Tis the Night Before Thanksgiving


….and my oven caught fire today.

Chilling in my fridge, I have: 14-pound turkey, old-fashioned cornbread dressing, scalloped corn, caramelized onions au gratin, home-canned whole berry cranberry sauce, and bourbon cheesecake. In the oven right now, pumpkin pie with rum and walnuts. Going in next–shoo-fly pie then quick fudge brownies. The ultimate breakfast casserole will also go into the fridge tonight for the morning. Also on my Thanksgiving menu (to be prepared tomorrow), cornmeal yeast rolls, mashed potatoes, gravy (of course), and buttery peas.

Links to all of these recipes are here in my Thanksgiving favorites except for:

Quick Fudge Brownies
Shoo-Fly Pie
Ultimate Breakfast Casserole
Caramelized Onions Au Gratin
Classic Cheesecake

Bourbon cheesecake is the same recipe as for classic cheesecake except take out the teaspoon of vanilla and add two tablespoons of bourbon. (Delicious.)

The desserts were all children-selected, plus Morgan voted for peas over green beans. And nobody wanted sweet potatoes or butternut squash but me so I capitulated to the pressure.

Oh–back to the oven fire!!! So, I baked four loaves of Grandmother Bread in the last 24 hours. Before a holiday, I usually cook some big meat thing to slice up and make several days of easy sandwich dinners while I’m preparing the feast. I need a lot of sliced Grandmother Bread–for the sandwiches and for the various other things such as the dressing, bread crumbs for casseroles, and even more for the breakfast casserole. I was taking the fourth loaf of bread out this afternoon when I realized there was a tiny FLAME in the bottom of the oven. Seems it’s been a while since I cleaned the oven. The crud caught on fire all by itself. In case you don’t know what to do if you have an oven fire–you can toss baking soda on it, or put an upside down pan over it, or sometimes it’s enough to just shut the oven door and deprive the flame of oxygen. (Number three worked for me.) No time for a full-out oven cleaning, but after the oven cooled down I scraped it good and wiped it out so I could keep on baking.

How is your Thanksgiving prep coming? Is your oven on fire yet? If it’s not, YOU’RE NOT BAKING HARD ENOUGH!

P.S. And if you haven’t voted yet today, go here to vote. Thank you!!!


  1. Nicky H says:

    You are such an ispiration. My Tday is just my family of 4 (we’re a military family and live away from family). I have 2 pumpkin and a pecan pie baked. And I’m all ready for a smallish but presentable Tday turkey dinner with a couple of fixin’s. 🙂 Enjoy your holiday!

  2. becky3086 says:

    Pumpkin pie and apple pie is done. My mother was always particular about how pie edgings should be done. There was a right way to do pumpkin pies, a right way to do apple and a right way to do mincemeat and, of course, cherry would need a lattice (which is why we never had cherry). Normally I would make more pies than 2 but the boys are both in the Army now so just us girls, Phil and the grandbaby at home.
    Baked 2 loaves of zucchini bread and will do a loaf of banana bread in the morning. Everything else: mashed potatoes, squash, sweet potatoes, corn, turnips(NOT the greens), giblet gravy and stuffing will all be made tomorrow as well as the turkey.

  3. Kristen E says:

    You’re amazing! We weren’t planning on going anywhere until Monday, when we decided to make a super-quick trip to my parents’ house for Thanksgiving. Until tonight at 5pm, after we were packed, when we decided to stay here instead. So I ran to the store and picked up a turkey breast, some sweet potatoes, bread for stuffing, broth, and a few other odds and ends. Now I have to figure out a super-quick Thanksgiving meal tomorrow! Eek!

  4. Bev says:

    Ohhh,,, everything sounds wonderful….
    Mine will be salt crusted prime rib, fresh broccoli w/cheese sauce, garlic and sour cream mashes, sage dressing (sage from my little herb garden)smokey chipotle sweet potatoes,spring greens w/fresh pear/bacon/feta cheese & and raspberry creme dressing, fresh yeast rolls, apple rum raisin, and southern pecan pies…
    I’m full already.
    Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. Especially thankful for your military son…. :sheepjump:

  5. bonita says:

    Are you sure your oven wasn’t just trying to help you find something laughable to write about?

  6. Quietstorm says:

    Just finished up tonights baking/ cooking prep… stuffing is done, cranberry sauce was made on sunday, pumpkin pie is cooling, and also made the mile high peanut butter pie posted the other day on farm bell & washed all the china & serving pieces… just need to finish clearing off the table, re-iron the napkins, clean the silver and give the house a quick vacuum….

    Happy Thanksgiving Everyone – Eat well & enjoy the comforts of this special day! Safe travels to everyone heading out somewhere…

  7. Quietstorm says:

    PS – Bev! please post the recipe for the apple rum raisin pie!!!!


  8. Melinda says:

    I need to get busy 😕

  9. Cheryl LeMay says:

    WOW! How many people are you feeding? That’s a lot of food!It’s just the two of us here but I always cook the biggest turkey I can find for the yummy leftovers.Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving.

  10. maryann says:

    If you had put a pan of boiling water in the oven right after you turned it off, it would have helped to loosen up the grease for easier removal. I will be doing that after making the pies. No I haven’t started anything yet to start for tomorrow yet, but a nap does sound good at the moment.

  11. patrice says:

    Grandmother Bread Flambe anyone? Your menu sounds wonderful. I’m not making a single thing! My sister says that I cook everyday at home and at work, so she’s giving me the day off. Yeah! Plus, she’s one of the only folks I’d trust to cook for my family’s complicated food allergies. I don’t think I’ve gone a Thanksgiving without cooking in my adult life! It actually feels kind of weird.

  12. Linda Goble says:

    My oven won’t get that much of a work out. Been sick for a week now so unfortunately every one is getting frozen pies and fresh bread from the store. I planned on baking a lot this Thanksgiving but not going to happen this year. Can’t wait until kids get married an I can just go to their house for dinner. Wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving and a healthy one. :wave:

  13. sandra kelly says:

    I’m really enjoying your blog. I made the pumpkin pie with honey for tomorrow. Haven’t tasted it yet. Also the Old Fashioned Dressing. Seems like a lot of celery. My husband isn’t too fond of celery, so I hope he will like it. Hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

  14. Deborah R says:

    It’s just the two of us this Thanksgiving and I swore I was going to keep it simple, yet after spending the day prepping, here’s how my menu turned out:

    Butternut Squash Soup

    Brined Herb-Crusted Turkey with Apple Cider Gravy (Anne Burrell’s recipe)
    Sausage and Herb Dressing
    Sugar-and-Spice Roasted Squash
    Brussel Sprouts
    Honey Glazed Carrots
    Baked Mashed Potatoes
    Creamed Pearl Onions
    Mama Stamberg’s Cranberry Relish (of NPR fame)

    Pear and (home-made) Ricotta Tart

    Guests are always welcome!

  15. Darlene in North Ga says:

    Having to “figure out” a T’day menu is puzzling to me. Don’t ya’ll have the same thing every year????

    Thanksgiving & Christmas menu:

    Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes & gravy, fresh green beans, olives, cranberry sauce(jelly, not chunky). Pumpkin & pecan pies. This year, I’m adding the sweet potato casserole my new SIL asked for.
    Easy peasy! Noting to “figure out”, ‘cuz it’s written in granite. :yes: :eating: lol

  16. Barbie says:

    You won’t believe this!! My oven burned last night, the element caught fire and will take 10 days for a replacement. Fortunately I have an electric roaster for the turkey and wonderful daughter and daughter-in-law to bake desserts and sides! Your meal sounds delicious, Suzanne. Enjoy!!

  17. Jan says:

    Salt is also good to toss on a fire to put it out. Was part of the reason many of our grandmothers had salt cellars on the counter next to the stove. My mother’s salt cellar sits proudly next to my stove these days.

  18. Darlene says:

    A little FYI….when something spills or starts smoking on the oven floor just sprinkle it all with salt. Mine has never reached the point of a flame so don’t know if it will put out an actual fire.

  19. CATRAY44 says:

    Your “Foolproof Pie Crust” lives up to it’s name… In my scatterbrained moment I made three pies and left out the WATER! They came out just fine! Happy Thanksgiving!

  20. Miss Becky says:

    Wow Suzanne, you inspire me to bake more than I already have! That pie looks delicious, and mine is about to come out of the oven as I write this. I hope you and yours have an absolutely fantastic Thanksgiving, with a bounty of food, love, and good cheer! :hug:

  21. Ramona says:

    Glad it wasn’t more serious.

    Fire freaks me out.

  22. SunwoodFarms says:

    I did that once!! We do quite a few frozen pizzas right on the rack and the oven hadn’t been cleaned since we bought the house (about 4 1/2 years at that point…)… yeah, started smoking, caught on fire. I’ll make sure I check it out before starting Thanksgiving prep 🙂 :woof:

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