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Sunday, November 28, 2010

Going with the Flow (Charts)

As Thanksgiving day drew near, it was hard not to feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of work to be done.  Pies to bake, a house to clean, groceries to buy and, oh yeah, I still have to spend some time earning a paycheck.  To help alleviate the stress of a hundred things to do, I assigned myself different tasks to complete each day.  For example, on Sunday I sat down with all my recipes and made a complete grocery list of what to buy and where to buy it and a list of cooking instructions for each item (what temperature, how long).  On Monday, I completed my grocery shopping, made cornbread croutons for the my stuffing and finished my laundry.  Tuesday was for making pie crusts and cleaning the lesser used rooms (office, guest room).  And on Wednesday I baked pies and cleaned the rest of the rooms people would be using (bathroom, kitchen, living room).  

By the time I woke up Thursday morning, I felt good about where I was as far as preparations were concerned.  I created a "flow chart" of sorts for the day with an hourly breakdown of what needed to be done and when in order to eat dinner at 3pm.  For instance, the 9 o'clock hour included turkey going in the roaster (so it could cook the requisite 4 1/2 hours and rest an hour before slicing) and baking Chocolate Mocha Cupcakes.  I even scheduled myself in time for a shower.  This may sound silly but from the past I have learned that when things get rolling, I run out of time and show up at the dinner table smelling of turkey guts and hair asunder.  And even with a few miscues, all 24 of us (we had some last minute cancellations) were sitting down ready to eat at approximately 3:15pm.  

And yes, there were items like touching up paint in my kitchen, re-caulking my shower and updating my blog that were not accomplished.  But considering I fed over 20 people twice in two days and was able to maintain my sanity (and even a smile at times), I consider the weekend a success.  

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