Preparing for Thanksgiving Festivities.

I am armed and I am dangerous. In one hand I wield a avocado-color Pampered Chef® knife, in the other I hold a bowl full of uncooked sweet potato. I am ready for action, it’s Thanksgiving eve and I have some recipes to complete, birthday presents to wrap (my dad and my niece Rosalie), and I have to pack. We are heading eastward to visit family tomorrow morning… early in the morning.

Tonight I am alone, tonight I have to accomplish my tasks without complaint. And because I am an only child, I will also have to over achieve. “So what’s on the menu?” you may wonder. I am prepping some garlic mashed sweet potato to bring to my parents house on Saturday. I thank whoever posted this recipe online. And I will also attempt a Pumpkin Chiffon Cake, “thank you” Rachael Ray for that contribution. Neither recipe has been tested before, but I am confident that both will work. When I cook, I live on the edge. I modify recipes that would make some only whimper, I double batches, or reduce fat and I don’t even bat an eye.

So far I have claimed the life of a head of garlic. Smashing it against my cutting board I peeled every last clove. Only a pile of garlic skins remain. This garlic sacrifice was roasted in the oven with olive oil for half an hour. Meanwhile I begin the mountainous task of scrubbing, prepping and peeling the sweet potato. Potatoes are chilling in their bowl and I reach for my trusty peeler. A delightful wedding gift that has pulled me through many a holiday now. I look down (please cue screeching record) and realize that the blade is gone. I am holding a peeling handle. Without the peeler essence. I will have to peel those potatoes by hand, with a knife?! No this cannot be.

Let’s explain something right now, I tend to overreact so now I am starting to work myself into one of those famous panicked states where the contents of my utensil drawer have now be dumped onto the counter. Like a miner digging for gold I sifted through the pile to find something, anything that resembled my peeler blade. A mere 15 minutes later I have success. I leave the mess on the counter, a mixed bag of Valentine’s day cookie cutters, egg slicer, pumpkin carving tools. All the holidays have thrown up onto my counter.

We are back on track (there is a God.) Potatoes are now corralled in the pot and we are waiting for those to boil.

Onto the chiffon cake and all of its glory.

I am an expert, mixing the ingredients and folding the whipped egg whites into the dry mix. But realizing that for much of this time I was wearing some pumpkin goo in my hair, puts me right back at novice (Giada De Laurentiis wouldn’t let this happen.) These are the nights I am happy I am toiling away alone. No witnesses. Well except for the pets… but they don’t speak English.

While the cake is baking I am reviewing my list, walk dog (check), pack presents (check), make mashed sweet potato (check), make cake (semi check), and then I get to the part of the list that makes me a bit ashamed… “make a list of things to bring.” Yes, I made a to-do list and wrote on there to make another list. Stop judging me. I feel accomplished when I can cross it off.

My list is getting impressively long and I have to start packing. Relaxing and “me” time this evening should never have entered my brain nor my vocabulary, neither is happening tonight. Must. Over achieve. Thanksgiving tasks.

*Ding*. The pumpkin chiffon cake is ready. Oh, that is one sexy looking baked good. “Let it rest for 5 minutes, then invert the pan and set it over a narrow-necked bottle.” Yeah, this will be interesting. Apparently, I do not live in a home with narrow-necked bottles, or perhaps I’ve emptied them all by now. So instead the chiffon is resting inverted in its pan teetering precariously on a can of green beans. Who knew green beans had so many uses?

Most people wouldn’t think to recount an average evening in a blog. But I am not “most people” and this wasn’t some “average evening.” It was Thanksgiving eve and I had a lot to do and quite frankly I always have a lot to say.