Do you know how teenagers will occasionally eat anything that is not nailed down? This week I planned for that and bought extra ribs. It was only my second time using the smoker, and then they took a lot longer than I planned, so all the teens snacked before dinner. The next morning they went to their other parents’ houses for the weekend. Then Sunday rolled around, and I needed to make that pot roast for tomorrow’s post/tutorial, which you can get a sneak peek on my Instagram Highlights, including a quick gravy making video. Balancing a blended family can be an adventure, and sometimes even when you try to plan carefully, things go a little sideways. So, right now, we have a lot of leftovers. A LOT.
With this in mind, this week we’re scrapping everything from the end of November’s plan and using what is in the fridge until Thanksgiving. Most of the teens will get home today, so I will be posting a list of what they are encouraged to eat if I’m not immediately available to answer questions shouted at me across the house. (I’m never immediately available to answer questions shouted at me across the house. I hate that.)
Yesterday I had the best call with my friend Amanda, she and I were on a Zoom while I was filming/photoing that recipe. I was coaching her through menu planning for her family. We talked for a long time about how hard it is to make decisions right now. It’s not just her, it’s not just me, it’s all of us. We are all exhausted. Right now the ambient stress level is ridiculous. If you are anything like me and already deal with anxiety and/or depression in the best of times, getting through these days can be very challenging.
Be gentle with yourself, please.
Try to limit the decisions you have to make because there are just too many to make every day and they all feel important. Do I let my kids go to school? Do I nag them to stay six feet from their friends or trust their judgment? Do I take my toddler to the park and risk the meltdown if there are other kids already on the equipment or do I just let her have too much screen time again today because I just don’t have the energy? Do I ask that person standing too close to back up and risk a confrontation?
Do I cancel my Thanksgiving plans because the numbers look bad? (We did, even though we were taking precautions.)
It’s hard, but good news is coming. I read this morning that vaccines for the general population should be here by late March or early April. Y’all, we’ve made it through almost nine months, we can do four more with easing pressure. We just have to hang on through this winter. Don’t throw away all the work you’ve done. We can celebrate in April or throw the biggest party in May. Hell, I’ll cater it. (We should even have working AC by then—there’s a story I’ll share later)
This week’s menu would be a little silly to type out. It’s all leftovers until Thursday and then this weekend will be leftovers followed by turkey noodle soup on Sunday.
Thursday’s menu looks like this:
- Smoked turkey,
- Whole cranberry sauce (I follow the package directions, EXCEPT I first make a simple syrup with the sugar/water and toss in a sliced jalapeno, to infuse while the sugar is dissolving then strain that out, using a chinois)
- Cornbread Dressing with Andouille Sausage
- Apple Cranberry and Sage Dressing
- Collard Greens
- Mashed Potatoes
- Sweet Potatoes
My mother will be providing homemade pumpkin and pecan pie. We’ll be dropping off food in a no-contact trade.
What are you having this week?