I am going on strike. I have been asked by six people what I am planning to cook for Thanksgiving, and each have been shocked when I have responded, “very little.” I have the bird, I have some vegetables and I have stuff to make desserts, but am I cooking for two days to eat left overs for four, heck no! I plan to celebrate Thanksgiving, but not in the traditional way.
I am thankful to be able to have the means in which to purchase the needed items to make such a splendid meal. However, with the cost of food and fuel, I see no reason to spend $200 to make dinner. If I am going to have a $200 dinner, the Chef best come to my table and make sure I enjoyed every savory morsel!
I cook five or six days a week and Tuesdays are my baking day. I bake fresh each week and my friends are all well aware. I am usually asked to share what I make and often do. Today is Tuesday so I have decided to make a pie. I am thankful that I have friends who enjoy my cooking 52 times per year. I do not need them to wait until the final Thursday in November.
Because I cook so often, I have found clever if not unusual means to recycle my leftovers. The roast from Sunday is often cut down to make tacos on Mondays or soups or stews throughout the week. The left over cornbread I made on Sunday is perfect for some cornbread dressing. I am thankful that there is enough leftover and I do not have to make a fresh pan special for Thanksgiving.
I have potatoes, both white and sweet, along with peas and other items bought from local growers. I am going to cook for the week anyway, but this week, I am planning to cook a turkey. Since the bird is mid-sized, it is also perfect for making turkey pot pie, turkey noodle soup and turkey salad. I am thankful that I know how to stretch my food budget.
So often we spend this day of Thanksgiving engorging ourselves with overly rich foods, overspending and annoying the hell out of each other. Again, I am protesting. My modest dinner this Thursday will consist of a bird and two side dishes. I am not heading out on Black Friday to shop for items I don’t need either. I am staying home.
I have been blessed this year with clarity to understand my place on this universe. I have learned in the past year that less is more. I have learned that to be an educator, I must first educate myself. I have learned that in order to be loved, I must, without reservation give it to those who deserve it, as well as those finding their way. I have, most of all, learned that I am still learning.
I do not require a certain day in which to cook a meal to share with my family and friends. I have learned to manage my money so that I do not have to shop like a maniac the day after Thanksgiving. I have learned to be crafty and can make my friends items they will appreciate, so I do not need to spend money. And for these things, I am thankful.
If Oprah can have a list of her favorite things, then why can’t I? As I was walking through the grocers, I came across the magazine rack and saw the Lady Oprah dancing across the cover of “O.” She looked so pretty I almost bought the magazine that is until I saw the $4.50 price tag. I was bad, I picked it up and flipped through the pages. Personally, her favorite things weren’t really all that awesome. I can see no real use for these Chocolate Bears for $12 plus shipping and handling. For exactly the same twelve dollars, I can buy some of my favorite things, like frozen vegetables at the ten for $10 sale, which mean I have vegetables to eat for at least 10 days.
I continued to look through some of Ms. O’s favorite things. I did see some items that made me stop and wonder what where she came up with these items.
http://zappos.com retail $120
These are really nice items, but really, we are in a recession and I can’t afford these things. What I have learned over the years is how to take the things that I truly love, and make a version of them.
First on my list is Moose Munch made famous by Harry and David, retailing at $29.95. This is Crunch and Munch on steroids. I sometimes will buy it as a treat, but most of the time, I make it myself. Here is a simple recipe.
Second on my list of favorite things are any items that I can make. The holiday season I love placards for my holiday table settings. Oriental Trading Company is always on my holiday shopping list, because I can pick up these easy placards for about $5.00. The kit creates 12 settings, and at this price, I can afford to buy several, even to give them as gifts.
And last but not least, some of my favorite things are bags. Purses, satchels, book bags, shopping bags and anything that I can carry my stuff in. I love to shop on http://Ebags.com. There is everything there for your pockets and your pocketbook. Best of all, the prices are right for your purse.
The whole point to my thought process here is to not over spend or get caught up in the haze of Black Friday and the holiday shopping madness. There is enough retail therapy to go around without breaking the bank and acting like a mad person on a spending frenzy. Out of curiosity, what is on your list of favorite things?
Yesterday, I had the pleasure of taking the annual bus shopping trip to one of those outlet malls. It is always a blast, but I mainly go to hang out with friends, have a decadent lunch, and not have to drive. After so many hours, you take your cache to the bus, seal it in your labeled garbage bag and go back to empty your bank account. However, this time, the bus was not where it was supposed to be. I found the bus but it was blocked in by some self-promoted rapper named Nap-Boy. Our bus driver is upset, our people are upset and I’m thinking, what is the big deal? I sent a tweet to the address on the side of the van, and then I called the number. Here is the beauty of it all, I went back inside the shopping center, took a seat with my Dipping Dots treat, and watched the people pass by. There were a ridiculous number of people wearing T-shirts with stupid sayings on them. Ironically, the rapper that was boxing in our bus, also had a stupid shirt, and he walked right up to me. He, of course, wanted to sell me one of his CD’s. I made a contribution on the condition that he moves his van.
I know I took the long way around on this one, but here’s the point. Out of thousands of people in the shopping outlet in Charlotte, I was able to find one person. Why, because he was wearing a stupid shirt; luckily his shirt matched his van.
He wasn’t the only adult wearing one of those silly shirts. As I sat there, I saw a beer bellied fella pass by in this gem.
I was really tempted to ask what his daughter looked like, to see if it was actually a concern. His daughter showed up. Sadly, Daddy, you can put the gun away. She will be home with you on prom night. I know it’s mean, but I started to chuckle.
Our next wonderful shirt was worn by a Goth kid with green hair. He was also wearing piercings in is eyebrows, his nose, his lip, his jaw, and those big tribal ear circles in his lobes. I laughed when I saw the shirt. The irony, people probably beat the crap out of him his whole life; especially looking as he did. He probably became a Goth when his parents stopped paying for his self-defense classes.
This t-shirt was worn by a young black man who was sporting this shirt in green. He also had on green shoes, a plaid green outer shirt and some green underpants. I saw the underpants because his pants were well below his butt. The young lady at his side walked along with pride that this gem wearing fashion risk was her man. Question, was she one of the wayward ho’s?
The more I sat there, the more people I saw wearing tees with sometimes inappropriate if not downright offensive imprints.
After about a half hour, I had to get up and move, because people were starting to wonder why I was laughing. I could not snap photos, but I did find most of the shirts on a website. I became more tickled as my friend joined me and she saw one that made her laugh even harder. It was a T shirt of the Ass Family and each of the family members also had on the same shirt. Who was the Smart Ass who came up with the idea to wear these out in public?
The irony of it all was wasted on the wearers. Individuals who wear these shirts are probably doing so to get noticed or get some attention. The attention you are getting is not for the funny sayings on your shirt, it is because the reader is processing the whole thought. The thought adorning your boobies, beer belly and bird chest is only the beginning.
One lady stopped and asked why we were laughing. I told her honestly, if you only knew what I was just thinking…..