Thanksgiving Prep

When I was young, we used to use the term “hot box” to describe the non-stop performing of some task. Like “hot-boxing cleaning the house.” Meaning, you start something and get so in the zone that you don’t stop til it’s complete. Don’t ask me where it came from. Maybe some obscure reference to non-stop pot smoking back in the day when I did those kind of things (like 50 years ago). But it seems to work in a lot of situations.

Yesterday, Dan and I were hot-boxing cooking. We’re making TG dinner for his family. We made the stuffing for the turkey, which was a joint project. Dan did a lot of the real work of it, chopping, cooking sausage, etc. I made a 3-layer jello mold. I know it’s a little old fashioned but then, I’m old, lol. The top layer is raspberry jello into which I put round cream cheese balls, maraschino cherries and banana slices. The 2nd layer is orange mixed with vanilla yogurt, kind of a creamsicle type of thing, and the third was lemon with peaches laid inside it. A simple thing to make, but you have to remember to keep checking it to add the fruit before it fully solidifies. You snooze, you lose.

Then I made a cookie sheet of twice-baked potatoes. I have more to make this morning. When we were done, it was time to start dinner, so we poured a glass of wine and made some Italian sausage and meatballs and pasta, and a salad, and called it a day. I was happy to sit down and watch TV for the evening.

This morning, in addition to the 2nd load of twice-baked potatoes, I am making a pumpkin pie. I bought a couple sugar pumpkins about a month or so ago, and cooked them and froze the pumpkin. It’s a pumpkin chiffon pie. Instead of using condensed milk, I beat up 4 egg whites and fold them into the pumpkin mixture. It’s really good, and lighter than regular pumpkin pie. I am a little nervous though, because I haven’t made a crust in a couple of years. I hadn’t been able to make one down here, because I had no place to roll out the dough. Dan bought me a beautiful pastry board though, so now I have to do it justice and not mess it up. Pressure pressure.

When we’re done we will pack it all up, and take it all to Dan’s house. Tomorrow we’ll stuff the turkey and make the gravy and veggies.

Tomorrow night the kitchen will be closed til Sunday. I think.

Thing is, I LIKE cooking Thanksgiving dinner. It sounds like I’m bitching, but I’m not. When my sister said she didn’t feel like having a big TG (last year she had a whole bunch of neighbors in) she also felt I should make it for Dan’s family because his 91 year old mother had done a lot for me. I remember telling her, “Well, ok. I really want to make it for someone!” So now, when I sit down and think about how much food one cooks and consumes on this holiday it makes you think you’ve been working hard. Whatever it is, it is a labor of love.

I hope you all have a happy Thanksgiving. It’s very cool to have a holiday just dedicated to giving thanks. One thing I know, is there is always something to be grateful for, even if it’s just your breath.

Love and light to everyone.

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