It’s late November and I don’t want to hear any talk about Christmas music. There is one tune in my head this weekend before Thanksgiving.
Dun dun da da dun, dun dun dun dun….
That’s right, cue the Rocky theme. Pull up the computer file of lists, lists, and more lists. Light the Autumn Harvest scented candles for mood. It’s time to prepare for the Thanksgiving feast.
I think we may have finally mastered the sign-up for food. After years of suffering through our collective inability to click “reply all” to a group email, I got a great tip from my hairdresser buddy Debbie. www.signupgenius.com Everyone can see at a glance who is coming and what they are bringing. We don’t have to scroll through a bazillion email responses and try to guess who posted the last entry. This is where technology is my friend. If I can do the same task easier, it’s worth making the change. So far no one has complained. (But that could be because I did not create space on the page for them to do so!)
After creating the sign-up page, I pulled up and tweaked my to-do list from last year. I don’t know why, but the list doesn’t seem as daunting as I thought it was. Maybe it’s because two new hips aren’t sucking the energy out of my body like the old ones were? Maybe it’s because there only currently only two people living in the house and it’s only half as cluttered? I’m not battling bronchitis or depression or family crisis? (This is starting to sound like a Thanks List.) At any rate, my to-do list is a perfectly reasonable one for perfectly reasonable circumstances. If I stick to my schedule I should be cool as a cucumber when 40 people arrive on Thursday.
Hélas, that’s usually the problem. Stuff gets in the way of the to-do list. You know, stuff. Taking a nap. Watching the Ravens game (or as Thanksgiving Honey-Do Man calls it, “Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.”) Playing with grandbabes. I’d better keep that Rocky theme on perpetual loop so I don’t lose momentum.
Saturday I began with the refrigerator. Thanksgiving is the time to purge the fridge. Food for T-Day will not fit in the fridge if I do not create room for it. (It’s like cleaning out the toy closet before Santa comes.) It’s not really that we have so much food at our house, as much as we have so much stuff in the fridge. Plus, on Thursday everyone in my family will be opening the fridge. It would be best not to have science experiments growing in there. It would be wise to eliminate questionable items, like that tub of cream cheese that looks ok but I can’t remember when I bought it or that one slice of provolone that did not get eaten before someone opened a new package. With the beginning of the holiday eating season, it’s good to just start fresh. That means that the multiple containers of bulk yeast that a certain daughter bought for the bread making she didn’t get around to doing are history. Expired. Gone. In the trash.
Then there’s the stuff cluttering the door.
A bottle of fish sauce has been there since forever because I used one tablespoonful in a recipe once. I recall not liking the recipe. I offered the fish sauce to my son-in-law. He smelled it and gagged. “I think it has gone bad.” “No,” I replied, “it always smelled like that.”
Two bottles of liquid smoke–regular and mesquite. They should go as a matter of principle. Mr. Sausage Maker is not going to be pouring liquid smoke in a recipe when he has his own handy-dandy redneck smoker in the driveway. Son-in-law, however, might. The smoke goes to him.
Mint jelly. I succumbed to that purchase because it was a “gourmet” jelly with visible flecks of mint leaves in it. Yeah, whatever. We still don’t eat it. Plus, lamb tastes better with tsatziki.
Post purge, the fridge looks amazing. It sparkles just like my mom’s. And it is just as empty. It’s a grandmom fridge containing a box of wine, cold-pressed unsweetened cranberry juice, capers, anchovies, hot sauce, a handful of apples, 2 yogurts, 3 hotdogs, some carrots and a head of cauliflower. (The freezer however is full of Klondike bars and popsicles–a good MomMom knows her priorities.)
Monday morning I head to the grocery store with my pre-printed shopping list. ( That means that whatever I forgot to put on the list last year, I probably still have forgotten to put on the list. ) The fridge is ready, though. Bring on the food.