In my last Thanksgiving post I talked a little about what I’m thinking about cooking. Now I will reveal my nerd-tastic side, the side of me that was the best damn stage manager in my undergrad theatre program, the side of me that used GoogleDocs almost exclusively to plan my wedding.
The side of me that just made a spreadsheet yesterday to plan out the shopping, prepping, and cooking for Thanksgiving.
Now, before you judge me too much, here’s what I’m up against in terms of this Thanksgiving prep:
1. We need to travel 3 hours to my Mom’s house in VA on Tuesday night, and we need to bring some things with us from DC. We can’t bring too much because we’ll need to metro part of the way, but there are some things you Just Can’t Get where my mom lives in the middle of nowhere. Gruyere. Fresh (not frozen) Brussels Sprouts. Panko Bread Crumbs. You get the idea. I am banking on being able to get a brand of mushrooms that are not of the button variety. Hopefully Criminis. BUT I DON’T KNOW IF THEY’LL HAVE ANY. This is the kind of wilderness my mother has decided to live in. So I need to be strategic about what I have room to bring and what will be available down there.
2. My mother is not known for having staples on hand. Last Thanksgiving, she did not have olive oil. WHAT. She had Pam, which is that spray stuff in a can. Her spices are about 10 bajillion years old. So while in my day-to-day cooking and shopping I don’t have to make note of a few tablespoons of olive oil or half a teaspoon of dried thyme, I need to catalogue everything here to make sure we have it.
I’d like to share my spreadsheet with you. Here’s a link. I’ve broken out the ingredients for each recipe, where we will get each ingredient, when I should cook each dish, and what heating element will be required.
Our plan: Get to Mom’s late Tuesday night. Put away the things we brought (including all the garlic for the mashed potatoes, which I am roasting at home this weekend) and whip out the spreadsheet to take stock of Mom’s pantry. Make a list of things we’ll need to get (I have a feeling Kosher salt will be on this list). Wake up early Wednesday and make a run to the Food Lion in Farmville. (Yes, the town is called Farmville.) Hope that along with the necessary staples they have a halfway decent wine selection. Go back home and get to prepping.
Along with some of the more exotic ingredients we’re lugging down to the Commonwealth, we are also bringing my mandoline and a ricer. I wish we could bring my stand mixer. I don’t think JD wants to carry it on the metro. Though he did pick out the color (tangerine!). More on that when I write about our wedding registry.
Anyone else out there have major issues cooking in other people’s kitchens? For that matter, anyone else regularly use spreadsheets for meal planning?