This last week we found ourselves in Manhattan, after booking a last-minute trip for the launch of the product Dan has been working on (The Boxee Box). It was a whirlwind of shopping, events and museums. While it was on my mind to try to eat locally, I knew the amount of planning and effort (and use of a good kitchen) that goes into eating within a 250 mile radius. And so the decision was quickly made: do what we can.
I'll be the first to admit, it wasn't very locally focused. We ate pizza at Lombardi's (the first pizzaria in the United States). We scarfed soup dumplings. We had Pastrami at Carnegie Deli. While it was all very yummy, I left New York feeling bloated and unhealthy.
Even though we eat heartier foods at home, there is such an overwhelming "clean" feeling to everything we eat. Yes, I use an obscene amount of butter in everything that I bake and cook, but the little processing involved leaves the meal feeling light. And those stews are so filling, I generally eat less. I truly believe that the lack of preservatives in my food leads to feeling fuller longer, eating less in general, and lack in cravings for sweets and salty snacks.
So we were heading back to Seattle full of excitement to get back to eating locally, when I bolted awake from a middle-seat doze, panicked.
What day is it? Is Thanksgiving THIS week? Oh NO!
Thanksgiving normally takes a large amount of planning, but this year, it's even worse. There is no room for mistakes. If we plan on something and forget to pick it up, we run the risk of not having it at all. Not enough potatoes? Well, hopefully PCC still has some that are local.
And if they don't? No mashed potatoes.
I realize that there are 2 weeks before T-Day, but I know that planning begins NOW. With 12 people to feed and entertain, this is no small dinner party for me. And when I began sketching out our menu, I quickly realized there would be unique challenges.
For instance, the Turkey alone, which had to be ordered months ago. We just got an email from the farm we ordered it from, and after reading the fine print, we realized that we missed the pick-up day today. Ouch. One more delivery day next weekend, and if we miss that, we might be in bigger trouble than expected.
Or take the Stuffing.
Oh man, that's a lot of bread crumbs! Where do we get those crumbs from again? That's right. My bread. Which means baking at least two loaves of bread the week before Thanksgiving just for the bread crumb use.
Rolls for dinner? More baking.
Let's not forget about the 2 Apple Pies - more baking, slicing and peeling... I guess do this the day before? And 2 Pumpkin Pies... pre-baking sugar pumpkins for the mixture...and baking the day before... the Rutabaga Puree...assuming the Farmer's Market will have some...sure hope so! Greens - depends on what's in season.
And what about the pre-dinner festivities? Football and snacks? I had originally planned on making a melted cheese dip in a pumpkin, but have since scaled even this back to "cheese and bread". Hope our guests won't be too disappointed.
At least there will be a lot of pie....