I chose this [PIN of the WEEK] because I laughed when I saw it! I do this any time I am planning even the smallest event! After the menu is prepared, I pull out my dishes to see how it will all be organized. I often do this a couple of days in advance because it takes one less variable out of the equation and I sleep better at night.
We all love them, but they can get old real fast. After the main attraction on Thursday and leftovers every day following, for about...forever... (Wait, I think I just discovered why we only make turkey once a year!) By the end of the weekend, we are plumb turkeyed out! What can we do to alleviate leftover fatigue you ask?
For starters, don't buy the biggest bird that will fit in your oven. Buy something that is sure to feed your guest list and leave a little behind. Let's face it, we do want some leftovers, just not enough to feed an army!
Secondly, easy on the sides. We all love them, but the traditional sides are often not figure flattering or heart healthy. Make fewer sides and in smaller portions. Consider sliding in a green salad for bulk!
Third, If you do make the prize bird and all the fixings, plan to have freezer worthy storage containers ready. Invite your guests to bring some containers with them. Then there will not be any tupperware tracking when you need your favorite container for a party in July! (Here is a great cheat sheet from the USDA about how to handle leftovers ie freezing, reheating, refreezing, etc. http://www.fsis.usda.gov/PDF/Leftovers_and_Food_Safety.pdf )
Finally, invite guests to bring their favorite leftover recipes on index cards to share with other guests. Imagine heading home after Thanksgiving dinner with a package of delicious goodies and some new recipes to try out. Variety is the spice of life!
When it comes to giving of our time, we often hear that you get more than you give. I truly believe this to be true. In my personal life I have made it a point to dedicate hours each month to give back to the community. This has been especially important to me over the last few years since moving to Madison. I think that as a small business owner, it is equally important to give back. Life: Organized has several events scheduled over the next few month. Some we are volunteering our time and some will be events that we will invite the community to...so stay tuned ;-)
Our first volunteer event was on the morning of Saturday November 17, 2012. Kathy Keehn (Clutter to Clean and fellow NAPO member) and I worked at the St Vincent dePaul food pantry. This was the weekend before Thanksgiving and we had no idea what we were walking into. First, let me congratulate St. Vinny's on an amazing system. It is the largest food pantry in Dane County and the systems that they have in place make it run its self. I was very impressed with the operation to say the least.
There were lines of people at 8am when we arrived. We spent almost two hours stocking the pantry and training before it opened. When the pantry opened to clients, there was a smooth flow through each department. All the staff and volunteers were very kind and respectful of each guest and each guest seemed truly grateful for the services. I am always amazed by the generosity of local businesses and individuals, especially this time of year. Businesses were dropping off donations as we were working and someone had donated enough turkeys so that every family was offered one that came through! We served 95 families in only two hours! (They said their largest day was just over 100.)
The need is truly great...but remember, people need help all year long! If you are interested in how you can volunteer your personal time or get your group in to volunteer, please give them a call. They said they especially need help throughout the summer months when people don't often think to volunteer their time.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and your families from Claire and hers ;-)
St Vincent dePaul Madison http://www.svdpmadison.org/contact.html
Clutter to Clean http://cluttertocleanllc.com/Home_Page.html
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