I used to be able to sit down with a pile of books and make the menu and shopping list for the week in under one hour. Now I sit down with a pile of books at 8AM, break to make kid- breakfast. Break to change a stinky diaper. Break to prep paints for young artists. Break again to put a load in the dryer. Break again to...you gotta be kidding me...change another stinky diaper. Break to let the dog out. Break to let the dog in. Break to relocate my coffee. Break to turn on a DVD. Break to put shoes, socks, jacket and hat on small child and usher her outside. Break to relocate my coffee...
Creating my Thanksgiving week menu along with the plan for the week regarding how the holiday's festive eats would be prepped and cooked took me until 1:30PM. So, today's menu-making experience also included a break to make lunch and tuck Sarah in for her nap.
So anyway I completed it - shopping list written and then re-written in the order we come to all the stuff in the Farmer's Market. Daily and then hourly schedule of when to prep what. All done. The Virginia Druekes will be getting a late start on Wednesday and in an effort to attempt to convince them to drive straight through and collapse at our house late Wednesday, rather than make us wait until Thursday to see them, I shall list here what we'll be having, emphasis on all the goodies we're planning before the actual feast.
FIRST, I will stagger out to the kitchen after Kate awakes us earlier than we'd hoped and I will drop bagels into boiling, sugared water and then bake them. Once only slightly cooled, we'll enjoy them with smoked salmon, cream cheese, capers, thinly sliced red onion and, of course, coffee.
We're planning dinner a little later than usual, 5PM, so of course, we'll need to be sure there's a non-stop parade of snacks to get us through the day. To fill that void we'll have smoked rosemary walnuts and smoked curry pecans as well as artichoke crab dip on toasts of homemade baguette. The strike of noon heralds the socially acceptable hour to begin drinking.
Jeremiah will be grilling the turkey as usual. Before we serve up the bird I thought I'd do a soup course (roasted butternut squash and roasted parsnip soups together side by side with a drizzle of tarragon oil on top) followed by a nice arugula salad whose real name is much too long for me to remember as it seems to encompass every ingredient in the salad.
Along with the turkey, Jeremiah is in charge of grilling the Southwest Potato Cake Grande. I've found a sweet potato casserole recipe that is probably similar to the one Aunt So-So recalls, a classic cranberry sauce recipe, that yummy cheese & beer bread, sourdough bread stuffing (Jeremiah insists I throw some sausage in there) and we'll make up the gravy depending on what drippings we get when the bird comes off the grill. For dessert (perhaps will take a short jogging break before this course) there will be pumpkin cheesecake and my mom's butterhorns. What? The salad is green!
If the VA Druekes decide they're going to tough it out and they let me know ahead of time, I can also have some sort of warm, spiked cider or other hot toddy before bedtime beverage awaiting their arrival. Just putting that out there.