November 20, 2010

Last week I’d mentioned that I spent the day engaging in a whole lot of couch surfing and boob tubing.

Today, not so much, and thank God for that.

I thought I was going to sleep in, but the Thanksgiving baking elf in me totally took over.  I woke up at 7, got out of bed at 8, double-checked my shopping list, and was at Aldi‘s on Mayfield by 9 am.

Side note about baking: this year, I really got my shit together for baking.  In the past, I was running around, hoping I had enough ingredients, and basically making the kitchen look like the culinary equivalent of the beaches at Normandy, only to succeed in causing me to stay up late not for the love of baking but because I bit off more than I can chew.

I made it a point to sit down with all three recipes, figure out how much I needed with each ingredient, and made a master list with master amounts.  I cross-checked that against what I had in stock currently in the kitchen (I was shocked that we had half of a bottle of blackstrap molasses…), and made the grocery list off of that.

Which brings me to my side note about Aldi.  I love Aldi.  The Boy has been shopping at his local Aldi since it opened (before that, we had shopped at both Save-a-Lot and Kroger), and I’d gone with him a couple of times.  But I didn’t realize how wonderfully handy it was until I needed to buy a few baking staples after finding myself extremely strapped for cash. In the future, I will definitely be going to Aldi and GFS for all of my baking and make-ahead-meal needs.

I had an MK customer meeting right in the middle of the day, so my plan of attack was to semi-assemble everyhting that didn’t require the mixer for all three recipes, storing them in Tupperware, and finish them both this evening and tomorrow.  With all of the separate components already assembled, I wouldn’t need to worry about wasting time on each recipe as I’m making them having to measure everything.  I’d already done the measuring this morning.

So far, it has worked out beautifully.  I’m through the baked brownies, the ginger cookies are going in the oven tonight, and the whoopee pies are going in the oven tomorrow.

Once everything is baked (and assembled), they will get wrapped individually in both Saran and tinfoil to keep them fresh until they are ready to be served.

My lack of panic at this point validates that I need to give in to my nearly-neurotic front-end planning.  As part of my effort to work smarter and not harder, doing the messy work in the beginning is a lot easier than trying to tidy up on the back end.

And I’m a much happier camper, feeling like I’m not a slug.