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Thanksgiving in the US is next Thursday. For some, this is the gateway to shopping….for Charlie and I it is a fun, busy, reflective calorie laden week at home!

The week leading to the Sunday before Thanksgiving is filled with planning, inventorying and grocery shopping. First, we decide on the menu. For Charlie, downsizing the Thanksgiving menu (or the Christmas menu for that matter) are not acceptable options. This year, we decided on this menu:

Turkey, Ham, Chitterlings
Stuffing, Roasted Winter Vegetables
Collard Greens
Rolls, Cornbread
Gravy, Cranberry Sauce
Sweet Potato Pie, Pecan Pie
Coconut Cake

After we decide in the menu, I gather the recipes and then inventory the pantry and the freezer thoroughly. Ingredients, particularly perishables have to be allocated in quantities sufficient to make each dish. On the other hand, one cannot buy too much because if not needed they would be taking up precious refrigerator/freezer space!

I also complete my white board. The white board is a great source of amusement to many of my friends, but it helps me stay on track. I list all the tasks that need to be completed each day (I.e. Monday: make brine, Tuesday : brine turkey, make pie crusts, etc.)

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All this, including the grocery shopping for whatever supplies still needed, happens before Sunday. Then, on Monday (today) the real work begins.

So, here is the plan for today:

I have to make the brine for our turkey. We place our turkey in brine while it de-frosts (this process takes two to three days). I also make the pie crusts – this year, I have to make eight pies; two are for us; the rest we are going to take to our daughter and son-in-law’s house. I also have to make the sponge for the coconut cake.

Monday I “stage” the kitchen table. Each dish gets a vessel (dish) assigned to it. Then all the non-perishable ingredients are placed there.

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As you can see from the photo above, part of this task I have completed already….

Stay tuned for tomorrow!

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