HAPPY Labor Day
Sep. 5, 2011 12:19 pm
Updated: Sep. 8, 2011 8:57 pm
The day has begun, as so many do, with a "lick and a promise" as my mom would say... Full of the anticipation of yet another wonderful "holiday," full of the fares of such a day. Thus far my 3 day weekend has been eventful, entertaining, and most enjoyable!
To many, this holiday represents the ending of yet another summer - the last of the holidays and vacations with which we celebrate this "wonderful" season. ( I use the term loosely... live in AZ a few years... you'll look forward to the END of summer HEAT!)
In my life and home, this is the final kick off which culminates every year in a rather extravagant undertaking... the "Thanksgiving Pot Luck." I use the term extravagant with feelings of both excitement and dread! Pot luck should in most instances, indicate
a gathering of friends/family with which the "host" has little more to do than insure adequate plastic cutlery, and strudy paper plates. To me, it's a reminder that I've got the better part of a house to clean, declutter, polish and spit shine. This is
my time to spring clean..! With this also comes the task of attempting to somewhat organize the gathering. For instance, one year we ran out of turkey before each guest had fixed a plate. Another time, the bird was accompanied by about 40lbs of
mashed potatoes (but next to NO gravy, nor additional sides.) With these catastrophies in mind, I take it upon myself to attempt at least, to insure a balance of side dishes, desserts (who wouldn't wish to eat turkey and chocolate cake ONLY?) I'm guessing
that you get the idea... Then there are the years that I cannot compute just how much turkey we will need, until that very morning! Slightly difficult to toss in the oven "last minute!"
Now, this endeaver may still have you puzzling... "what's the big deal?" I personally instigated this concept over 20 yrs ago, finding myself in Phoenix for a holiday, made and meant for family and loved ones... I had only a few friends! And eating alone.
Once J and I had become involved with the car club, the entire idea mushroomed, exploding from a guest list of anywhere from 10 to 25 (or more.) Our biggest group resulted in 3 tables with chairs spread through 2 rooms, friends lapping their meals in the
living room, and having difficulty turning around without steppping on someone's foot! That year we had a smoked ham and three turkeys... yes, I said "and THREE TURKEYS," with little to spare regarding leftovers! Year, and year again, I have prepared a turkey,
and provided adequate disposable cutlery and plates, gallons of coffee, iced tea and lemonade. This all takes a bit of orchestrating and a lot of effort, on my part. And still, after all of these years, the "clueless" remain clueless... With the exit of
the last guests, and totally exhausted by then, I simply fall into bed.
On the Friday, we begin the day with "policing" for trash, collapsing the dining table down to size, folding borrowed chairs and tables in hopes that their owners will swing by to relieve us of custody. Once the dishwasher is filled and running, I'm usually
able to begin cleaning up the kitchen of slopped food residue from the counters, sweep/mop the floor, begin hand washing some items but still anticipating a second running of the dishwasher when the first load is emptied... Sending out for lunch... dinner?
Any of "my" turkey left?
"Whew... take a breath!" Is this torture or pleasure? My only answer is that for 20 yrs with the exception of 1, I've taken on this endeaver every November. Yes, I do look forward to it, but once again have come to that place... where I HAVE to say "if the
house is too dirty, TOUGH!" I simply don't have the energy anymore to pull out all of the stops, and take this all in stride as simply, "another anual event." I begin early, do as and what I can, attempt to keep a balance of entree, sides and desserts...
J has begun picking up some soda if needed, but I find that some folk, who simply don't care to cook, appreciate when I ask "can you bring a 12pk of your fav soda?" It was also a painful lesson the year I had to ask one attendee to take his entire massive
bowl of tossed salad home... (definately an item to minimize in the future!)
So, where was I when I began? Oh yes.... Labor Day has arrived! It's been a pleasant weekend, allowing the wind to blow as it will. Saturday turned out to be a crazykitchen day, as I recall, yesterday using up a few l/o's - today will in a slightly more
traditional menu... sirloin steaks on the grill for 2, baked potatoes (most likely) and... maybe that tossed salad I've wanted all weekend! Simple, to prepare and clean up! Ice cream and homemade hot fudge sauce when desired... it
WORKS for me! Or.... do I want to mess with potato salad this afternoon? Well, either way!
So all, I hope that your own weekend was pleasant, including some family gatherings and or cookouts! Meantime...
Be healthy, be happy, be crazy!