Wednesday, November 22, 2006

So that's why Gram did that (and other holiday observations)!

When I was a kid, I liked running next store to Gram's in the days leading up to Thanksgiving. I just loved being a part of the preparations. In fact, much of what I do now I do just as I learned from her. She would always set the table several days in advance. And in each serving bowl there would be a little slip of paper noting what scrumptious delight would soon fill that dish. Tonight as I set my table for dinner tomorrow, I began to panic. I don't have enough serving dishes! Finally, I grabbed a slip of paper and jotted down a list of items . . . stuffing (1), stuffing (2), sweet potatoes . . . etc. Then I cut them up and placed them in each bowl on the table and it occurred to me - perhaps Gram didn't think she had enough serving dishes either?? Well the other good thing about this is it keeps you from forgetting to put everything you've made on the table. Which is a real bummer after you go to all the time and trouble and then come across it as the guests are leaving!

This year, I'm taking it easy. Bought a pumpkin cheesecake at Costco. I did opt to make homemade rolls. I'd rather bake bread than make dessert. Bought Watkin's Roasted Turkey Gravy mix online and it just came yesterday. No making turkey stock from scratch ahead of time and thawing it the night before and laboring over the pan drippings tomorrow! Just add water, mix and stir! Mostly everything else is made and hiding in the fridge, waiting to go into the oven or microwave tomorrow.

Last night I thought there was no way I was going to pull this one off. I got home from work late as usual and, as usual, was too tired to do much. I usually tell myself to get my cleaning done first, and as a reward for doing so, then I get to cook! Well that just didn't happen this year. And you know what, I still didn't get all the cleaning done. Tomorrow I (we) still need to vacuum, dust and ugh, clean the bathroom! But you know what else? It will get done because that's all I really need to do tomorrow.

So from here on out, I free myself from silly restrictions such as "clean first." It will get done, even at the last minute. And what if a cleaning fairy showed up to surprise me (no, Mom, I'm not hinting here!) and there was nothing for her to do? See, it makes total sense to me - from here on out, leave the cleaning till last. Plus if the food is really good, it won't matter if my ceilings are decorated with cobwebs or if guests can write their names in the dust, right?

And now, really, I am signing off and pausing to reflect on my many blessings - before the mayhem starts tomorrow!


Blessed Beyond Measure said...

Walking into a home that is less than spotless feels warm and cozy and comfy. Seriously. Spotless can be unnerving, and I wouldnt care a whit if you had cobwebs - most of us do. And I do the slips of paper in the dishes too - always have, so thanks for letting me know I'm not weird. I set them all out on the dining room table and put the slips in so I know if I have all I need. Obviously we think alike. Happy Thanksgiving and see you Saturday at 4 - looking forward to it. xoox

Islandsparrow said...

My husband and kids would agree that the FOOD is definitely the most important thing - and my mom always said why bother to clean before they come - turn the lights down low - light some candles - and then clean after they all leave...

I try to hit a happy medium :)

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

gail said...

I think those slips of paper in the serving dishes is a great idea! Will have to remember that for next year....we are at the beach with all of hubby's family for the holiday and to celebrate MIL's big birthday!
And there will always be cleaning afterward, so just do it once after all the festivities. Oh yes, candles are a good idea!
Happy Thanksgiving!

Susanne said...

What's a little dust or dirt between family and friends. I go for the visiting and the food, not to inspect with a white glove. And shortcuts work for me! Unfortunately we don't have a formal dining room so setting the table a day or so in advace does not work but boy that would be nice!

Barb said...

Well, here I am a week after you posted this, Dianne. :-)

The very first thing that caught my eye was when you said you loved to go next door to visit your grandmother. Wow. How lucky were you to have her so close?!

As organized as I am, it never occurred to me to put slips of paper in the serving dishes although, like you, I'm always afraid I'll forget to put something out that I made. My system is to make a list of the food and keep it on the fridge and refer to it constantly.

About that clean house? I know Bev would argue with me on this since she thinks you can eat off my bathroom floor. Trust me, I wouldn't eat off my bathroom floor. I used to be fanatical. Now I try to keep it clean enough to be safe. Guests in your home will always remember how welcomed you made them feel. They'll never remember that your house was perfect.

You do TWO kinds of stuffing? Geez. I'm impressed. :-)