Thanksgiving is a week away. That means cleaning out the ‘fridge so we can get more food in there. I’m finally getting better at holiday cooking amounts – I get that we really don’t need 20 pounds of potatoes – but what screws me up is adding yet another dish to the menu.

There are just so many different foods out there screaming to be eaten and Thanksgiving is the perfect time to cook up 27 or 28 of them. And that’s just the appetizers. Then there’s the actual meal. There are so many ways to cook sweet potatoes that three of them would not be unheard of. And a couple different stuffings. I draw the line at green bean casserole, though. No green bean casserole on our table. No. Absolutely not.

But desserts… We really can’t have too many desserts. Several pies, tarts, at least one cheese cake. I think a lemon ricotta cake will be made this year. There’s a dozen different things I’ve been eyeing.  Let’s face it – there just aren’t a lot of days that are dedicated to unbridled gluttony. I have to take advantage of this.

We have one refrigerator/freezer. I actually refuse to get another because I would fill it up. I can’t even imagine the havoc I would wreak with more freezer and refrigeration space. As it is, a couple of times a year I don’t shop and force the use of stuff in the freezer. It can get interesting, but I just can’t see letting things sit anywhere for years. Buy it and use it within a reasonable time. It’s a great concept and sometimes I even follow it.

But back to Thanksgiving. In order to cook and store food for the holiday, I have to make sure there’s room for everything. Clean-out-the-refrigerator-time. In years past, I’ve actually been able to leave things outside. This week will be in the 50s & 60s. Mother Nature doesn’t always play nice.

Tonight’s clean-out was ravioli, ground pork, and pancetta. I decided we needed something a bit different, so I made a creamy cheese sauce for the ravioli instead of opening a jar of Victor’s sauce. The sauce is downstairs in the basement with all the other canned foods from this summer so it doesn’t count against the refrigerator and kitchen cabinet clean-outs. My house. My rules.

There wasn’t really a recipe… these meals are generally wing-it because odds are they’ll never be replicated – but the concept was pretty straightforward.

I sauteed a small chopped onion with 4 oz of diced pancetta. I added a pound of ground pork and cooked it all through. Then a splash of white wine – because it was right by the stove – and about 2 cups of chicken broth that was opened in the ‘fridge and also needed using up.

About a half-cup of heavy cream, a hefty pinch of herbes de Provence, maybe a half-cup of grated parmesan, and a bit of cornstarch to thicken, and dinner was served.

Things should be more or less emptied, washed, and ready for refilling this weekend. The other upside, is the shelves all get a good cleaning – not that they need it. Much.