Thanksgiving is three days away and I'm feeling lazy today. Not a good sign but I'm going to go with it anyway. The weather is gloomy and rain is expected although I haven't had a chance to poke my head out the back door to see if it's already arrived.
I'm not worried about this lazy business because the hardest part of The Big Turkey Day is the shopping!!! Food shopping that is. (Hereinafter referred to as "shopping.") I hate food shopping before the holidays!
Normally, I have all the ingredients for the big day a week before and before panic, like a major snowstorm is on its way, strikes everyone else. Yesterday, I realized I had a few more items I needed to pull off this year's feast for which I'm hosting. With my hastily scribbled list of remaining items needed, including the menu to make sure I wasn't missing anything, I head off to my local Giant.
I pick a good time to go, about two hours before dinner, thinking the shopping will be light. I pull into the parking lot and it looks like I'm at the Mall of America. I'm guessing here since I've never been to the Mall of America; probably a slight exaggeration but to me it seems accurate.
Grabbing my Giant shopping bags and my list I head into the store. It isn't too bad, yet. I often wonder why people wait until the last minute to do holiday shopping, food or otherwise. Food shopping on a good day is hard for me and even moreso when a holiday lurks at the end of a month like the Grim Reaper.
I start in the produce aisle and pick up what I need and head over to get the guest of honor, the turkey. I snag a 20lb. turkey and toss it in the cart. Yes, I can still toss 20 pounds without pulling anything that might cause me to walk funny. Twenty pounds should be enough to feed four people with leftovers I'm sure. Sometimes, I like living on the edge.
Next stop, the baking aisle. Let's face it, holidays are probably the biggest baking days of the year. The King Arthur flour section, which is normally well stocked looks like an abandoned warehouse. You can tell what kind of flour my fellow residents prefer over all others. (I totally agree.) But flour isn't on my list as I always have that because I never know when a frantic urge to bake brownies or a cake will strike and I never want to be without flour or sugar. But my sugar stash is more than adequate to tackle the upcomng baking I'll be doing in the next day or so.
A few more necessary ingredients find themselves in my cart with the last items located in the milk and cheese aisle. My cart turns the corner and carts, every which way, clog the aisle looking like a 30 car pile-up on the freeway. Another guess here as I don't live near or travel freeways as they make me nervous and they're noisy but that's another story and I digress.
If there's one thing that drives me bonkers it's shoppers who are clueless that other shoppers are about. For instance, there's the "middle-of-the-aisle" shopper. They usually make it difficult to pass on either side because the store has parked stand-alone cardboard box stands of product in the aisles. Why can't they put this stuff on the shelf? The aisles are crowded enough with shoppers, thoughtless and otherwise, without having to dodge and weave flimsy advertising containers full of product that would certainly topple over if the Wolf from The Three Little Pigs were nearby.
Then there's the "parked cart at an angle" shopper. This occurs when two people, usually friends or neighbors, are jawing away once again clueless there are other shoppers who just want to get the heck out of the supermarket and as fast as possible. Like me!
There's also the "25 carts pile-up" where you find every shopper and their cart in an aisle and you have to constantly say, "excuse me, excuse me." It's also my luck to find someone who is elderly or hard of hearing and I have to yell, which I hate to do as I never know if I'll startle them or they'll have a heart attack right before my eyes.
Did I mention I hate to shop for the holidays?
There's usually one ingredient I can't score for my holiday dinner and it's almost always heavy whipping cream. Go figure. I never realized there were still people out there who made their own whipped cream like me. I mean how can you have pumpkin pie without whipped cream? It's sacreligious to say the least. But this year I left, guilt-free I might add, someone else frustrated as I scored another pint of heavy whipping cream and three pints of half-and-half I'll be using for a scallpoed potatoes recipe I came across recently, which brings me to another point about holiday cooking and baking.
I think it was Mario Batali, whom I love dearly, who said you should never try a new recipe out on guests. Oh please let me debunk that little bit of advice right here! For years, I've been trying new recipes on my guests and I've been cooking and baking for more years than I can remember, but not as many as Mario I'm sure. Sorry Mario I disagree with this sage piece of advice.
My thoughts on trying new recipes on guests is if you feel confident you can pull it off and have the cooking and baking experience then go for it! Heaven knows we've all had our fair share of cooking and baking faux pas but it's never stopped me from trying new things on my guests. Besides, I get tired of making the tried and trues. I want to step out of my comfort zone, even if it might be a flop, and dazzle my guests, which usually happens more often than not. Well, maybe not dazzle but they seem to enjoy whatever I prepare. Or are they just being polite? Can't be, they ask for seconds.
In any event, the hardest part of the Thanksgiving holiday is behind me. Over the next few days the fun part begins with the preparation, cooking and baking. And finally, being thankful while eating a delicious dinner in the company and camaderie of family and friends.
If you're wondering why there's no photo at the top of this post, like I said, I'm feeling lazy.
For those of you who celebrate this day of thankfulness, I wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving.