My favorite Food Network chef, Ina Garten, often talks about preparing food "in advance" so that you can be part of the party and not in the kitchen ignoring your guests the whole time.
Boy, will I be learning about that, because today we had two more RSVPs for the potluck Thanksgiving we're hosting. That bring us up to 26 people. I'm going to have to call to reserve a larger turkey, or cook two, though I don't want to tie up both ovens all day.
Dave stayed home with a sick Julian today, but now he's in bed with a slight temperature too. This we so don't need right now!
I've worked all night starting to prepare things. Even though this is a potluck, not all groups are bringing an even amount of food, and some things everyone will want. For instance, only one person is bringing pie so far, but she can't be expected to bring pie for 26 people. Some people will bring wine and not food, and one group of 4 hasn't told me what they're bringing yet. So I'll be backfilling under-represented items.
But let's get real. This is really an excuse for me to cook. I don't need to make as many things as I'm going to, but I like to, and if we're going to invite the whole Bay Area over for Thanksgiving, then darnit, we're not running out of stuffing!
So tonight I made a pecan pie (Dave's favorite), and started little tasks like chopping figs for a vegetarian stuffing (three of our men guests are vegetarians), in addition to the non-vegetarian stuffing. I've already made 4 cups of turkey stock for gravy so I can make it ahead of time.
I'm going to do as much prep and cooking as possible tomorrow and Wednesday, because if there's one thing I've learned from Ina, it's to enjoy the party!
p.s. this just in -- our friend Linda borrowed our friend Paul's camera at the pancake breakfast yesterday: