Friday, October 09, 2009

Thanksgiving Thoughts Already?

Over the last several years, I have started hosting my family for Thanksgiving. This is a lot of fun, but it does take some planning. My brother and his family always join us for Thanksgiving and my mom does too. We are trying to get my other brother and his family to come to the mountains, but his work schedule doesn't always lend itself to a trip. All of our family lives in other states. Everybody gets a cabin close by so they have a place to sleep, and then they all meet at our house for fun and food. We also have a birthday to celebrate at the Thanksgiving holiday. This year Joshua's birthday is on Thanksgiving day so I will need to produce a special cake to go along with all the pie desserts! I have already asked him if a Chocolate Eclair Cake would do, and since he loves that cake he was quick to agree. It is an easy cake to make and is much better if allowed to sit in the frig. for at least a day before cutting. Perfect for a birthday that happens to fall on Thanksgiving Day!
Yesterday, I sat down with a pretty vase of flowers, a cup of coffee, notebook and pen in hand, and I had a brainstorm session. I let my mind wander without consideration of time or money, and I thought about what I would like to make for each meal while our company was here. I took a complete page for my breakfast ideas, another page for my main meal ideas, and of course Thanksgiving Day menu got its own page too. I also put a star next to each item that could be made in advance. The more cooking I can do in advance, the more I will get to enjoy fun time with my brother and mom. As the time gets closer, I will go back to my notebook and make my final decisions on the menu. I know I want to have Banana Nut Bread, Pumpkin Muffins, and some Chocolate bread tucked away in the freezer. These make great fillers for breakfast. After writing down my thoughts, I will get busy over the next few weeks getting some of these items made and frozen. I am now also able to purchase some extra each and every time I go grocery shopping. I will plan a lasagna dinner in the next few weeks. I will purchase enough to make extra and freeze it. The day that all of our company is due to arrive, we will dine on Lasagna from the freezer. All I will have to do is add a salad and some homemade garlic knots and dessert. How easy is that?

If I take the time to plan well in advance, I feel so much less stressed about entertaining. I find that I am excited about being with everybody and I don't worry so much about the actual food. It all comes together because of the work I put into it during the previous weeks. Did I mention that Thanksgiving is my all time favorite holiday? Did I also mention that I would much rather cook it myself than go somewhere else? I always feel like I missed the most fun part of the day if somebody else fixes the dinner. I know I am a bit strange, but it has worked well for my family!!!
grace and peace,


Andrea Cherie said...

Thanks for the reminder, I just took 2 minutes to put my thoughts on paper for meal/freezer planning. :) said...

I'm with you! I love planning & cooking Thanksgiving dinner. It would not be the same to go out to eat!!! Before eating our meal our family recites Psalm 100 together. We enjoy having family for our meal & then having many friends in for dessert later. We usually have a hay ride with singing & sitting by a fire. What fun!


bsadams said...

We love Thanksgiving too, it's our favorite holiday. No stress of what gifts to buy or how much they cost, just good food and good times spent together with family. sharon

Unknown said...

your zinna's are beautiful but let me ask. do your ever get black spots all over them. my are now filled with black spots and not sure why or what to do? they are the easiest things to grow so i'm stumped?
thanks so much, your friend kay

TnFullQuiver said...

the black spots come from moisture. Lots of moitsture means the black mildew spots. They are worse the older the flowers are. To my knowledge, there isn't much that can be done about it. If you water, it is best to water with a soaker hose from the bottom instead of a sprinkler system that rains down water. If you have enough rain that you don't need to water, the rain is what is causing the spots. I think this is why a lot of people don't grow zinnias. I just think of it as a thorn in the "rose" so to speak. If I am making arrangements for the house, I generally strip most of my leaves so it doesn't bother me. Another trick is to succession plant them. Plant a patch and then several weeks later plant more. This keeps the plants looking nice as well as keeps you in flowers throughout the growing season.
Take care!