Oh yay! Thanksgiving is here!

groucho

Thanksgiving is here and you are in a panic! I can see it in your eyes…hear it in your breathing. You’ve got your kids coming home from college, in-laws staying for days, friends “stopping by.” Not only do you have to prepare a FEAST on Thursday, but there are the meals before and after that need to be planned. Oh, you didn’t think of that? Lucky for you, I have a few recipes that are easy. You can use disguised poultry for some of these meals. Don’t worry that you’re having turkey on Thursday. If you make my Tortellini sausage soup, you can use turkey or chicken sausage. Don’t tell anyone. Serve with some hot rolls (store-bought this time) and everyone will be happy! You can make this today and serve it tonight or tomorrow as your guests roll in. A hot pot on the stove makes a happy guest.

Another crowd pleaser, with disguised poultry, is my chicken enchiladas. Make it in the morning and serve it later. Buy the rotisserie chicken in the grocery store. No one will be the wiser. You have enough to do this week. This meal is quick and delicious. It can be mild or as spicy as you’d like. If anyone asks what’s in it, change the subject! “Look, is that snow?” or “I see deer in the yard!”

You’re tired and ready to collapse. You can prep a nice breakfast the night before if you make my breakfast souffle. A little bit of work at night makes for an easy breakfast in the morning. If you want to get fancy, buy some challah bread and make French Toast. You can make it and keep it warm in the oven while people wake up and stroll to the table. See, it’s easy! Check your syrup supply. Buy the bacon too!

Let me give you a few words of advice. ASK FOR HELP. I should listen to myself. You don’t have to do everything perfectly or yourself. If people ask if they can bring something, repeat after me, “Yes!” Do your best, not Martha Stewart’s best.  The holidays are about being with your family or friends, the people you care about. Everything else falls in place. Relax. Laugh. Eat. Create your own traditions.

Make a schedule of what needs to be done and when. While one thing cooks, another is prepared. Planning makes it easy.

One more thing, check your toilet paper stash. Oh, and coffee. Make sure you have enough coffee. You will make it through this week and have many happy memories-unless you run out of toilet paper!!

The holi-daze are here whether you like it or not. It won’t be long before you are suffering from frugal fatigue or host-traumatic stress disorder or making silly resolutions you will not keep. Enjoy the small moments.

Happy Thanksgiving…..breathe!!

Holiday Haze

It’s a week after Thanksgiving and I am still exhausted.  Food fatigue. Host-traumatic stress syndrome. Call it what you want. I don’t think I’ll be ready for Christmas. Thanksgiving has done me in. I am out.of.shape. That’s right, holiday shape. I need a regiment so I can stand and stir for hours, bend and scoop up drops from the floor, and a little lift and stretch to reach those holiday dishes on the top shelves. Forget “Hot Yoga”, enroll in Hot Holiday Hosting. That’s a program I would sign up for. You have to be in special shape for Christmas. It’s not just one day, but Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. There are presents and wrapping involved. Pretend hugs of love and cookies to dispense. It’s the hardest holiday of all. You also have to decorate and clean. Thanksgiving is a few pumpkins, cornhusks, and a handful of acorns tossed on the table. For Christmas, there is not one inch of your house that goes undecorated. You’ve got mantles to adorn, stockings to hang, stairs to flourish with fauna, and Christmas trees to decorate in yearly themes and windows to light, in place of the usual closed curtain sequestering.  And then….we’re back to cooking. We cook our traditional foods and try to introduce something new with great aplomb. It’s the holiday where traditions and past memories dim the perplexities of today. And let’s not talk about the lit inflatable yard waste. Nothing says CHRISTMAS like an inflated Snoopy. Let’s not talk about it!  Stick a fork in me. I think I’m done!