Thanksgiving is fast approaching. This is the time for all gardeners and homemakers to shine. So you might wonder what I am making this year. And the answer is..... Reservations!
Yes folks, the Holidays are a stressful time. If you really want to enjoy them, you must pace yourself. I have done the big Thanksgiving dinner, the turkey, the sweet potatoes, the wonderful apple cranberry relish. I have even baked a few pies in my day. There have been long grocery lists, mounds of leftovers and huge piles of dishes. Every few years, someone in my family up and decides they want to put themselves through that. And in between, we make reservations.
What?!? No turkey leftovers? No pie? I assure you there will be pie. We will most likely spend the afternoon house hopping and sampling everyone's pies. But I solve the turkey leftover problem by buying breast only turkey, and cooking that for Sunday dinner now and then. It helps with that turkey leftover craving. Two people+one large turkey breast=sandwiches all week.
But there ARE things to be done. Now begins my "using up of my vacation" plan where I take every Friday off giving me time for holiday projects. Today's project was cleaning the fridge, and I don't mean just wiping the shelves. I get out the graniteware slop pot and take after the canned goods. Anything that has been in there since last Christmas has to go, along with stuff we really aren't going to eat after all. Must make room! Then, one shelf at a time, I scrub. I have a shelf soaking in the sink this minute. Not sure what is stuck to it, but it isn't edible. Our house will be full of impromptu guests for the next two months, and it is bad form to send someone to your fridge to get themselves a mixer and have your fridge either avalanche on them or growl at them.
And I've already been up early and too the grocery store. I have things on the side porch where it's cool, and they need to be organised into the freshly cleaned fridge. I keep a list on the computer each year, and as the sales and coupons start rolling in, I begin stocking up. I have enough crackers, cheeses, olives and such to throw together a little party platter at a moment's notice. They also had a good price on spiral cut hams, so the Christmas ham is already here. You also never know when you might need a can of broth, and it is a good time to refresh your baking supplies.
My list not only shows ideas of what to serve for a "Happy Hour" party vs a family open house, different people's drink preferences (so I know when to make sure I have OJ handy) and ingredients for special dips, but I also keep a list of failures. My family is tired of bread dip and stuffed mushrooms. Each year I try to introduce one new recipe. If they don't finish something one year, they don't get it again for at least three years.
Tim is a bit of a "social director". He feels the need to plan and invite and people have happily let him take that over. And if he is social directing, then I am cooking. About 7 years ago I told him if I never put together another relish tray as long as I lived, it would be too soon. So I have also learned to order out for things like that. It's on my to-do list. but right now, I have to go put my fridge back together and clean myself up because the rest of this day off is for relaxation. That is what the Holidays are about isn't it?