Have a Multitasking Holiday

CookingChildren from dysfunctional families spend a lot of time trying to fit in. And just because one is grown up, those feelings do not disappear. I am still trying to fit in and my latest attempt had to do with holiday cooking.

I go to the Y a lot and I visit with all the people there. During one particular week, a lot of the conversation seemed to revolve around preparing a holiday dinner in advance. It seemed that everyone except me was preparing most of their recipes one or more days in advance of the feast.

It sounded like such a simple and reasonable thing to do. You could prepare pies, salads, dressing and even the turkey the day before. I raced home to get started.

Since it was the day before and I didn’t have a lot of time, I decided to multitask and prepare several things at once. I started the pumpkin pie and the frozen peppermint pie at the same time. I also started sauteing onions and celery for the dressing. My kitchen was starting to smell very nice with the aroma from the pumpkin mixing nicely with the onions and celery.

Awhile back, a friend had offered me a food processor she no longer wanted and I took it without “test driving” it. I decided to use it for my cranberry salad. Okay, it really wasn’t “my” cranberry salad. I had gotten the recipe from a friend at the Y the day before, but I just knew with the new food processor I would be crushing cranberries in no time. I had three pounds of fresh cranberries as I began to put the food processor together. I plugged it in and pressed “Start” and nothing happened. I re-configured it and still it refused to chop. I was running out of time, and I decided that maybe the food processor was out for this year.

In the meantime, the timer for the pumpkin pie was dinging. As I reached with my oven mitts to take it out of the oven, I realized that I had not added sugar to the recipe. I opened my computer and searched for “Pumpkin Pie no sugar.” It may interest you to know that there is a remedy for this problem. Someone on the internet suggested scooping out the pumpkin filling and adding the correct amount of sugar, then placing the filling back inside the pie shell and baking it for awhile. Unfortunately, they did not mention what to do about the appearance of the pie, which is fairly unappealing.

After the pie fiasco, I was still staring at three pounds of cranberries which were not being crushed by the new food processor. I put them in my blender (one cup at a time) and after innumerable presses of the blender buttons, the cranberries were mostly ground up.

The dressing was completed and at a friend’s suggestion, I put it in a crock pot for the day of the dinner. Do you know how dried out dressing can get? By this time (the morning of the dinner), I had run out of chicken broth (among other things). I told my son to open a giant can of chicken noodle soup and pour just the liquid onto the dressing, which he did. I also instructed my sister to completely cover any pumpkin pie that might be requested with mountains of whipped cream. Martha Stewart I am not.

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