A Lighter View…Raccoon entrees, rented dogs and the Cookie

A Lighter View…Raccoon entrees, rented dogs and the Cookie

By Thanksgiving signals the end of ten months of exercising, low fat cooking, and cabbage soup diets….and the beginning of a two month bake off.

By Karen M. Morris

Freelance writer

Thanksgiving signals the end of ten months of exercising, low fat cooking, and cabbage soup diets….and the beginning of a two month bake off.

My family observes this sacred season in the traditional American way…stuffing ourselves till we bloat, falling asleep, and then waking up to start grazing again. By Super Bowl Sunday, we’ve ingested enough food to constipate an entire continent and are just thankful that no one’s exploded.

The holidays weren’t always this easy for us. I credit our success story to one thing…crisis mode thinking. By breaking up small problems into fragmented pieces of clutter, I’ve overcome obstacles that most people would ignore. You can too, by following a few simple rules.

Don’t think you can cook? Reheating frozen pizza over a light bulb automatically qualifies you to bake for large groups of people…just make ten times as much. Then invite everyone in the phone book and tell them to bring a dish to pass. Greet them with phrases like; “I thought you were bringing the meat.”; “Hope you like raccoon.”; or “I’ll break open the pretzels when everybody gets here.”

Avoid unnecessary trips to the grocery store. Make a list of what you need on the back of something you wont lose…the warranty to your hot water heater, your child’s immunization record, or a Visa bill. These items are impossible to lose and can be found up to ten years later in the bottom of your purse.

When planning your menu, keep your guests in mind. If they’ve traveled a long distance, they are less apt to get up and leave…making it a perfect time to experiment. Try out a new recipe on your company, something with a name you can’t pronounce like: Charlotte Russe Au Kirsch.

If the Au Kirsch ends up tasting more like Au Kibble and Bits and your visitors spit it across the table, simply say, “No seconds for you, show off.” Don’t worry if your food doesn’t look like the picture in the magazine. I don’t look like the picture on my driver’s license.

If you don’t have a dog…rent one. Preferably one large enough to pull an eight horse hitch. Nothing makes a visitor feel more like family than having a dog clean himself and then lick their face. Watch your guests light up when the beloved family pet sniffs them like his next meal. And amaze friends by having “your dog” do jump shots over the table for scraps of food. With Fido on guard, you’ll never have to worry about someone taking advantage of your jello buffet.

Finally, remember the cookie. The cookie is the mainstay to winter holidays and can make or break your reputation in the community as a dinner time diva. Entire parties are devoted to swapping cookies with other cookie queens.

Never show up at a cookie exchange with store bought cookies…still in the original box. Put them on a substandard paper plate and break a couple. Take a bite out of a few…make them look wanted. Then cover the whole unsightly mess with enough saran wrap to roof a football field.

I used to make hand decorated cookies for my son’s preschool, the church choir, and my trash man. Fortunately, medication has cured that type of behavior. But, if you insist on making your own cookies, then pick a time that wont conflict with other tasks. Between midnight and six a.m. is usually a good time.

Around three a.m. you’ll discover two things: 1) you’re out of powdered sugar for frosting and 2) the grocery store is closed. Don’t worry, consider this an opportunity to display your hidden problem solving abilities…like substituting squeeze mustard to draw smiley faces on your cut out snowmen. (These condiment cookies are a family favorite at my house.)

If your recipe for Hershey Kisses Yummies only makes three dozen cookies and you need five…don’t panic. Make the cookies smaller. Dime size is acceptable. And replace the Hershey Kiss on top with a single, upright chocolate chip.

It’s always a nice touch to give your husband’s boss cookies. Make one large batch of dough…any type will do, my favorite is pizza dough. Divide it into twelve smaller piles and mold them into bizarre shapes. This gives the impression that you baked for weeks making different kinds of cookies.

Feeling artistic? Put raisins, chocolate chips, peas, or buttons in them…believe me, you’ll hear back from the boss. Any leftover batter can be used to repair a leaky faucet, patch cement, or as a ballistic missile to defend our country.

After trying some of my helpful holiday hints, you’ll discover people staring at you in awe, like they do me. Next week, I’ll share how I handle the pressures of being a room mother.

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