Monday, November 23, 2015

Readying for the feast...

The days before Thanksgiving are always busy. It is a hectic time work-wise, as people want their pets freshly groomed before company arrives. I spend long days in my wonderful studio.

And then there is getting the house ready for company. I'd like to say that I am the sort of house keeper that maintains an immaculate house at all times, but, sadly, I'm not. And for some reason I tend to take on some major project just before the holiday. This year it was doing an overhaul on the pantry. It actually made sense, because we use the pantry to stage all the food we prepare for the feast, but in reality, no guest would be checking that room out with white gloves. However, the pantry had become awfully messy in the past months. Sweet husband Chris spent a couple of hours last weekend removing things that did not belong, and organizing things that did. Then I spent time moving every stored dish, plate, cup, platter and pan to the kitchen, washing them and then replacing them after I had wiped down the shelves. I waxed the floor, put down a pretty new rug, packed up a large box of items that I rarely/never use or do not need, to give away. The freshly cleaned room breathed a sigh of relief. I did, too.

My goal every year is to have the house company ready BEFORE Wednesday of Thanksgiving week. Then I can spend the entire day Wednesday cooking. And that is a delight. This year I may actually achieve my goal.

The cooking has already begun. Today I roasted a small pumpkin that I grew and scooped its flesh into a container and tucked it into the refrigerator. It will become pumpkin cream pie. I also fed the starter that I will use to make my home made bread, and took a chicken raised right here out of the freezer. I will stew it tomorrow and use the meat in my dressing and the broth for both the dressing and gravy.

I try to make most everything for the Thanksgiving meal from scratch, and as much of it as possible is grown here, or locally. Our friends raised this years turkey... a whopping 28 pounder. We had to buy a huge new roaster pan just to fit it! The breads, pies, vegetables and all will be cooked fresh and delicious. It is my favorite meal of the year to prepare. And I love the part where some of the people I love the best are all gathered around the table, and the house is filled with the sound of happy chatter, laughter, and music. The air is scented with the delicious aromas of all the good food we have cooked. My heart will be full, and thankful.

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