Monday, November 16, 2009

What's In Your Refrigerator or Do You Know What's In Your Pot Pie

By: Sandra Elzie

Do you plan menus? Each morning do you plan what you’ll have for dinner or do you “wing it” an hour before everyone arrives at the table? Or, are you like I was years ago, (I improved with age) and plan meals for a week…or, shudder,…a month in advance?

Yes, I was guilty of doing just that…but with good reason. You see, every time I went to the store, it cost at least $100…and that has only gotten worse with age. So, to solve the money issue, I tried to buy as many of the things I’d need for the month on one huge shopping day and then send hubby for milk since he has the ability to go in and buy only what he went to the store to get. (I married a talented man, don’t you think?)

So, that brings me to the shopping I’ve been doing lately knowing that all the family will be at my home for Thanksgiving. I’ve already been to the store to buy things to “stock up” since I’ll have so many for 4-5 days. Now, of course, milk and veggies will have to be last minute…I’ve already got that list for hubby hanging on the refrigerator with the magnet that says, “Lord is you won’t make me skinny, would you please make all my friends fat.” But the sad part is that I’ve already been to Wal-Mart three times. The cases of water, sodas and the boxes of fancy crackers are stocked, the menu for the week is planned, including some recipes that I’ve never tried before…(don’t you love trying new recipes when you have a house full of guinea pigs?) and my bank account has dipped by several hundred dollars, and of course, I’m not finished.

So, what’s in my fridge? EVERYTHING!! In fact, if you know anyone who wants to sell a used refrigerator for cheap, I’m your girl.

Now the fun part is what I have planned for Saturday night dinner. Pot Pie. Yes, the dreaded catch-all for the leftovers that you cover up with a nice golden crust. Ever wondered what’s in it?

Well, if you want my suggestion, just eat it, smile, and thank the cook for a lovely dinner. This is a good time to observe Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Just assume its turkey. Besides, I’m sure if the owl in the picture above were asked, I bet he’d said his dinner tasted just like chicken.

So, what’s on your menu for Thanksgiving and do you have everything yet? Oh yeah, I have a 24 pound turkey and a 22 pound spiral ham in the freezer, but we won’t go any further on the discussion of my freezer…it would need it’s own blog.

Share your menu for Thanksgiving and any Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell dishes you’ve eaten.

Oh yeah, and have a lovely Thanksgiving and enjoy the food.


Debbie Kaufman said...

We're pretty traditional at Thanksgiving at my house. Now that kids are more grown, they either bring something or help me cook here. Em's specialty is the green bean casserole. Caroline makes the sweet potatoes and she and her six-year-old make the fresh cranberry sauce. The boys? They just eat, lol. The next day we often have Turkey Terrific sandwiches. They consist of turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and gravy between two slices of hearty bread. These leftover sandwiches are yummy!
Don't ask, don't tell foods? Well most of those I ate in China in various business settings. And since I didn't ask....

Sandy Elzie said...


Thanks for stopping by so early.

All our family is coming from out of state and arriving LATE the night before, so I'm cooking the whole thing. I'm doing several "make the day before and serve the next day" things like the salads and even the casserole egg thing I'll serve for breakfast to tide everyone over until the big meal.


Christine said...

This year we are going to TX to see my FIL--he isn't doing very well. So for the first time in a long, long time, we are going to a restaurant for TG Dinner. But I don't care, it's one TG.

I usually menu plan for a week because then I don't have to think about the hordes and their bellies when I am writing. This week, I have lots of frozen meals cause I went out of town over the weekend. I bought two weeks worth of groceries so I would not lose writing time for the GH by going today.

My favorite TG dish is my sweet potato casserole: it has lots of butter, burbon (a splash or so), tons of brown sugar, OJ and a cornflake/pecan/butter/ melted brown sugar topping. Everyone asks me to make it.

And I am addicted to stuffing. mmmmm
Best kept secret: turkey/stuffing/cranberry sauce sandwich. I get the stuff to make it all year round.

Sandy Elzie said...

Oh Christine, your turkey/stuffing/cranberry sandwich sounds like a must-try. I usually just do the Turkey and Cranberry sauce.

BTW, Dinner at my house on Friday is Stoffers Lasagna, salad out of a bowl with a few fresh goodies added and hot garlic bread. (I won't feel like cooking after the day before)

Thanks for dropping by.


Cinthia Hamer said...

It used to be, when the girls were still at home, we'd go, usually as a family, shopping once a week. I'd have a list that everyone ignored, and we'd walk out with the most eclectic cart full of groceries you ever saw. My organic Greek yogurt along side Cap'n Crunch.

Most of the time, I'd plan dinner for each evening, unless I had to work late, then it was "fend for yourself" night.

Now that we're empty-nesters and we both work a crazy schedule, I don't even bother planning dinner unless I know for certain we'll be home to make and eat it.

Groceries nowadays consist of "lunch stuff". I still get my organic yogurt, hubby gets his crackers and cheez-in-a-can. I try to cook something nutritional and tasty once a week or so. Last night, it was tuna casserole with a boatload of veggies tossed in, and garlic bread.

This year, since my daughter is a new bride she is hosting Thanksgiving dinner. We will be six, I think. Us, the kids and the groom's parents. I get the honor of making my "famous" mashed potatoes and even more "famous" turkey gravy. LOL!

It'll be fun, and I don't have a kitchen full of pots and pans that scream to be washed while we sit around patting our tummies.

Great post, Sandy. It's nice taking a peek inside other people's fridges. :)

Cinthia Hamer said...

Oh, yeah, I forgot about the "don't ask, don't tell" part.

For me, it's probably a Mexican soup that's usually eaten the morning after a night of slamming tequila. It's called Menudo and it's made from the lining of the cow's stomach(tripe), the cow's feet (with the hoof removed), hominy, lots of garlic and oregano. You garnish the bowl with a squeeze of lemon, a sprinkle of chopped green onion, more oregano and dried chili flakes. Sounds nasty, but to me, it's lovely.

Cyrano said...

I have Thanksgiving with my parents, sisters and brother and a cousin every year so we have about 22 people all together.
I'm so happy that we have such a large gathering for the holidays, but that means lots and lots of food (I believe we eat more than the average gathering...we're all huge gluttons)
On a day to day basis I don't cook interesting meals. In fact, I'm not a good cook at all. I'm really bad actually, much to my kids chagrin. (My husband luckily eats anything, even charred meatloaf, thank God)
My mother is a fabulous cook, but alas, I never learned.
My point is, I'm usually in charge of buying baked goods and brie and crackers and things like that. The other people in my family do the cooking...again, Thank God. Otherwise it would be a truly tasteless Thanksgiving indeed!
Loved the post.
Have a wonderully productive morning,

Cyrano said...

Oh, and I forgot to address the planned menu thing.
Ummm no.
I don't plan menus. Ever.
Like in writing, I happen to be a panster chef.
I wing it daily.

Sandy Elzie said...


Organic yogurt and cow's feet. I'll go for the yogurt part, but I like a tad bit higher up on the cow...around the thigh or shoulders...when I start eating beef. (g)

Thanks for the peek into your "pot pie" and your shopping. Sounds like a fun family gathering.


Maxine Davis said...

Loved hearing about your plans. I'm the same way at grocery shopping. I always have my list, but 6 things on the list usually means 12 in the buggy.

I know you and your family will enjoy the meal and time together. My holiday? I'll tell you details Thursday, but the weekend after I'll probably fix a chicken, dressing, and cranberry sauce. I love "leftovers." Gotta try those sandwiches. Sounds fantastic!

Cinthia Hamer said...

Tamara, do you know how much I envy you? I'm convinced that moms are the glue that holds a family together. Before my mom passed, our Thanksgivings and Christmases were huge, just like yours. A chaotic blend of adults and kids laughing, talking, eating and drinking eggnog.

After she died, it all fell apart. Now our holidays are quiet little affairs, sometimes, just the two of us. I'm hopeful that after the grandbabies start arriving, the house will be bulging at the seams with family just being happy at being together.

Marilyn Baron said...

Plan menus? Ha! That's a laugh. Now that both girls are grown and out of the house, I usually start thinking about dinner at around 6 p.m. and a lot of times we just go out. Or I think about what I'd like to have and then forget to go to the store to get it and my husband offers to pick it up, which is nice. He only likes steaks and I'm getting tired of meat so it's usually two different items on the "menu." He is definitely the better shopper in the family. I wander about the store and put things in the basket we don't need.

As for Thanksgiving, we used to host it every year but now that my parents are getting older my sister-in-law in Ft. Lauderdale is nice enough to host it. This year we'll have some 24 people and lots to eat. My daughter from New York is flying in this week and we (including my younger daughter who now has her own apartment) will be driving to Florida. It's even better because I don't have to cook.

Pot pies? My mother used to make them and they were good. I've never actually made one from scratch.

When I hosted Thanksgiving, some of my favorite dishes were the stuffing my sister made and some kind of sweet potato dish. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. My father and I always eat the turkey leg.

Thanks for the great post.

Marilyn Baron

Sandy Elzie said...

Good morning Tamara,

I'm always amazed when I hear a woman living in GA say that they don't cook. I've put on 35 pounds since I arrived here. (g) Enjoy your day and with your waistline, you can afford to glutton one day a year. Love ya, girl,


I know what you mean about shopping. Went to Wal-mart for milk and bananas and it cost almost $100. LOL


You've never made pot pie? Well, the easy way is to make a thick stew of turkey & veggies...add some dressing if you want and put it in a baking dish and heat for 1/2 hour. Then add a can of buttermilk biscuits and pop back in the oven until they're browned.
Voila! Meal in one dish.


Carol Burnside said...

Neither of my kids are able to make it home for Thanksgiving due to work constraints. :( So, it's only me and Hubby. We're paring waaaaay down on the feast, which makes for a lighter day in the kitchen for me. I guess that's my silver lining, but I'll miss J & H.

Nancy said...

Sandy, I love pot pie. I think it's the creamy sauce that's generally so unhealthy that makes me love it.

Our Thanksgiving menu is the standard--Turkey, sweet potatoes, rice and gravy, green beans, biscuits. We're having friends over, so there's a chance there will be a fabulous pie made by them. If not, we'll probably have trifle. The dh created one this summer that's nonalcoholic and yummy.

There's a chance I may be in charge of finding a wine.

Nancy said...

Oh, and cranberry compote! He makes a homemade one that's fabulous. We save what's left and have it over vanilla ice cream, and it's a great contrast--tart cranberry and sweet ice cream.

Linsey Lanier said...

Fun post, Sandy. Just what I needed to get in the holiday mood. Sounds like it's going to be a great time at the Elzie home.

In my house, it's the opposite. I'm the one with the ability to go to the store and get just one thing. Hubby is the shopper, and since he's also the southerner AND has the cooking genes, he has taken over the kitchen. I don't mind at all, LOL.

His turkey dressing is to die for. Early on in our marriage, we had a little spat over my "Yankee" dressing made with white bread and his Southern dressing made with cornbread. He called his mother for the recipe and has been making it ever since. :) This Thanksgiving, though, we'll be with friends. Hope their dressing is made with cornbread....


Anna Steffl said...

I always to to know what's in the gravy and stuffing because I just won't eat giblets. Not gonna.

I make a super traditional dinner -- right down to the canned cranberries. I've tried fresh cranberry salads, but my son loves the canned jelly!

My one deviation from standard is the pumpkin cheesecake. It is fantastic!

LOL about how easy it is to spend $100 at the store. I manage that easy -- and I'm the queen of store brands and BOGOs. I do better if I make a menu out for the week, but we like our wine and beer, so that blows the budget.

Happy Thanksgiving! Great post,as always.

Sandy Elzie said...

Hi Carol,
Over the years we've had several years with no kids. Our son was in the Navy...out at sea 6 months at a time and the girls both married Air Force guys. They were never home! Guess that's why it's going to be so much fun this year.


Your ice cream and cranberry compote sounds absolutely yummy. I make a lime jello with nuts, pineapple, etc that my family always wants. Heaven forbid that I don't make it...they'd probably revolt!


Sorry, girl, but I have to side with your hubby. Cornbread all the way. However, you're a luck lady to have a guy who cooks. Mine always wants to help, but he's not a cook, so he usually does the chopping or the slicing...which isn't a bad thing either. (g)

Thanks ladies for dropping by.

Susan May said...

Can I come join the fun? I will fix homemade sugar cookies for my son-in-law (he oens't like cake) and go to my mother-in-laws for lunch. Then to my mother's for supper. We want have a traditional thanksgiving meal there-usually Mexican. I have fixed for everyone and that time is coming again but this year I'l just be gratefull I don't have to.

Linda Henderson said...

Well I'm 57 and I've only cooked Thanksgiving dinner twice. We have always either went to my mothers or my sisters. My sister has taken over the dinners now so I usually don't have to do much of anything. The downside is I don't have leftovers unless I bring some home. I'm not a turkey eater so my mother always makes a beef roast with onions, potatoes and carrots for me. I've tried to tell her I can go without the meat, but she insists. I love the dressing and the broccoli casserole. And the pumpkin pie with whipped cream on top.

Sandy Elzie said...

Hi Anna,

Oh yes, the spirits can end up costing more than the turkey! (especially turkey at Wal-Mart for $ .40/pound) Okay, the cat is out of the bag....I'm cheap...well, except for the wine.


Sure, lady, come on over. There's always room for one more at my table and always waaaaayyyy too much food. We usually do a couple different pies...this year will be pumpkin and pecan...and then different homemade cookies since they're easy to snack on throughout the afternoon.

Sandy Elzie said...

Hi Linda,

Oh yes, broccoli casserole. I had forgotten about that one. Maybe I'll add that to the menu. I love it. As for pumpkin pie with whipped there any other way to eat it? (g)

Thanks for dropping by and have a great holiday.


Ana Aragón said...

I can literally smell Thanksgiving dinner from all these descriptions! Thanksgiving is usually a sad day for me because everyone goes to my mom's house and they'll call me after lunch and tell me how much fun they're having!

But I won't leave my family here in Georgia to travel 2000 miles to New Mexico. I make all the food, and I usually have to schedule around all the kids' significant others celebrations. So that's usually a one-hour span of time sometime between 2 and 6 when everyone can be here! We'll have turkey with bread stuffing, mashed potatoes and homemade turkey gravy, sweet potato casserole, green beans, canned cranberry sauce, spiral ham for the non-turkey eaters, rolls, a green salad (for me) and 4 homemade pumpkin pies with fresh whipped cream!

After we eat, everyone leaves and Mike and I are left to enjoy the rest of the evening with the two dogs.

I don't plan any meals ever unless it's a special occasion and then I usually decide the night before. But I can make three different entrees with a pound of ground chuck! Everyone usually wants something different and I've been so used to being a short-order cook here at home that I don't even flinch. So weekend over will be leftovers, turkey enchiladas and ham sandwiches.

Menudo, Cinthia? Yuck! But I do love posole, which is everything that Cinthia mentioned except the beef tripe. Can't get me to eat that!


Tami Brothers said...

Man, I'm starving now! Not good at 10 at night...grin...

I'm a huge planner. Have the meals planned for two weeks in advance and go from there.

No don't ask, don't tell kind of meals. I usually don't eat it if I don't know what it is. With that said, I have eat rattlesnake and frog legs. Then there are the various wild games (grew up in a family of hunters). The best meals have been those over campfires. My mom can make a mean mac and cheese on an open flame.

We have friends coming over for T-day this year. It should be fun. AND hubby is doing most of the cooking. So triple fun...grin...

Thanks for a fun post.


Nicki Salcedo said...

I have never thought about the don't ask don't tell dishes! I'm going to be on the look out for them next week. Great stuff, Sandy! Save me some ham and turkey. I can never get enough.