random thoughts on a sunday afternoon

I hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving weekend. Mine was peaceful and that was good. The last few years, my goal for the holidays has just been to survive. I miss having my family around but I have spent many Thanksgivings alone over the years. I’ve gone to friends’ houses a few times but that always feels weird to me. There was a lot less stress here this year.

I burned out on turkey really early this year. Perhaps I should have made something different with it but I’ve packaged up two more meals and frozen them. I have two divided plastic covered plate things that I originally bought for making Dad dinner. I froze my turkey, sweet potatoes and stuffing – the turkey covered in gravy because that’s the only way I think it freezes well, covered them with plastic wrap then put the lid on them, then put them in a zip top bag. I have hopes that they won’t get freezer burned. One of them may be Christmas Eve dinner. I’m thinking of a standing rib roast again for Christmas. I really should have bought one of the little ones that local grocery had last week. They looked like they’d make 2 or 3 servings.

At any rate, the turkey burn out has led me to make Chicken Corn Chowder today. I made pizza last night. With the goal of not over-eating the pizza, I divided my dough into 3, par-baked two and then dressed and froze them and baked off one for dinner. It was pretty much just the right amount. I put just a bit of jalapeno in my chowder today. My throat feels like it wants some heat.

Do you ever narrate while you’re cooking? Please tell me it’s not only me. 🙂 I sometimes pretend that I have my own cooking show, particularly when I’m chopping vegetables. I explain to my audience that chefs have chopped hundreds, if not thousands, of onions before they get good at that staccato chop chop chop they are constantly showing off with on television. Curl your fingers back, they say, and chop chop chop the onion is completely done in a few seconds. As a home cook, I say, I have two goals when it comes to chopping vegetables: 1) I get the vegetables chopped and 2) my fingers remain attached to my hand. I curl my fingers back but I am much, much slower. And does it really make a difference when I’m chopping a couple onions for dinner and not a hundred onions for restaurant service? My audience loves me. I am not Martin Yan and I cannot break down a chicken in 20 seconds either.

My throat hurts. The antibiotic and inhaler seem to have broken up my chest congestion so I’m coughing my fool head off. I wonder if the Chantix causes a sore throat? Tomorrow is quit day. Mostly I think I’m ready but I will miss the occasional cigarette. When I quit the last time, I could bum the occasional cigarette off my secretary, which kept me from buying a pack. But it’s time.

I keep seeing this commercial (on Hulu) for “the Gifter” who out-gifts everyone. Seriously? Is that your goal for Christmas? To out-gift your friends and family? I find the idea offensive. Saving money, sure, and I think that’s the main goal of the commercial, but the idea that you can somehow “win” by giving better gifts is just ugly to me. I don’t shop at the stores they’re advertising, I don’t think there are any near me, but I’d be boycotting them if I did. Perhaps I’m just easily annoyed.

I am suddenly in the mood for decorating for the holidays. What I want most, I think, is light. That will require a trip to Walmart which I am adamantly opposed to this time of year, but it’s early enough that it shouldn’t be that bad. Besides, I need toothpaste. I think I’ll get out my simple tree as well. All of it will wait until after Wednesday as the washer and dryer I finally decided on are supposed to be delivered then. I’m glad I procrastinated. I had decided I would get the less expensive pair and then when I went to order them, the pair I wanted was discounted by $400 – bringing it down to the price of the less expensive pair. So yay.

It’s very gray out today. Rain is not predicted until Wednesday. Sigh. I hope that the guys who are supposed to take care of the leaves get here before then. It’s an opportunity to practice patience.

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9 thoughts on “random thoughts on a sunday afternoon”

  1. Yay! I’m way more excited than I should be about you getting the washer/dryer set you really wanted. 🙂 A peaceful Thanksgiving sounds good. I didn’t have to cook the turkeys and stuffing for the boss this year, but instead of cooking, I made reservations at a restaurant for my family just in case I was called upon to help out at the last minute (I wasn’t). I guess the new couple finally has the hang of it. 🙂 It was a nice, quiet, relaxing Thanksgiving here, too. I’ve adopted Miss Christmas and because of her and her little one I think the lights are the best part of Christmas decorating. Go for it!

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    1. I’m rather looking forward to having a fully functional washer and dryer. The dryer has one heat – very hot – and is rattling itself to death. The washer just doesn’t spin the way it used to – it won’t open the downy ball anymore. Be nice to have one that works and has different settings and stuff.

      Glad that you had a relaxing thanksgiving rather than having to fill in for your old boss. Doesn’t retired mean not going to work anymore?

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  2. Functioning washer/dryer=much less stress. I too got way more into the holiday decorating than I expected! I’m also very attracted to light this time of year. I had Cajun chicken corn chowder at a restaurant for lunch today and it was DELICIOUS. Just the right amount of heat.

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    1. We must have been thinking alike Margaret. That chicken corn chowder with a bit of spice hit the spot. I hope it freezes well. 🙂

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  3. I don’t narrate as I cook or bake, but I do often have a running monologue going in the car as I drive all over hither and yon. As you can imagine it is usually in an exasperated tone of voice– with occasional moments of glee. Mostly exasperated, though.

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  4. Yes, it usually does, but I’m still here housesitting (at half-salary) while his house is on the market, so I’m subject to being called upon to help out at the new place. It still feels like retirement to me! 🙂 I hardly ever talk to myself anymore because now a little 5 year-old boy hears – and answers!

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  5. I’d love to be able to chop the onions like they do professionally. That was one of my favourite parts of the Julie and Julia film, where Julia learns to chop onions quickly and has a huge pile of them on the kitchen table. I talk while I’m driving too, but it’s usually a commentary on other peoples (lack of) driving skills. Seems to me driving is getting worse generally, but at Christmas, I feel as if I take my life in my hands each time I get on the road. Glad there is less stress at your house this year 🙂

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    1. I don’t know that I’ve noticed bad holiday driving before – but then again, yesterday driving about a mile to the store then across the street to the post office I had at least three people paying absolutely no attention to who was on the road with them and nearly hit me. Maybe there’s something to that holiday thing!

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