Monday, November 1, 2010

One thing leads to the next....

I've wanted to do a big Thanksgiving dinner for a crowd for a very long time.  For the past 30-odd years, though, I lived in the area grew up in (and where the rest of my family was), so I never got the chance. My sister had the big house, she had all the kids and grandkids--even our parents, when they were still living, ended up near her.  Perforce, holiday family get-togethers gravitated to her place.

In many families where all the kids are grown and on their own, mothers and dads, who by now are grandparents, are the glue that still holds family holidays together. That's how it was for us.  Things have changed, though, in the decade since our parents passed on.  My sister hasn't cooked Thanksgiving dinner in a few years, lately going to her daughter's house near her instead.  One other daughter lives two-thirds of the way across the country; another lives nearby but does her own thing, and the fourth lives with my sister but does not cook.

So this year I'm getting what I wished for--my sister decided to get away from the DC area and come down here for Thanksgiving.  (It will be her first visit to this new house.) We decided to invite a few more friends; finally, I'm getting my crowd to cook for.

I woke up this morning fiddling mentally with the menu.  Soon enough my mind landed on the Marsala gravy I love to make with the turkey drippings.  I remembered the recipe was in a pile of about a hundred others that I've collected over a relatively short time--maybe the past year and a half (if I have any hoarding tendencies at all, it is in the area of recipes, I fear)-- that have been lying about in messy piles.  I couldn't put them away because the three-inch loose-leaf notebook I mount my recipes in is already filled to bursting.  I needed a new one but had never gotten around to getting one.  The Marsala gravy problem put the dynamite where it was needed to get me moving.

So instead of writing this morning, we decided to go to the office supply store to get a new notebook.  And more three-hole plastic sleeves to protect the recipes.  And some tabs for them.  Oh, and we need groceries.  And batteries from Wal-mart.

Two hours later we were back home.  Had to eat lunch.  Had to start catching up on the TV shows we DVR'd last week but never had a chance to watch because we had company all week who did not share our taste in TV shows.  ("Who's Jon Stewart?  What rally?")

Finished watching some of the shows, then finally got around to separating the recipes into piles by type (beef, pork, breads, salads...).   All that's left to do now is to slip the recipes into their plastic sleeves, put the sleeves in the new notebook, and write the tabs.  There'll be room in this new notebook for another hundred or so recipes, at least, so I'm good for another year!

And that's why I'm late today.


Anonymous said...

What is the Marsala recipe?

Ralph said...

Anon, check back form the recipe on Friday.

Kemp said...

Thanks, Ralph. I can now point Jim to something (instead of just giving him a dirty look) when he says I'm crazy for thinking about Thanksgiving already. If you're the cook, it's time to think about Thanksgiving already.

Ralph said...

And I'll be thinking about it a lot more!