Thursday, November 24, 2016

old & new, off & on

I resolved to scale back Thanksgiving baking this year and only sort-of succeeded.  Five pies is too many for a household of 5 people, even 5 pie-loving people.  I would invariably finish off the pumpkin and pecan long after my splurge window had closed.

This year, only two pies: from scratch apple, and blueberry  But two desserts isn't enough -- this is the one day a year when I actually, you know, plan, and consequently am able to make dessert. It does pay off.  So along with the apple and blueberry pies, this year we have pecan pie bars (easier to make than another pie, and very tasty) and a pumpkin jelly-roll style cake with cream cheese filling.

Yesterday began with me oversleeping -- typical, since DH didn't have to bring the kids to school today, his alarm was not set -- and didn't improve much from there until I got home.  Various fires kept springing up at school which had to be dealt with.  The one clear take-away from the day is how great my team is.  I am seasonally appropriate and very thankful.

Even though I was officially OK to leave school at 12;30, I didn't get out of there until after 2pm -- first there my team  and I met with our admin team about an ongoing concern we all share, and then, just as I was starting to pack up, I realized that it was last day of the week!  I had been focused so much on Thanksgiving at home that I had completely ignored the fact that I would be back in school on Monday.  So I did my end-of-week planning for the following week, and then wasted about half an hour trying to print something which inexplicably would not print.  The system kept telling me that the page printed, but it was disappearing into the ether somewhere.  And since the printer is at the other end of the building, finding this out necessitated a lot of running back and forth.  I finally gave up -- I'll deal with it on Monday.

I was so frazzled by all that by the time I got home I didn't want to do anything.  DD came out with me to get a quick lunch and that helped, and then I let myself decompress for a while.  Marathon cooking (and cleaning-as-we-go) ensued from 4:30 and the two pies went into the oven at 10:30.  Various children helped with different tasks, which was awesome -- DD has completely taken over making the stuffing, which really saves me a lot of time.

Notes from this year's baking: 3 T of tapioca starch is not enough to set the blueberry filling.  Blueberry soup, again this year -- not that anyone's complaining, it really tastes good.  There is  a sweet spot between glue and soup and I have yet to find it.  We'll keep trying.   We're trying a whole turkey plus extra turkey breast this year, and it did all fit on the pans, (whew) The only other thing is to buy more than one package of  celery because I'm out and I'd like to have some for the soup stock that will go on the stove later.

With any luck everything will taste good.  It's just about time for me to go start working on the potatoes.  Other than making the gravy, that's the last significant cooking task of the day.  The other side dishes will go in the oven to warm when the turkey comes out, and we'll be good to go.  I looked up the schedule I posted here years ago to double-check when everything should happen, and I was shocked to see it was from 2006.  That was a fast ten  years!  But here we all are, and it's a beautiful day, and we are happy and thankful to be together.

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