One of my favorite days of the year is the day before Thanksgiving. You read that correctly...the day before the day when you get together with family to drink wine, eat amazing food and drink wine.
Because on that day, I get to do he mother of all grocery store shopping trips.
And it's a little bit like Christmas morning to me.
Weeks of planning go into that grocery store trip; algorithms and mathematic equations factor into the outing. NASA is jealous.
Menu planning. In the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, I will go through tons of recipes and cookbooks and blogs looking for the perfect menu items. Oftentimes, I will try out recipes ahead of time. When the menu items have been narrowed to the winning line-up, I list out the ingredients for each of them on a piece of paper.
The grocery list. Once I have all the items for all recipes written down, I then go through and make a new list, and rearrange the items in the order in which I shop the grocery store (produce first, followed by cheeses and meats, then center store, the dairy and frozen perimeter).
I want to share that I use the same pad every year to make the grocery list. I like how wide the lines are and that I can do a double-column of items. But then you might think I'm weird.
The grocery store trip. This goes down on Wednesday morning, around 7am. Armed with my tea and my list, I meticulously make my way through the store. My mood is light, I'm smiling at stock boys, I'm talking to strangers.
Cooking. Prep begins the minute I get home. Even before I unload the groceries, I have the cream cheese in the mixing bowl to get it to room temperature for the pumpkin cheesecake and the oven preheating. While one food item is browning, I'm sautéing another. While cornbread is baking I'm chopping onions. This goes on for hours.
At the end of the day, my feet ache and the kitchen smells like love.
And while I've cooked all day, making casseroles and appetizers and dessert, turns out we have nothing in the house for dinner and we have to go out.
(Secret plan...works every year!)