Monthly Archives: November 2015

HOW TO SUCCEED AT THANKSGIVING DINNER

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There are a million references for how to COOK Thanksgiving dinner, but not as much can be found on how to be an excellent guest-slash-consumer.  Most people know to ask, “Is there anything I can do to help?” This is just the beginning.  For the love of peace and harmony, if they say “No, I’ve got it,” then leave them be.  If they want your help, they’ll ask for it again so don’t get too entrenched in what you are doing instead.

  1. As the meal is being prepared, please stay far, far away from the prep area, but close enough to materialize immediately when summoned for random tasks such as stirring, fetching, tossing carcasses and Stove Top boxes, and carrying irreplaceable delicate breakables to the table without dropping. Be sure to ask EXACTLY where they go.
  2. Do not under any circumstances throw anything away such as: butter wrappers, gently used paper towels, empty jelly jars, egg shells or banana peels. These deceptively crucial items WILL BE USED. Where and when are classified– on a Need To Know basis.
  3. If you get hungry, thirsty, rowdy, clumsy or bored at any time during the meal prep, enter the Meal Prep Zone with all your affairs in order and at your own peril. It is wise to have a trusted advisor or professional counselor on speed dial for follow up after the inevitable verbal assault.
  4. Once the meal is fully ready and on display, guests should materialize from thin air with clean hands and heart for Genuine Family Fellowship.
  5. Fill your plate and return at least once until all food is consumed. If any leftovers are present, lots will be cast along with sideways glances to determine who takes home the good stuff for Black Friday lunch.
  6. Children leaving “perfectly good food” on their plates shall receive a timely lecture on gratitude, world poverty, and may potentially be force fed, for which it is understood there will be a high level of amazement and wondrous awe for the trouble and expense the cook went to for the family. This also applies to grandchildren.
  7. Dinner commentary must at some point include the following:

~Specific “thank you” to the cook or preparer of each dish along with meaningful specific original complement.

~Moaning and other sounds of pleasure during consumption—but not exaggerated, sarcastic or creepy.

~Random comments about the taste (positive)

WARNING:  Do NOT under ANY circumstances follow a “thank you” with a barrage of compliments from around the table.  The timing of the gratitude is of the utmost importance.  Sincerity is of epic significance but must be appropriately spaced throughout the meal.  Use the following simple mathematical equation to quickly determine when to thank your Thanksgiving cook(s). 

Original Primary Thankful Response = Prayer + 2 minutes after 1st bite consumed

Subsequent Affirmations = Number of People at the Table / divided by ½ distance between each guest x :30 second intervals alternating +/- :12 sec to show spontaneity.

It is most polite to wait and let the newest guest offer their Grateful Comment first, then begin the pattern outlined above.  A helpful foot nudge under the table can assist those who struggle with math or  eat too fast.

The Kids Table should be encouraged to follow this modified equation:

Oldest and/or The One Who Ate The Most = Primary Feedback Presenter

Then gratitude expressions continue in no particular order and should end with the youngest mobile child who talks (for cuteness purposes).

8. Under no circumstances can a grandchild take only one kind of food offered (i.e. mac & cheese). This will render gratitude Null & Void and cause The Greatest Generation to question the child’s patriotism. Thanks offered from The Child Who Only Took One Food Item will render all remaining Expressions of Gratitude for the rest of the grandchildren as empty and not applicable and may result in subsequent meals with increased undesirable stewed vegetables and the unavoidable parental lecture on the drive home.

9.  There shall be no less than 93 minutes AFTER the last dish is cleaned, dried and put away before anyone can utter any of the following words: hungry, thirsty, dessert, breakfast, snack, plate, cup, ice, starving, cereal, Goldfish crackers, chips, salsa. It is strongly encouraged that you nap or vacate the premises during this time period.

Thanksgiving success is not an exact science, but these timely tips can be applied to gatherings of any size.    May we all be the kind of guests that we would welcome into our own homes—gracious, thoughtful, refined & sincere.

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Breakfast Recipe for Writers

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  1. Vow to write 3000 words today, but after a hearty breakfast
  2. Decide on oatmeal
  3. Make hot water for oatmeal using the coffee pot
  4. Empty oatmeal packet into bowl, maybe two
  5. Decide to add peanut butter
  6. Realize that you are out of peanut butter
  7. Go to the store for peanut butter
  8. Add blueberries and strawberries, because health
  9. Make a giant glass of water so that there will be NO MORE PROCRASTINATING
  10. Add ice because, metabolism
  11. Sit down at computer, open Word doc and stare
  12. Check email
  13. Delete 90% of emails
  14. Pat yourself on the back for not going back any farther than July
  15. Order all the things online
  16. How is it already noon?
  17. Make a sandwich decide chips over grapes, because health happened already
  18. Clean the kitchen to about 85%
  19. Put in a load of clothes & fold the two piles on the couch
  20. INSPIRATION!  Sit back down at computer
  21. Make a playlist
  22. Dogs whine for the walk you promised 4 hours ago
  23. Walk dogs and get clarity, make time goal for the words
  24. ACTUAL WRITING TAKES PLACE
  25. Kids come in from school – converse
  26. Race the clock speed writing until dinner
  27. Finish in the nick of time
  28. Attempt unsuccessfully to answer husband’s question:  “What did you do today?”
  29. Read other people’s awesome writing
  30. Repeat