Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Getting an Early Start for Thanksgiving

Those of us who are hosting Thanksgiving dinners have a lot of work to do.

First you clean the house from top to bottom, about a week before.
Then you keep it clean all week.
You look at the meal, then you triage what you can.

If you're like me, it can be a logistical nightmare.
Baking a cake?  You're going to be making frosting aren't you?  It's from scratch?  Ok, that mixer will have to be made clean between the icing and the actual cake mix.

Not baking from scratch does help, but it leaves you feeling a bit less complete.  As a person of course.

Yes, I'm being a wee bit melodramatic but that was the thought process we were going through all week.

The house got cleaned since I was given a floor scrubber.  The old one got abandoned in Philadelphia for the move.  I suspect it was thrown out which was a shame, because I missed it since day one.  If you have tile floors, skip the mop, dump the steamer, get a proper scrubber and get to work.  Mine laid down more than three quarts/liters of cleaning solution in my living room on Sunday afternoon.  Three hours later it looked amazingly clean and the house no longer smells of "Old Cop".

You see the house was owned by a person who was a Policeman.  When the house got warm and humid (this is Florida after all, so that is 11 months out of the year) it would have This Smell that we never quite got rid of.  Zinc Oxide and other undertones that you can't quite put your finger on.

I'm sure when we move on, the next people will wonder why it smells of Coffee and Baked Goods, and the people who knew us will fill them in.  I'm still waiting on some of the stories about this place.

Scents of baking aside, If you have this week off and you've gotten "This Far", you will probably be starting to make the food.  It is a cool day here, the windows are open and the breezes have started to flow from the Ocean, two miles away, through the house and out the other side.  Someone on my block is baking a cake or a pie, my guess is Apple Pie.

It is mid morning, and it's making me hungry.  Then again, I'm a big guy and we're almost always hungry.

Last night we went for the last shopping trip.  Hit a couple places and came home with all that we needed to make a Cherry Pie and the Vegetables for the meal tomorrow.  Even a Yam.  Yams with my home made butter, hot out of the oven... Ok Yeah, I'm hungry.

We were in the second store of the evening looking for the Pie Crust (yes, a short cut but we're hosting) and I got a phone call from Lisa across the street asking if she could give us an Apple Pie.   Oh my yes!  You just saved my Wednesday!

So it will be a Bakery Made Apple Pie, Fresh Rolls that I'll make tomorrow, Roast Beef with Port Wine Gravy, and all the usual vegetables.  A real table groaner of a meal.

Thanks to Lisa and Billy, I don't have to cook today unless I want to.  Tomorrow is another story.  At 6AM before the dog walk I will load the washer with the linens, load the bread machine for the Dough Cycle, and take Mrs Dog for her Morning Constitutional.  The dough will rise and I'll make a dozen rolls out of them.  All this before tomorrow lunch. 

Or else, I'll get attitude.  We have a 7 pound Bottom Round that has to go in the oven.

The secret recipe is Pat's Pizza Dough recipe and can be found here.  Use High Gluten Flour!  It's extremely basic a dough and makes an incredible loaf, Boule, pizza crust, rolls or anything else you want to make out of bread dough.

So here's hoping you don't have to cut corners and everything comes out of the oven well.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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