This time of year everyone comes up with a helpful to- do list for the holiday. You know the one that says a month before you should figure out the guest list and then goes on to tell you when to buy or cook or clean, well I have my own list!
1. Figure out who you are or are not talking to this year. Think about which guests might not want to be with which other guests. Add some new people to diffuse any dysfunctional family tension that might arise. Now you can make up your invitation list so you can figure out what size turkey to buy!! ( do this one month before )
2. Go through your recipe book. Look through magazines. Make up your menu wish list. Have fun dreaming about all the new and interesting things you will be making and then figure out who won’t eat anything on it- who is gluten free, low salt, no salt, vegan, etc… Throw out your menu list and start all over.( do this about three weeks before )
3. Now you can make your shopping list. I don’t know who comes up with the Thanksgiving for under $100 menu and how they make that work but my Thanksgiving always costs way more! ( do this as you make up your menu )
4. Clean freezer. That’s a good one. My freezer is always jam packed with mysterious items that I thought I would need or make. I actually got a new fridge last year that I named Big Ken ( Kenmore ). I got this fridge with the bottom freezer so I could see everything I had and use it more efficiently. That didn’t quite work out the way I intended. But I do love Ken! ( do this two weeks before )
5. Check equipment- check equipment????? This is dinner not some kind of aircraft take off check list. Sink, dishwasher, oven, microwave, Big Ken…check! I will say that one year my dishwasher crapped out the morning of Thanksgiving. That was rough but I don’t think this is the equipment they are talking about. I don’t have all the bells and whistles of kitchen gadgets. I have the basics and some how I manage to get the turkey and fixings on the table. How do I do it?? Not quite sure. Probably wine and lots of it. LOL! ( do this the morning of Thanksgiving if you want to make the holiday even more festive )
6. Shop for non perishables. Okay. I can do that. ( do this one week before )
7. Clean fridge. This is neck and neck with my freezer for collecting all kinds of odd things that eventually get thrown out. I guess they mean – make room for the turkey!!! I think some big black trash bags are in order. ( do this right before you shop for the perishables or right after when you realize that you will never fit everything you just bought in the fridge)
8. Start cooking things like the cranberry sauce and stock. Start defrosting the turkey if you bought a frozen one. I actually do all this the day before Thanksgiving in a marathon of procrastination induced frenzy! I do however start defrosting the turkey ahead of time.
9. Shop for perishables. I guess this means all the things your family might start munching on too soon and therefore you will not have them for Thanksgiving and will have to run out the morning of Thanksgiving Day to replace said items. Or you can just hide them behind the things you should have thrown out earlier – see number 7. ( do this the day or two before Thanksgiving )
10. Thanksgiving Day – the main event – get up before everyone else and start cooking! Open a bottle of wine and begin imbibing to relieve stress! Works every time! And gets the creative cooking juices flowing. When dinner is finally served you will be so relieved and exhausted you will not be able to eat anything anyway.
Be grateful for all the gifts you have been given and for family and friends.
Happy Thanksgiving 2011!