Monday, November 25, 2013

Holiday Predictions--I'm Like The Gypsy Queen of Foretelling My Own Future

Not yours, though, so don't get excited and ask me for anything.  With you, anything could happen…sorry.
No...this isn't what I meant. 

For example, this summer, when I was surveying the sheer quantity of vegetables we would be harvesting from the garden that we'd waited 5 years to re-plant, a voice in my head (which sounded exactly like the Wicked Witch from Oz) said "You'll be canning vegetables right up until Thanksgiving, you fool."  Of course, I ignored the voice, and I hoped it was wrong. 
Turns out, it was right.  Exactly, to the day.
Yesterday I finished canning the last batch of borscht from our late beets and put away the canning pot in the garage.  On my way back INTO the house, I brought the turkey in to defrost. 
On.  The.   Same.   Day.  
I know, scary, huh?  And then the smartass other voice that I try not to let talk back too much said "Well, at least I won't be canning ON THANKSGIVING.  I win."  So, there's that.  I talk to myself way too much.
I can, however, predict some other things that will happen here soon.  We'll just see if I'm right…
1.  Starting Monday, I will be baking ALL THE THINGS for Thanksgiving.  Homemade everything.  It's like my Martha gene goes into overdrive at the holidays.  There will be (the intention of) homemade marshmallows, caramels wrapped in wax paper, 5 different pies with fruits from the garden, chocolate pudding, mashed sweet yams and garlic mashed potatoes, homemade cheese nips and deep-fried Panko-crusted cheese balls with homemade hot sauce.  And the cheese dip! Artichoke dip! Crab dip! Mini beef wellingtons (ok, with store bought puff pastry, I cut myself some slack, people!).  Shrimp cocktail with homemade sauce!   Vegetable and meat trays!  200 deviled eggs, because that's how many extra eggs I HAVE right now from the overabundant CHICKENS I signed up for last spring.  Braided sweet breads with homemade cranberry butter.  The list goes on…
Wait.  It's just US, right?  Possibly unfortunately, I know how to cook enough for 40, but my Martha gene has a hard time deciphering whether there's actually 40, or if it's just for the 4 of us.  So, I always try to pare it down.  Simplify.  But no.  It's a FREAKING HOLIDAY, PEOPLE.  WE MUST HAVE ALL THIS YUMMY FOOD.  It won't be the same if we don't have everysinglething on the list!
And there IS a list, too.  I have kept a list of everything I've made for every holiday since like 1997, in a book all its own.  No reason.  But it's interesting to have, and I like to flip back through the years.  Then I'll see something and think, OMG, we have to make THAT! How did I forget those?  And so on.
2.  Since I'm done canning, (well…sort of…there's still a wheelbarrow of ripening tomatoes in the garage that I am currently ignoring), I will possibly be able to get back to the Lady of Leisure thing that I was expecting more of this year.  Oh sure, I did my share of leisure-ing around in my first year off from being a crazy wedding cake baker, but not what you'd call serious lazing.  Soon, though.  Maybe January.
2-1/2.  Actually, what happens next will be the MAKE ALL THE CRAFTS phase of the year, which is where I make homemade Everything for gifts.  This year I'm thinking candles.  Hand-dipped tapers.  And possibly votives.  Definitely votives.  And wouldn't it be nice to knit some little---ahh, STOP.  I won't be knitting anything little for anyone; there isn't time.  But the tapers, yes, I think that could happen.
Around here...this is Christmas music
3.  I also predict much LESS time online.  Once the snow falls and the trees are up (we have 8 Christmas trees, it's a Thing here--one in every room, pretty much), and the Christmas music is playing every day (Sinatra era only, baby), I love the idea of slowing things dooooowwwwnnnn and detaching from the world out there.  I don't care what's in the news.  I don't want to see what the Kardashians are doing, or wearing, for the holidays.  (Who ARE they, anyway?? I don't get it.)  I don't have TV, so the internet is it, and that's easy to leave disconnected.  I feel more…present…in my life, without the internet.  We all do, I think, and it should be practiced more.  Hence, I also predict the time spent blogging will decline while I actually do this stuff, but I can always write about it later.

At Thanksgiving, I find myself wanting to sit by the fire in a cozy chair with a hot chocolate, to hand-write my Christmas lists and cards, with a calligraphy pen, in my best penmanship.  Penmanship! Remember WRITING?  With pens and stuff?  I'd use a feather nib and an old inkwell for my Christmas lists, but I'm pretty sure they're hard to find, and I'm such a klutz that we'd end up with no one getting cards, or all of them covered in ink blots ("Wow, I think Shane and Stef are doing good.  Or maybe this is a cry for help…"), or I'd spill the ink on the carpet and myself and have to renovate the WHOLE ENTIRE UPSTAIRS.  So, ok, maybe just a pen.  Or even a pencil, so I could erase stuff like "please just send money this year". 
But, remember penmanship? The gentle smooth drop down and curving uppppp and backwards of a cursive "g"?  The capital S?  How hard "f" was?  (I remember that, because I had one in my name--I hated "f"s).  And those dotted-line-between-the-solid-lines notepads, where you practiced it all? 
Moving on…
4.  I also predict more exercising happening, because…cookies, you guys.  We are a house of girls, so we are ALWAYS on a diet, pretty much.  Carbs are from the devil, most days.  And since my Martha gene refuses not to make ALL THE THINGS for the holidays, that means there's a constant battle between the Martha gene ("Try these butter cookies and eggnog!") and the wicked witch ("You'll get fat, my pretty, and your little cat, too!!").  So, maybe more exercise.  But, without the canning pot going 8 hours a day, I now have time to work out if I want. 
BwahahahahaHAHA.  If I *want*?   (muffled laughter)   Sorry…  I never *want* to work out.  It's more of a "should" thing, but "want"?  Um, no.  I'd rather just wake up tomorrow with the body I wished for.  Or how about the one I already used to have, effortlessly.  Is that so hard?  I already HAD it.  Where'd it go?? Maybe it's because I didn't appreciate it enough then.       (Body!! I'm sorry!!)
5. I also predict less Facebook and probably no Twitter, unless I need a traffic report.  I love all my friends, but at the holidays I want to actually SEE them and hear their voices, not read status updates.  By the way, "Having coffee…" doesn't count as an interesting status update unless you can finish the sentence with "…on the moon.  With Morgan Freeman."    Digressing again, sorry.

6.  Also more time to work on the cookbook project, which I started and WILL finish, though it's turning into a longer project than I expected.  But *I* can't even wait to use that book! ALL THE THINGS!  In ONE book!  I could clean out my whole cupboard--well, almost. 
As for you all…I can't predict for you, but I wish you the most blessed and safe Thanksgiving week, full of everything and everyone you're most thankful for.  We have had an interesting year here, and we have so much to be thankful for!  I won't elaborate, but please remember to  Shower the People You Love With Love.  Or cookies, or candles...or whatever is your Thing. 
I'm off to the kitchen, my happy place.  Happy Thanksgiving!!!



  1. Good lord, woman! You're like a super hero!!!! And the food sounds amazing...

    1. Oh yeah..*snort* except I'm always getting my cape stuck in the oven door...LOL.

  2. Wow, that's a lot. But to me, that's exactly what Thanksgiving is for.

    1. I agree! Cooking is like my gift to my family, all the time. :)

    2. Comment about "working out" reminded me....I missed going to
      the gym today.
      That makes 5 years in a row!