Some of my regular readers may have given up on me this week. Perhaps they even wondered if the column was coming out or not. Well for starters I haven’t been sick, just a little overkill on long work hours. Today (Sunday) the park was closed for the change of festivals and I slept a grand total of around 15 hours! I know, rather shocking. It’s hard to explain to someone who doesn’t have my work schedule. I have enjoyed this day more than I can possibly describe. When your days off are usually Monday and Tuesday they are treated like ‘regular’ days, particularly since they are business days.
Everyone around here is glued to the television watching the Royals in the play-offs. I’ve watched some and listened a great deal more. It makes for an exciting fall for those of us who call Missouri, home. It’s actually thrilling to see a team that was struggling a few years back, rise to such acclaim.
Don’t think for a minute that I’m not busy in the kitchen. I am on overload! Perhaps another reason for sleeping 15 hours! Here’s a new tip for all of the procrastinators out there. If you start playing Christmas music in mid-October you’ll find yourself planning. It works, really works. Last week I started in on foods/meal plans for the holidays. Thus the reason for a pie recipe this week.
In the next few days I will be making my pie crusts in advance and putting them in the freezer for the weeks to come. Also on the list is making a few loaves of sweet breads for gatherings that just seem to ‘pop’ up unexpectedly.
As you start filling your head with gift giving ideas try to make plans for those spur of the moment situations. Freeze a few meals in advance. Cook a few pounds of sausage and beef for quick fix dinners. Use the crockpot more often and the pressure cooker for fast & healthy meals.
On the gift giving side of things here are a few of my favorite holiday tips:
- Purchase several boxes of microwave popcorn. They’re easy for kids to
wrap and they’re simple to attach a gift card to for church and school.
- When you find a sale on Christmas Cd’s pick up a few extras. Wrap
and place them somewhere special under the tree. Use these for the unexpected situations.
- Hostess Gifts can be prepared in advance. A good bottle of wine is always
appreciated but why not take a breakfast casserole the hostess can bake the following morning?
- As we mature we find it easier to use gift cards and money instead of
hours spend on our feet shopping. I think these are well appreciated, but to make them more ‘personal’ attach the card to something inexpensive that fits the theme of the gift card.
- Teenagers (since I have one) love the gift cards, even ones to Sonic, the movies, bowling alley, pizza shoppe, Walmart and McDonalds.
They’re already talking on the radio and television about how much weight we gain between Thanksgiving and January. The best way to avoid this situation is to cook at home and not dine out. Easier said than done, I know, I’m right there with you. Some nights you’re just so tuckered out it’s a lot to ask. Last week I taught a class to employees on this subject. The best tip is to P-L-A-N.
When we don’t have menus planned out for the week it leaves us vulnerable.
At work a couple of us use the ‘coop’ method. If I want specific things from the same store my assistant is going to she gets them with hers and vice versa.
Remember to use coupons and follow the shopping ads each week.
My pie is so easy to make. As I indicated earlier make the crusts ahead of time. On Thanksgiving eve this pie can be made within a matter of minutes if the crust is already prepared. Last year as I planned the holiday dinner I went with a more diverse dessert plan. Not only did I have pies I also brought out the chocolate chip cookies. They were a huge success for the kids and adults.
Grab your phone or notepad and start making those lists. Create a smooth running holiday with less stress. Simply yours, The Covered Dish. www.thecovereddish.com
Bourbon Pecan Pie
4 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup corn syrup
1/2 cup sorghum
3 tablespoons Bourbon Whiskey
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
1 (9 inch) pie crust
Blend sugars and eggs, whisking to mix. Gradually add all the remaining ingredients. Pour into unbaked pie shell. Protect crust with foil or crust covers; bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 325 degrees and bake for 35 minutes until knife inserted in center of pie comes out clean. May use whole pecans. For serving purposes the chopped pecan is easier to cut.
*Bourbon Pecan Pies can contain chocolate, but this is more frequently found in Kentucky Bourbon Pies or a Derby Pie.