We had Thanksgiving a week early in our home. Joe had the weekend at home, so we took the opportunty to celebrate together. As I was preparing the meal, I did something different this year that turned our really well.
I bought twice as much turkey as we needed and roasted both. One was served for the meal, the other was deboned and packed into canning jars with a bit of water & broth. I filled the canner with the jars of meat and processed them.
When I made the whole cranberry sauce from fresh cranbarries, I used 2 bags of cranberries instead of the typical 1 bag. I was able to fill 2 pints and 6 half pint jars. I processed the half pints and 1 pint jar for later and served the 2nd pint jar with the meal.
Sweet potatoes from the produce department were already diced and canned in pint size jars. I drained the liquid from a few jars and seasoned them as I mashed them for making sweet potato casserole.
I baked a whole pumpkin. It was then sliced into wedges that I peeled and diced to be placed into pint jars. I filled the jars with water and processed them also. I now have a supply of pumpkin to use for pies or breads this winter. I will be adding another whole pumpkin's worth of canned pumpkin as soon as I get that one baked as well.
I am now thinking that in the future, I will be home canning much of the holiday meal's foods ahead of time. Having the canned sweet potatoes, pumpkin, and cranberry sauce made preparation of the holiday meal so much faster and easier.
Joe is loving it. I made up a box of Thanksgiving foods in jars for him to cook on the truck. When he cooks the turkey, he will likely be adding a scoop of dried seasoned bread stuffing mix to the pan to make his turkey & dressing. Add the canned gravy and his meal is all set!
With the actual holiday still a few days away, I hope this may inspire others to give it a go.