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Trot out the Turkey November 18, 2009

Filed under: Getting my Martha On — booksunread @ 3:06 pm

Yay! One more week until Thanksgiving. I’m actually really excited this year.  We’re having company (my sis, Salsera and our traditional Thanksgiving guests, Spam, Slobetta and their spamlet) and I’m looking forward to getting my Martha on (albeit in a limited fashion). 

Last year, with Squidge still so little and needy and unpredictable, Thanksgiving was more stressful than anything else. By the time dinner was finally ready, Squidgey was well into evening fussy time and the whole thing just tasted like sawdust to me. 

While Squidgey is a ton easier this year, I’m not fooling myself into thinking that I can throw myself into elaborate cooking, food arranging, decorating, etc. as I have in years past.  So, I will be getting my Martha on, but will definitely be taking shortcuts. 

I went back and forth about whether to order an already cooked turkey or not and decided against it since it still needs to be heated/take up space in the oven.  No point paying all that money if it’s not going to save me anything but a few hours of me doing nothing with the bird in the oven.  Now I can’t decide between a breast or a whole turkey.  Again, my roasting pan is going to take up the same amount of oven space either way, but a breast would cook faster and cleanup would be easier vs picking the whole bird clean of leftovers.

I am going to take shortcuts on all the sides though: Sweet potato soufflé and cornbread stuffing from Honeybaked ham. Already peeled/chopped steam and mash potatoes.  Instead of slaving over my sausage, apple and cornbread stuffing and then also making Stovetop for the picky eaters, I’m just making the Stovetop.  Skipping the green bean casserole-nobody ever eats much anyway. I might do just a small batch of lemon butter steamed ones so we have some green on the plate.  Oh, and I will be doing my grandma’s traditional dressing which I can make ahead this weekend and freeze. 

Then I can focus all my energy on appetizers that I can make ahead and decorating.  I’ve already fulfilled my Thanksgiving Martha obsession. One year, I was obsessed with finding molds to make leaf-shaped butter, the next it was faux acorns to make place cards.  This year I was possessed of the certainty that I needed new white dinner plates.  I did not register for china when I got married and my blue everyday plates really clash with the autumn theme.  Originally I just wanted to purchase 8 individual dinner plates, salad plates and bowls since I didn’t want the mugs/saucers that come with most sets. However, I found a big set that was an absolute steal at Kohls for which I had a 30% coupon and $20 Kohl’s cash. Score!  Now I just need a set of gold chargers to go under them to complete the look.

The day after we will be hosting a “Taste of Chicago” party with Chicago dogs and all the trimmings, Lou Malnati’s deep dish pizza, and Italian Beefs.  None of that is really any work, I just have to shop for the stuff we haven’t already imported.

I’m taking off Tuesday to clean and do as much prep as possible while Squidgey goes to the sitter as usual.  Wednesday, Salsera arrives and we will enjoy lunch and a pedi before picking up the Squidge, who will be so excited to see his auntie!

Now I just have to make my menu lists and shopping lists.  Oh and gather all my coupons. I am obsessed with “couponing” now. That’s a whole ‘nother post.


I’m Baaaaccckkk November 12, 2009

Filed under: Daily Grind,Getting my Martha On,Schmooper — booksunread @ 3:43 pm

So where have I been?  Well, the week of Halloween, I had to go to London for work.  The week leading up to that, between me and Squidgey, we had SIX doctor appointments. Just happened that his 15 month pediatrician and PT checks fell on that week where I went for the annual poke and scrape, plus saw the hand specialist, had to get new contacts and OH, yeah got fucking SICK with a sinus infection and had to go procure drugs so that my face would not explode during the nine hours of flight required for my trip.  Oh, and also, we had a houseful of guests that weekend immediately before I left and once again, hoopty Halloween costumes to sew for Squidge and the dog.  On top of obsessively preparing to leave Miguel vice president in charge of Squidge for the week-I had to pack his lunches in advance for the sitter and write many instructional post it notes.

So yeah. Busy.  The Sunday before I left, we had tickets for the Bears v Bengals game-Miguel’s sis and hubby and his BFF and fiancé came in for a visit and went with us.  We had a sitter and shuttle to the game lined up, it was absolutely gorgeous weather and so sick or not, I wasn’t going to squander the opportunity to really kick back and relax.  Needless to say, I was a wee hung over on top of still sick as I headed out at noon the next day for my flight to Chicago. (Yes, CHICAGO, because no one flies direct London to Cinci anymore).  I arrived in London at 7 am (3 am my time-for some reason, they do daylight savings a week ahead of us and the time difference was only 4 hours that week) and headed straight to the office for a full day of work.  And no, I did not get to use my mileage to upgrade to business and therefore did not sleep on the plane.

Luckily, the time there went fast and before I knew it, it was Friday and I was on my way home.  Which only took roughly SEVENTEEN hours from hotel door to front door when you factor in the extra hour it takes to fly east-west, and the Chicago layover for the connecting flight to fly BACK east to Cinci, PLUS the time sitting on the runway in Cinci, waiting for someone to come out and move a god.damn. bucket out of our taxi path.  And this was actually pretty much the shortest itinerary. I could have gotten up at the crack of ass to leave two hours earlier, but I would have ended up getting home at the height of rush hour on a Friday night, and would have probably arrived home at almost the same time.

Unluckily, when I arrived home, Miguel promptly stumbled up to bed, claiming sick.  Which over the weekend turned out to be Strep, with a side of Scarlet Fever.  Whee. So my jetlagged, still not 100% feeling great myself ass had to jump in and single parent Squidge all weekend.  (Who I missed dearly of course, so definitely wanted to be with, but would have liked the option to delegate some of the more menial/trying shit to someone else who had more ten cumulative hours of sleep that week.)  On the bright side, neither one of us caught Miguel’s crud.

Squidgey’s red m&m costume was completed before I left, so I used precious afternoon nap time to rig up the dog’s yellow peanut m&m companion costume, with dubious results.  Squidge’s was easy, and came out pretty well, I think. Dog’s not so much. Thank god for next year, I have a hand me down giraffe costume for Squidge and can purchase a coordinating jungle animal costume for Dog for 10 bucks from Target.  (But god help me, I’m already sort of thinking about taking up felt, Velcro and sewing machine again the next year to turn them both in to crayons. Send help.)

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