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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.

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