Thanksgiving dinner table

It is two weeks until Thanksgiving, and there are a few things we plan to do this weekend to get ready.

This is the weekend to wrap up your chicken stock or broth. If you already made some, consider taking a quart of it and making a batch of fortified stock, which some people called double stock. This is when you make a new batch of chicken stock, using broth or stock in place of the water. This gives you a super rich and flavorful stock that you can use as a gravy base.

You don’t have to follow a detailed recipe for this batch. Just combine your stock in a large saucepan with some boney chicken pieces, like wings, legs, or backbones, if you can find them. Add a halved onion (keep the skin on for a deeper color), a few garlic cloves, and some carrot and celery, if you have it. Simmer the mixture for 3 or 4 hours until the stock is flavorful and rich. You can also put it in a pressure cooker for about an hour.

Once you strain your fortified stock, bring it to a simmer and add a corn starch slurry to make gravy. Cool the gravy and freeze it in a covered container or zip-top bag, and cross that off your to-do list!

While you’re stocking the freezer, this is a great weekend to make pie dough and cookie dough. You can freeze the pie dough before you roll it out (wrap individual disks for easy rolling later), or you can roll the dough, fit it into pie plates, and wrap and freeze them ready to bake. Both options are great, so choose based on how much spare freezer space you have available—if you’re like most of us, it’s never enough!

For cookie dough, we like scooping the dough onto baking sheets and freezing the scoops. You can then transfer the dough to a zip-top bag for easier storage. You can pull the dough out of the freezer the night before you want to bake them, and they’ll be ready to go.

If you happen to be making roll out cookies, freeze the dough in disks, just like the pie dough. Make sure to label them so you don’t end up with a sugar cookie pumpkin pie. Though, come to think of it, that sounds like a happy mistake.