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herb-substitutes1-sparrowsoireesIs anyone else in disbelief Thanksgiving – or Thanksgivukkah – is in ONE week? Even though we’re heading to my Grandma’s – our sweet Gigi – for the big feast, I’m still in shock. To help with the feast, Mister V and I are grilling the turkey and Gigi is preparing the tasty side dishes (her sausage and herb stuffing is – wait for it – legendary). And if you happened to be around last year (but no offense taken if you weren’t), you know we have a tradition of tossing our bird on the grill. Nothing beats a grilled turkey.


I don’t know about you, but even with the BEST planning, pantry inventory, ingredient container conversion’ing, and triple-list checking, there are times something slips through the cracks. Sometimes it’s something really small, like a fresh sprig of rosemary. Or while cooking and trying to track every pot on the stovetop, I suddenly have a brain freeze while trying to convert ounces into cups. I’m suddenly standing there with an opened 12-oz container of chicken stock, wondering how many containers I need to pour into the mix when the recipe call for 5 cups.meat-internal-tempatures-sparrowsoirees

For example, one year I realized I was shy 1/2-a-cup of honey for the brine. What to do? It was late. I was already in my jammies. I *had* to wrap it up soon so the turkey could have its brine bath for a full 24 hours, before drying out (in the fridge) the following night. I had to find a substitute fast. After searching madly through my cookbooks, I discovered molasses or maple syrup could do the trick. Maple syrup was clearly the winning choice for our house. The brine was saved. The turkey was scrumptious.

baking-cooking-substitutes-sparrowsoireesHave you ever had that moment in the kitchen when time suddenly stopped and you went a new-founded survival mode trying to find an ingredient substitute? Or were you fine-tuning a recipe and have found certain substitutes work better than others? What did you do? What little cooking tricks do you use? I’m sure I’m not the only one who has a list or two handy for quick subs, so please share!

Come hang out with this lil’ bird!
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