Thanksgiving 2011 Countdown

Even though Thanksgiving is 2 days away, I’m in serious denial and already behind schedule. But it’s OK—everything will come together in the end, right? Anticipation is often far worse than the actual work itself, or that’s what I keep telling myself.

Must breathe. Breathing is good.

Shopping. I need to go to Fresh Farms, Dominicks, Whole Foods, Dundee Market, Sunset Foods, and that’s just for groceries alone. Am still trying to decide on whether or not I want to face the hoard at Costco, and/or get some more stuff at Bed Bath and Beyond, Sur La Table, or Williams-Sonoma, or simply make do with what I have. I’m leaning towards the latter.

The hardest part is shopping—dealing with the crazy drivers on the road and in the parking lot yapping on their cell phones, dodging the crowds and carts in the tight aisles, and waiting patiently to be rung up while trying not to get annoyed by the person in front who keeps adding last minute items or the person behind who keeps bumping me with her cart because in her mind that will somehow make the line go faster.

Over the years, I’ve gotten wiser and figured out a way to skirt the madness. Just need to go either really early or near closing time. I also have my Thanksgiving prep list updated from last year on a GoogleDocs spreadsheet, so all I have to do is to follow through. (Best part is that I can easily access it on my phone.) It’s not all that bad.

Cleaning and set-up. Originally I was planning on hiring a cleaning service, but I don’t think that’s going to happen this year. Just need to make sure the oven is cleaned before tomorrow and concentrate on tidying the first floor and making sure the Princess doesn’t undermine my efforts. If I’m lucky, HB will help out, or some mysterious elves will come out while I’m dozing.

Cooking. This is my favorite part—really. I can watch/listen to some old favorites while I’m chopping, braising, and stir-frying. Should it be a Jane Austen or Richard Armitage movie marathon? Or maybe I should rewatch a K-drama, perhaps something with food/cooking to keep me inspired? Decisions, decisions… Speaking of which, I have yet to finalize the menu.

Menu for this year (so far):
Turkey (plus extra legs for the younger set) and gravy
Stuffing
Pasta limone salad
Spinach dip and sourdough bread
Stir-fried haricot verts
Oven-roasted asparagus
Crudite (baby cucumbers, sugar snap peas, celery, baby carrots, jicama)
Guacamole
Mashed potatoes and peas (for the Princess)
Braised shitake mushrooms and root vegetables
Jap chae (Korean glass noodles with stir-fried vegetables)
Namul (mung bean sprouts, potato stems, fiddlehead ferns)
Bossam (boiled Korean pork belly, kimchee and oysters, napa cabbage to be used as wraps)—made by SIL
Grandma Lee’s jellied cranberries—made by my mom
Mashed sweet potatoes—made by my mom
Assorted kimchees—made by my mom
Pumpkin pie
??? Baked goodies from Swedish Bakery—brought by my sister Julia

To do (or not?)
Moo gook (Korean beef and radish soup) or miso soup
Vietnamese spring rolls or homemade egg rolls or mandoo
Haemul pajun (seafood and scallion pancakes)
Paella or drunken steamed mussels
Cole slaw or cabbage salad or curried chicken salad
Red velvet cupcakes (dairy-free) or pumpkin cupcakes
Apple or pecan pie

Very likely I probably won’t get to the latter list. I can always save those for another gathering. Christmas is just around the corner after all. 😉

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