Mike and I have made a full Thanksgiving dinner together for the last five years. The first three years we were completely alone, cooking approximately 12 servings each cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, apple pie, pumpkin pie and a 15 pound turkey in a penny-sized kitchen in San Francisco. We’d feast together on the only table we owned, the coffee table. The first year, I ate Thanksgiving leftovers for 14 meals straight.
We don’t do things half way.
So after our first amateur Thanksgiving morning when we raced around like turkey’s with our heads cut off looking for a meat thermometer, we decided to get organized.
I can’t take much credit for this list. As I mentioned here, my brain “underdeveloped” in the organizational department. Luckily, I married into order, cleanliness and a household driven by Microsoft Excel. If spreadsheets are the final frontier, Mike is John Wayne. He can do amazing things with those little cells. Like putting every single ingredient of every single dish into one list and then ordering them by the area of the store they’re found in. Seriously. It’d be pretty geeky if is wasn’t so fantastically helpful.
During most of the year, the spreadsheet hibernates on Google Docs. About this time every year though, we dust it off, add the ingredients of any new recipes we’re planning to make, check our inventory in our pantry and then hit the road to hunt and gather.
Today, we paved the trail to Costco, Trader Joes and Whole Foods–a complicated expedition that’s usually unheard of for us. The only thing that makes a 3-stop grocery shopping trip doable is this little list. Each item that gets crossed off feels like a victory in the treasure hunt.
Now we’re home safe and sound. The fridge and pantry are dripping with food. And the Thanksgiving shopping safely tucked back into Google Docs for the winter.