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Saturday, December 17, 2011

Panic Button

This is a re-post. I was looking for recipes to pre-load into the que so that the blog won't go completely dark over the holidays. I came across this one from a few years ago. I will note that is is now the week before CHRISTMAS instead of Thanksgiving and I don't have ANYTHING in the freezer.

I was looking at the calendar today trying to schedule a meeting and realized that not only is Halloween over, but Thanksgiving is almost here. I have to be ready to travel this weekend. The week we are gone will be fun but not terribly productive. Then it is back just in time for the first round of holiday parties. We are triple booked for the first of December. That is before adding in anything the kids might actually want to do that weekend.


It will just be one crazy round of events from this weekend until after the New Year. That is when our big party is. It used to be that I would start planning for our party in July. Start canning jams and preserves and tomatoes and bottle liqueurs in August. By the time the very very last tomatoes were coming off the vine in September I’d have the last batch of fresh tomato chili (save the arguments for the comments) in the freezer ready to go. November would be baking, baking, baking, until my mother and mother-in-law’s freezers were so full they finally conspired to buy me the biggest freezer they could find. By the time our party rolled around on the first of December the house would be decorated, the cookies baked and the friends fed.

Now here it is almost Thanksgiving and I am just putting the first batch of cookies in the freezer. I know the party has been delayed a month, so the whole schedule is offset one month, but still. Thanksgiving and I’ve only put one batch of cookies in the freezer?

[ I will note that is is now the week before CHRISTMAS instead of Thanksgiving and I don't have ANYTHING in the freezer. ]

Granted, I’ve learned a lot since the early days of hosting the mega party. For starters, I trimmed and cut the batch of Nanaimo bars before I wrapped them to go into the freezer. I do that with all of the bar cookies these days. No more spending a day before the party waiting for the cookies to thaw enough to cut them. Actually the hardest lesson was to line the pan with foil so that the whole batch lifts out in one smooth motion and I can cut them with a really big knife in one smooth motion. No more sawing across the pan and breaking half trying to pry them out with a spatula.

Another lesson is to make small batches of different things and not worry about each guest getting one of each. I guess this is a lesson, because I get bored making the same thing over and over again. I prefer the variety.

Yet another big win on the party preparation scene has been teaching my kids to cook. I know that on party day all I have to do is say to spud one “time to set up the cheese tray” and he will chill the marble, pull out the right cheeses and make an artfully arranged tray including some froufrou decorations and the right knife. Tonight, I told spud two that he needed to make me some snicker doodles. He went straight for the cookie cookbook and will get started soon. And they will be very nicely formed, tasty cookies. Of course that will lead to spud three pulling up a recipe on the internet to test out. Actually, spud three is much better at rolling dough than I am which is absolutely fantastic. The cookie baking is much easier now.

But it still has to be done so I will get back to it. I wonder if I still have 6 weeks for the cranberry liqueur to steep?

[EEEEEP!!!!!!!!!!!!! Now I am in full blown panic mode. Which may be a good thing ... or not.]


  1. I so understand your words. There were so many things I wanted to do but with grandchildren and working I can't even find time to sew or blog. I look forward to next year. It's going to be wonderful! Have a wonderful holiday and Happy New Year. I look forward to your blogs!

  2. Well, the cooking has begun. Hope you have a fantastic holiday as well. Thanks for stopping by.