I read a brilliant idea this week in the New York Times. The writer suggested roasting some cheap turkey parts and making a batch of stock and gravy a few days before Thanksgiving--the point is to take the pressure off when the turkey comes out of the oven and you have a houseful of people. That way if the pan drippings are not suitable, or you just can't handle it along with everything else, there will still be gravy. And even if you manage to achieve perfect on-the-spot pan gravy, you will have extra to go with the leftovers.
I was fascinated by the Louisiana woman quoted: she cooks her roux for an hour! In another article, lost to me now, a woman confessed that she measured her roux-stirring time in glasses of wine (one hour = three glasses of wine at 20 minutes each).
Well, I went this idea one better and made roasted turkey dog food. I roasted two drumsticks and two thighs (cost--about $3) until they were a medium brown. I deglazed the pan (Emily was unaware of this step), then simmered everything with water until I had a rich stock. I picked the rather used-up turkey off the bones for dog food and saved the very lovely broth to make gravy tomorrow.
Emily's dog food for the week consisted of turkey, rice from a take-out Indian meal, and one Mexican grey squash. She seems to like it a lot.
And, yesterday we ate some of Dad's fresh lima beans. Neither of us had eaten fresh ones before, and they are worth all that trouble.