November is just beginning, but I can already feel the rapid acceleration towards full-on holiday panic. It seems to go from Halloween to New Year’s Eve in a blink. Don’t get me wrong -- I love pretty much every holiday, but it would be nice to have them spread out a bit more over the year.
Since it’s apparent that I will never be queen of the world, I don’t see the state of holidays changing. But I can plan ahead as much as possible to make sure I’m comfortable and happy while cooking and cleaning all day before a big celebration meal.
This Thanksgiving post is about self-care rather than how to meticulously set your table. I’m not even giving you a vegan main dish because I have faith in your googling abilities. (In case you are in a real bind here’s a Pinterest Vegan Thanksgiving board and a Slow Cooker T-day one as well that’s not all vegan, but you can gets tons of inspiration from.)
I think the first thing that goes when you get up early to cook a nice, afternoon holiday dinner is breakfast. Some people function fine without it, but there are those of us who descend into a very dark place without a little nibble before the cooking begins. Sure, you can convince yourself that you’ll eat as you cook, but when you’re working on half a dozen things at once, it’s just as likely you’ll forget.
My breakfast solution is to make a loaf of Whole Wheat Bourbon Banana Bread the night before. It will be ready and waiting for you when you get up. Of course, you could do muffins if you don’t want to be bothered with cutting slices. Just toast it a little in the oven before serving to make it a breakfast worth waking up for. It’s full of banana, pecans, whole wheat goodness, and just enough bourbon for it to feel a little naughty.
The cooking begins with you happy and on a full stomach. The cooking will go by quickly, and the serving will seem effortless once you draft your diners in to help a little.
After the food has been eaten and the dishes are in the dishwasher, it’s time for you to finally take a break. Working all day will make you appreciate a relaxing Maple Spiced Toddy. This is not the time to go sweep and mop the floor or to get some crazy cleaning project started. Instead, enjoy your reward. It doesn’t matter if your house is full of sleeping family members sprawled across the furniture or a rowdy crowd of tv watchers, you can take your hot toddy into a nice warm bath and hide away for a half hour or so. Your company will appreciate how happy and relaxed you are the rest of the day, and so will you!