Last week I spent the better part of a morning in my pajamas and slippers, leaning on the kitchen counter, where a sprawl of cookbooks, notebooks and post-it notes were scattered. I’ve learned that when a planning mood strikes, I need to ignore everything else and jot down my flow of ideas as they tumble out:
“–make & freeze pie crusts.
–set up a photo booth for cookie swap fun.
–order copies of Desserts in Jars for B, A & M.
–new shortbread flavor???
–check on homemade vanilla.
–stock up on baking supplies…”
My coffee grew cold, and the kids tore apart the playroom in the meantime, but when I looked up an hour or so later, I was better organized for the next two months of kitchen planning. Yep, right through New Year’s Eve and into 2013. Teacher’s gifts, holiday baking, Christmas dinner, a cookie swap, freezer meals and more were more or less sketched out on paper.
Not every detail was planned in that blitz, mind you; I’ll still spend hours on Pinterest adding to boards such as My Christmas Party and Holiday Baking, but the quick brainstorm was helpful to set the holiday planning in motion. Once I gathered my notes and did a quick cross-check with a calendar, it was plain to see I had my work cut out for me, but with planning, everything was doable.
Why plan ahead? Many of our favorite holiday foods – like Tourtière or mincemeat – can easily be made 6 weeks in advance, and some, like the mincemeat, actually improve with age. Guess what? 6 weeks before Christmas is today.
It’s not too early to send out those cookie swap invites, stash a few meals or rounds of gingerbread dough in the freezer, or make those edible gifts for the school teachers.
Here’s what else is on my agenda for the next few weeks; grab a pen and paper and make your ‘To-Do’ list while you read.