Happy Thanksgiving

Made the pumpkin pie and cran-apple sauce earlier this week.  The bird’s been in the oven for a little over an hour.  Still need to make the scalloped potatoes, gravy, stuffing, and sweet potato mash with butter and brown sugar, but the side dishes are half cooked and assembled, ready for a half hour bake.  Last minute things are the pan gravy and whipped cream to go with the pie.  Other than that, it’s pack it all up, hop in the car, and hit to road to mom’s place.

I may or may not have time to make a batch of butternut squash soup.  It’s not part of the Thanksgiving menu, but since we cater for mom, and bundle up everything in coolers to drive over to her place, it doesn’t hurt to leave her with a quart of soup in addition to whatever leftovers she wants from the meal.  She hasn’t cooked in years, and won’t go out to pick up a meal when it’s below freezing, so the least we can do is leave her with a couple of days worth of food.

She’s funny.  She’ll tell me “Don’t run yourself ragged and get so tired that you can’t enjoy the meal.”  I’ve been catering holiday feasts for so many years that it’s all under control.  She gets more stressed setting the table than I do putting together 10 or 11 items for the feast.  I used to make fun of Nicky “Two Kitchens” Pacione, but now that I live in a house that has two kitchens, I really appreciate having two ovens, so that I don’t have to try to bake the scalloped potatoes and sweet potato mash at 325F, and guess at the extra time that takes.

The previous owners added an annex for the guy’s mother who couldn’t climb stairs anymore; that “mother-in-law” suite/annex has a full kitchen, although it’s not as large as the one in the main house.  It comes in handy for holiday cooking, and canning tomatoes in late summer.  The good news is that we can close it off from the rest of the house during winter, and only heat it enough to keep the pipes from freezing.

On another note, my new computer arrived yesterday, almost a week ahead of schedule.  Took a couple of hours to get it set up the way I wanted, with my favorite scanning/malware/antivirus utilities, and Firefox, but it’s sort of where I want it.  There’s always the bloatware that comes with a new Dell, along with frickin’ McAfee, which hogs up way too much RAM and processor power.  I intend to just let McAfee’s “free” trial expire, then not pay for a renewal.  I’ve already removed a few programs from startup and unpinned a few more from the taskbar.  FWIW, I really like the keyboard on this thing; it’s black against the aluminum casing   It was worth having the dead HD on my old machine replaced, if only because it’s still a zippy fast machine, and has a numeric keypad, which is an essential for me.

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