Start late. The later the better. Put a movie on the DVD player, one you've seen many times so you can listen to it without having to walk over & watch. Say, Sunshine by Danny Boyle. When it's over, if you're still cooking, start it again with the director's commentary.
Pour yourself a spiced-rum-on-the-rocks.
OK, kids. Tonight we're making the Day Before Stuff for dinner tomorrow night:
Raspberry jello with pineapple
& clam dip.
First: boil the water for the jello. Pick out a casserole dish for it that looks a little too shallow. Use it anyway. Stir up that unnatural red stuff & pop that puppy in the fridge.
Preheat the over (REALLY hot) for the pumpkin pies. (Recipe makes two.) Cover the smoke alarm (just temporarily!!!. The oven gets turned back down after 15 min.)
Misplace the cinnamon. Realize you have no ginger. Shrug in a cavalier manner and substitute Allspice and Nutmeg. Hope for the best. Whip up those pies.
Meanwhile, thaw the (bought) pastry pie crusts. Also chill the (bought) chocolate graham cracker crust for the Grasshopper pie. Pop those pumpkin pies in the oven. Refresh your drink. Pour the leftover pumpkin pie in a small baking dish & bake...to eat tonight!
Stir the drained crushed pineapple into the jello in the too-shallow baking dish in the fridge. (It was hard enough getting the damn dish in there--don't take it out.)
Slop raspberry jello liberally through the fridge when it overflows the too-shallow dish including into the chocolate graham cracker crust which you rather unwisely have taken the plastic lid off.
Grab the pie crust and attempt to pour the excess red jello into the sink.
Instead, dump the chocolate crust into the dishwater. (See the bonus companion piece to tonight's show: "Cursing with Liz: Thanksgiving!")
Decide that Grasshopper Pie is equally tasty as a crust-less concoction. Forge ahead, only temporarily slowed as you find the lost cinnamon, hidden in plain sight. Shrug again. Refresh that drink, dammit! It 's a holiday!
Whip up the Grasshopper Pie, melting marshmallows, stirring in creme de menthe and whipping cream from scratch in a bowl not quite deep enough so that you spray the coffee maker with dots of white. Dump it in a plain pie dish, what the hell. Garnish with chopped dark chocolate & freeze that sucker.
Lick off the whipped cream beaters and reminisce how your dad always held the beaters for your family's dog (a terrier named Frances) to lick, when you were a kid. Ah, nostalgia.
Pull the pumpkin pies out of the oven. Taste the extra filling! Yes--it's delicious, despite the improvised spices! You've done it again.
Stir up the clam dip. Yes, you forgot to get garlic. But hey, good thing your daughter grabbed some cloves to plant at the Bulb Giveaway last weekend! Ask her to fetch you one from the bag on the porch waiting to be planted.
Finish the damn dishes, listening to Danny Boyle discuss his sci-fi movie about flying into the sun. A happy thought, here when the year scrapes bottom in the November darkness.
Until we cook again. May you survive the holiday and your relatives. Bon appetit! :-)