As I look at the calendar and notice that November is FLYING by already, I thought I’d post a few quick tips about how I reduce friction from the upcoming holidays.
I always teach a holiday cooking class, as I will this year, but for those who cannot make to get the hands-on how-to’s, here are a few tried and true ways that I keep delicious food on the table and keep my hair from falling out!
Amy’s November Survival Guide
1. Create a relationship with a farmer where I can get a high quality turkey. Don’t know a farmer? Get thee to a Farmer’s Market this week! Yes, they are still open, and farmers are still taking orders for pastured birds RIGHT NOW.
2. Ask the people I’ll celebrate Thanksgiving with what they like and what they’d be willing to pass up this year. For example, does anyone really LIKE canned cranberry sauce or greasy green beans? If not, why not take them off the menu in favor of something new? Keep only your best-loved items and scrap the rest.
3. Create a menu that includes cooked and raw options and tone down the starches. Find a couple of great salad recipes (I have versions that include in-season radishes and kale that I’ll be teaching this year) and don’t feel compelled to cook stuffing AND mashed potatoes AND sweet potatoes AND pumpkin pie. Noone deserves the stress of remaining upright on all that starch combined with family “stuff” on the same day. Magazines like Eating Well or even Vegetarian Times have great options this time of year that are easy to try.
4. Audition new recipes on the family in October or early November. Why not try a new salad or raw dish this week? That way you can be sure it’s a hit on Turkey Day. Holiday dinners are pretty much an annual re-run anyway, so why not try a new thing NOW and see if it’s your next favorite tradition? If it’s great, no one will mind eating it again, and if not, you can move on to another idea.
5. Take care of myself and remember that wiping myself out is a BAD idea. I guard my time jealously this time of year. The days are shorter, task lists seem longer than ever, and it’s easy to get sucked into the frenzy. So, I maintain my self-care routine by being active (for me walks are like medicine!), connecting with the people I love, and avoiding the (usually bad) news on TV, radio and internet. I also monitor my own boundaries and only say “yes” after careful consideration.
Leave a Reply