Greetings, I know I didn't get a Friday Refrain posted... But I have two amazing playlists I'll be sharing this week anyways. Today though, it's price comparison time! This is like football stats to me. Who has the best deal on the turkey? Where's the cheapest heavy whipping cream? And who has my most needed frozen french cut green beans?
I went to Cub, Target, Aldi's and Hy-Vee. The Hy-Vee is the Eagan location, the other three were in Midway. I didn't actually post the turkey prices because we have become more meat-conscious. We're not in a place where we can pay $80 for an organic turkey, but we did make the change to an all-natural turkey this year. So here's what I can tell you about turkeys: $1.99/# for an all-natural turkey is par for the course. If you just want the cheapest bird, the Rainbow Outlet in Midway is advertising Essential Everyday for $.77/#, 2 cents cheaper than Cub. $.99/# is average for your name brand turkeys, Honeysuckle and Butterball. To be honest, I'm not a Jennie-O fan, so I don't even register those prices in my head.We are also buying cage-free eggs so I just know that $2.99 is the best price I see.
As for the rest, here's a pdf spreadsheet of the prices I saw. (also the prices I deciphered from my scribbles) I apologize if anything is incorrect and for the things I didn't actually check at every store. Generally stores keep their prices the same for two weeks around Thanksgiving, but there's no guarantee. The potato price at Korte's is with a coupon from their weekly ad.
In general, baguette is a good price at $1.99. The bread crumbs I price is for a bag of pre-torn and dried bread. I only found it at Cub this year, and the best part is that they sell a bag of mixed kinds too. I realize that my shopping list might seem odd (especially since I had some things in my pantry already so I didn't include them on the comparison). I think there is nothing wrong with a simple Thanksgiving meal. A simple turkey rubbed with olive oil and rosemary/parsley/thyme with a head of garlic in the cavity, simple mashed potatoes, old school maple syrup/orange juice/brown sugar sweet potates with marshmallows on top, homemade green bean casserole, homemade stuffing, with apple and pumpkin pie for dessert. Oh and if you have an immersion blender, homemade whipped cream will make guests swoon and takes you 5 minutes at most.
To be honest, if anything, buy the rest and make homemade whipped cream. I've seen people eat it plain, like ice cream.
So here's the game plan - today, in a stock pot, put 2-4 ribs celery, quartered onion, 2 carrots, a prune (optional but I like the depth), 3 garlic cloves, a bay leaf, some salt/parsley/pinch of pepper. Bring to boil and then simmer at least 1 hour. If you want to make your own cream of mushroom soup for the green bean casserole, while you get your stock going, prep your mushrooms. Add mushroom stalks to the stock pot and slice the caps. Save in fridge until tomorrow. Cool the stock, and freeze.