did I forget to buy coffee? Next time I will buy extra.

                                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                                            I've been sick and living off chicken soup which apparently used up all of my onions. I couldn't find an onion anywhere yesterday even though I usually have tons. Also, used up most of the eggs so had to go out for more before breakfast this morning.

                                            1. re: fldhkybnva

                                              We're out of eggs, too. I should call the egg ranch and make sure they'll be open tomorrow. Its a family run place and I'm not sure what days they've taken off for the holiday.

                                              1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                Yes, onions! After I dropped some of the chopped onions into our sink, we looked in the bin and there were none left! I could have sworn I had extra. Next year for sure...

                                              2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                Dog food! With all the concentration on cooking for the humans, I forgot to buy dog food and had to run out late Wednesday in the middle of doing all the pre-cooking to get dog food.

                                                1. re: Springhaze2

                                                  Great point, I almost suffered the same fate. I realized when I grabbed the last can of cat food that we're out. If kitty had been hungrier earlier this week, that could have happened yesterday. We usually have at least a case in stock but I guess forgot to order it in the midst of preparations.

                                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                    We have organic dog food shipped on a regular basis to the house (beats having to drag around 25 pounds of kibble, and its cheaper than buying it locally, too) and this happens, unfortunately. Fortunately, I asked the vet exactly how many calories our dog is supposed to have and I bought a book on making your own dog and cat food, and when we run out, I have frozen chicken in the freezer, we usually have enough eggs, and we always have potatoes and rice, and we can make fresh food for the dog (or the cats) if need be to tide us over.

                                                    1. re: ePressureCooker

                                                      Great point, our cat eats 1/2 raw food anyway so I guess there's always something for him to eat in the freezer, not sure why I didn't think of that :) I assume it would have dawned on me if I ran out of canned food at night since that's when he usually gets raw food anyway.

                                                2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                  Ground cloves. I had to pull out the mortar and pestle and grind whole cloves, then sift through a wire mesh strainer to get the powder. Also glad I picked up an extra bag of onions even though I didn't think I'd need them.

                                                3. Wish I'd bought extra ginger and nutmeg. I impulsively decided to make pumpkin muffins on Wednesday evening and, then, when I went to make my pumpkin pie filling on Thurs. a.m., discovered that I was just about out of both. I squeaked by but should have 2x checked my supplies when I shopped last weekend.

                                                  1. After a dicey gravy making situation (which turned out fine), I realized I should have picked up a couple of containers of jarred gravy just in case! Even the jarred stuff would be better than no gravy.