How to Use this Blog

This blog is designed to be used like a cookbook. I've put tags on each recipe so you can go to the section on that topic just by clicking on the word in the cloud or the list. Some recipes are under more than one category to help you find what you're looking for.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Getting ready for the holidays

It’s time.  In the next five or six weeks you will be cooking your fool head off.  You will cook things you only cook on holidays and eat more than you eat any other time of the year.  Consequently, you will gain weight that you will marvel over and say, “I didn’t think I ate THAT much.”  And you will begin planning to do it all the following year, only better and more elaborate.

My mother-in-law was about the only one I’ve seen succeed at this game.  After extended deliberation she pared down the meal to the only things absolutely necessary to the meal and we had only turkey, dressing, gravy, rolls and I think maybe a salad, just to make it all healthy.  And we STILL rolled away from the table feeling much too full.

I have no answer on the healthy eating part.  You can tell that by looking at me.  I do, however, have lots to say about the getting ready part.

This is your magic weekend.  The calm before the storm, so to speak.  It would be a good time to clean out the fridge.  You could make a game out of it.  Wager someone how old the oldest expiration date will be.  I just threw out applesauce that expired in 2010.  You should also check your spices.  It’s cold and rainy today in Texas and I understand all through the rest of the country, as well.  It’s not like you have anything better to do.

You will need to buy new sage and/or poultry seasoning.  Definitely get a new box of baking powder. And yeast. These things all have expiration dates and if you only bake at the holidays your current supply is out of date.  Do this now before the store runs out of sage. I have seen it happen. There is nothing more pathetic than trying to find sage at the Seven Eleven the night before Thanksgiving. (clue: They don’t sell sage there. However, they probably DO sell beer and you’re gonna need a lot of it if you try to put dressing without sage on your table.)

I have noticed that cake mixes don’t yield as much cake as a few years ago.  I don’t know when they slipped in this change but I noticed a year ago that a two-layer cake isn’t as tall as it used to be. You could mix up two boxes and bake three layers.  You’ll get a slightly bigger cake than usual but it’s all a matter of whether you want to look limp and feeble or hale and hearty for the holidays.

The alternative is to make it from scratch.  I may try this but it has emerged that our family is a PIE family, not a cake family.  So, I may not even fool with it.

I have most of the classic recipes here on the blog index.  From How to Cook a Turkey to a new cranberry relish recipe I love.  I’m not sure if I put a sweet potato pie recipe here.  I got into BIG trouble one year trying to foist off Sweet Potato pie as a Pumpkin pie.  I think I permanently lost Elizabeth’s trust over that one. LET ME JUST SAY……..I Don’t think you can tell the difference and you’re not inviting Elizabeth over for dinner, anyway.

Remember my favorite tip:  In cold weather you can use your outside BBQ grill as a second refrigerator.  Just as long as it has a heavy cover, that is. And watch for the afternoon temperature…it might get higher than your ice box.

You can tell I’m old because I just used the word “ice box.”

 Have a GREAT Thanksgiving/Hanukah/Christmas!

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