From the top:
The Gravy: No recipe but basically, heat some broth/stock over medium heat. When bird comes out of the oven, place chicken/turkey on serving platter to rest. Heat roasting pan over a burner, add wine, stock or water to deglaze tasty bits. Pour off drippings in to a measuring cup. I had some big solid flavor-enhancers (whole garlic cloves, sprigs of fresh herbs) in the roasting pan so to save time, I filtered the drippings through a 3-ply square of cheesecloth, squeezing to get all the liquid through. Let the liquid settle/cool so the fat starts to rise up and can be skimmed off (you can put it in the fridge/freezer to speed things up). While the drippings were cooling, I was jazzing up the broth by mashing the garlic cloves from the roasting pan and adding a little dried sage. Add defatted drippings to broth, bring to a rolling boil and allow to reduce by about 1/3. Add 2 tablespoons cold butter and 1 tablespoon flour to thicken. Serve immediately. This makes a moderately thick gravy; you could add more broth to make a thinner style.
Baked Beans: Yeah, I had big plans for these. I was going to dice up bacon, make the beans in the crockpot and so forth. Then I got busy and voila, one can o’ beans. With maple flavor and bacon, as requested. It turns out my brother was envisioning the beans my aunt Bonnie makes. And I don’t know how to make those anyway except it was described as “a bacon sandwich, with beans in between.”
Wines: We had a bottle of Cline Ancient Vines Zinfandel & one of Susana Balbo Malbec with dinner then had a very dark cherry-chocolate cabernet from Mitolo (soon to be on the Winning Wines list).
Pre/Post Dinner Snacks: We had cheese and crackers with some yummy Vidalia-Onion fig sauce and sliced bell pepper. We also had a mushroom-cashew nut spread made by my mom. Excellent on crackers or slices of bread. And this quite frankly evil dark chocolate-matzo cracker-pistachio concoctation that I’m really glad is all gone. I’m not so glad that its all gone because I ate most of it. Sweet-salty and just not right!