Sunday, November 18, 2012

Lazy Thanksgiving Anyone?

The key to a Lazy Thanksgiving is eating the elephant one bite at a time.  In other words, if you are hosting Thanksgiving, you don't want to get overwhelmed by the three tasks at hand:

1.  Cooking
2.  Table Setting
3.  Cleaning/Last Minute Getting the House Ready to Receive Guests

I heard someone talking about doing a 200 mile bike ride.  He said "If every mile you ride you are thinking of the next hundred plus, you'll have a terrible ride."    Good advice for Thanksgiving prep: take it one mile at a time, one task at a time.

I just took a few bites off today because I want to be spending a good deal of the next few days writing.  So, I decided to do a few things every day.  Yesterday I got flowers.  Today I set the Thanksgiving table.  I will probably tweak it a little the day of, but setting the Thanksgiving table is one of my greatest joys.  One of the things I also did today (one of my vacation projects) was clean out and rearrange my garage.  While in there, I found a super cool piece of upholstery material that I hadn't used for a project that I realized would make a perfect tablecloth.  That inspiration lead to other inspirations...and before I knew it, the table was done.  


Then I realized I could definitely make cranberry sauce today as well as a nice squash soup that I may or may not serve on Thanksgiving but that will make the few visitors I'm expecting over the next few days happy.  The recipes were perfect to cook at the same time because they both have some common ingredients, and because both require chopping and cooking on the stove.  They were fun to cook at the same time.

Cranberry sauce is not one of my favorite things....or should I say wasn't until this recipe. I found it in the People Magazine I was reading while getting a pedicure yesterday. Nice synchronicity.  It is super easy and wildly delicious!

Ginger Cranberry Sauce
1/2 cu pecans roughly chopped (Lazy Solution -- Trader Joe's has pre-roasted chopped pecans)
12 oz cranberries
3/4 cu sugar 
3/4 cu fresh orange juice
1 t fresh ginger -- grated
1.5 t orange zest

Toast pecans in pan four to five minutes to golden brown -- OR do it the Lazy Way and buy them 
pre-roasted and chopped. 

Cook berries, sugar and orange juice for 4 to 6 minutes, or until berries start popping.

Add ginger and zest and cook 2-3 minutes minutes more. Remove from heat.Add pecans,
cover and cool. Chill. 
The soup, if you are interested is AMAZING and super easy too: 
I had a bit of a boundless energy day so I did the garden clean-up and refreshening AND because of the muddy paw prints after a few rainy days, I ended up starting a cleaning spree.  Now, I will just have to do the last minute touch-ups on Wednesday, post-cooking clean-up. 

Schedule for the rest of the week:

Monday        -- Pie Crusts
Tuesday       --  Shop for final ingredients
                   --  Prep ingredients for Stuffing
Wednesday   -- Mashed Potatoes -- Yes, they are even fluffier and more amazing when you do them the day ahead and put them in the oven. 
                    -- Make Pies
Thursday       -- Prep turkey and veggies, etc.

One bite a time.  One mile at a time.  One task at a time.  

I have to say I had the most fun today in getting all the house and food ducks in a row.   

... which leads me to my final Lazy Woman tip.  If there are things that you hate to do, DELEGATE.  Ask nicely and play nice, but ask for help with the things that drive you nuts or that you simply don't like to doThe name of the game is LESS STRESS and MORE JOY.  And, around the holidays, that will probably mean asking for help.

And, then in the spirit of the holiday, don't forget to say "thank you" for the help!

Buon Grateful Appetito to All! 




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