Saturday was a quiet day for me, a day spent mostly home puttering and doing things I love. I did go out early to pick up my turkey from the farmer from whom I have purchased a turkey every year since I moved to Knoxville, and finish the bulk of my Thanksgiving shopping. Next year perhaps I need to remember to purchase my turkey from the same farm as I get my meat CSA. I also went to the store, and had a bit of a curmudgeonly moment at Whole Foods. Yes, I was the crazy lady in the parking lot repacking my groceries into my own two canvas bags and discarding the third bag they gave me. I don't know why, it was still a wasted bag, but I was determined it would not go home with me. At Publix I was calmer when, despite my admonitions to pack my canvas totes "full and heavy", the young man only loaded them about half full, and then proceeded to use another half dozen plastic bags, when everything would have fitted in the proffered quartet of canvas bags. Yes, it is good to provide jobs, yes it is nice to have people pack my bags and take them to the car, but sometimes I really would prefer to do it myself, with less waste.
My petulant side calmed down once I was home. I've had painters here all week and had been out every evening as well. It seemed I just needed time in my own space, time to accomplish small tasks, to relax, to daydream, time to settle. I had worked out my Thanksgiving menu on Friday, and Saturday I worked out my plan of attack. This is the fun part. Well so is cooking but it is much more relaxing when the strategy has been laid out in advance.
I accomplished a few small things, not difficult, but things easily made in advance. The cranberry sauce is made and pie crusts are also in the freezer, ready to bake when I get to the pie, later this week. I only need one, but like to have a spare, just in case. I also prepped the turkey and started brining it. Then I roasted some spare turkey wings with aromatic vegetables and made broth to use as turkey gravy, I'll have extra bones and dripping to use stock and soup on the big day, but having some flavorful stock ready to go exerts its own calming pull on my state of mind.
I had hoped to finish off habanero chiles left from last week's haul. Most of the peppers have been dehydrated and turned into habanero chile powder, and the plan was to make habanero jam or jelly and some habanero salsa. But I didn't get that far. I needed that aforementioned quiet time for reading and knitting, as well as a nice, 3 mile walk with Tikka. When Tikka happened into my life I worried about getting a dog that required too much activity, as I was still not up to walking a lot, but Tikka ended up being just right. She is low key at home, but she more than happy to walk mile after mile, and has been a great motivator and inspiration. The longest walk we have gone on is 6 miles, but she always seems eager for more, and she has been great inspiration during those times I felt a little more sluggish. Well, except in hot weather. Neither of us likes hot weather.
Although I didn't do anything with the chiles, I did get a chicken roasted, and a batch of sausage and collards prepared as well, so I will have food waiting on those busy days in the early part of the week, days on which I may not feel like cooking something for myself. I also spent some time rearranging the furniture. New colors have made me look at the house with new eyes, and some changes were in order. It was a good mix of busy and contemplative activities, a respite from outside obligations, and a necessary foil to the past week and the coming holiday. Now I am ready to leap into activity again. No cooking today as I have outside obligations all day, with the exception of perhaps a 3 hour window. That's ok though, I'm ready.