Friday, November 30, 2012

December goals 2012

November ends today, it's funny because my husband's birthday is December first and we have so many plans that I don't think I would be able to get a December goals post in anytime tomorrow.
One thing I have to think about this month is that all my classes finish on the 12th, so finals are at the forefront of my mind but that also means after the 12th I don't have to worry about my classes anymore. What's so awesome about my online classes is that all my teachers have opened the rest of the assignments so I could finish early which I'm going to try and do. I have more goals than finishing up my classes, I also have goals that I should make for winter break, too.
For my Database class, tomorrow my writing assignment and my last exam is due but after that all that is left is the final project, which is not difficult should only take an hour or two of focused work (note I said 'focused'). I only have the final exam and skills assessment in networking and then I will be done. The class that I have the most to do in is programming, I've got the final project, one final chapter to do, and the final exam.
Aside from school I'm trying to start some traditions in my house for Christmas. One thing I want to do is a lot of Christmas reading, the only major Christmas themed books I can think of are 'A Christmas Carol' and 'The Best Christmas Pageant Ever' I'll have to do some more research into good Christmas books. I want to start A Christmas Carol on December 1st and that will be my first tradition, another tradition I want to start is reading 'T'was the Night Before Christmas' every Christmas eve.
I'm also going to start making some Christmas gifts for my family and neighbors and experimenting with some DIY, I was also going to make some plans for my blog and channel.
My husband and I are staying home for Christmas so one thing I need to do is make a Christmas dinner plan and a plan of how to spend the day by ourselves.
Some personal plans, I've decided to re-read the Harry Potter series so I got the first book today at the library so that ones of my goals.
Now for my December goals:
1. Finish Classes
2. Read 'A Christmas Carol' aloud to everyone
3. Read 'The Sorcerers Stone' to myself
4. Make hot chocolate mixes for neighbors
5. Make something special for special neighbors
6. Plan Christmas
7. Plan goals for 2013

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012 aftermath

Thanksgiving went wonderfully. The turkey was great, all the sides were delicious. My parents came and we had a wonderful time. Now we have a ton of leftovers. I don't worry about the leftovers because they are delicious. Best leftovers ever.
I succeeded at making the bread for the stuffing. The brine for the turkey worked wonderfully. I cooked the turkey for about seven hours and it was possibly overdone but very juicy. All the other sides were just great, I tried to avoid as much store bought items as I could and I couldn't have asked for better, cleaner food.
One thing I notices during this whole experience is that I spent a lot of money. I know it's thanksgiving and that kind of requires a lot of money. It shouldn't have been that bad. Much of the time I was thinking to myself "I should have had this in food storage." or "if I worked harder I could have had this from my garden." and of course "this could have been free if I had coupon-ed more." This experience just makes me want to take my prepping and homesteading just a little farther, and a little more serious.
I'm not having Christmas at my house but I will be cooking something for it. Can't wait until then.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012, The Brine

The brine process has started. I cleaned my bird last night and put it into a turkey sized oven bag. I put the bird and bag into my water bath canner and then put the brine in the bag. I'm grad I thought ahead enough to put the bag in my canner because last night it was so heavy I'm pretty sure I would not have been able to grip the bag. Also this morning I discovered that apparently the bag had busted because my canner is full of brine. No worries though because I don't have to re brine the turkey I just have to let it bathe in the canner just until Thursday morning. I added a bit of garlic and black pepper to the brine this morning just to add a little flavor for my turkey.

I baked my bread for my stuffing yesterday, made it from scratch without my bread maker. The bread actually turned out nice for once. Hopefully it'll be good enough to make stuffing tomorrow night. I feel nervous about cooking the turkey but I know I can do it.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Thanksgiving Countdown has begun (2012)

It is officially one week until Thanksgiving (okay it's Friday so 6 days). My turkey has been placed in the fridge for defrosting, it's been in there since yesterday and is still very much frozen. Hopefully I won't have to do any water baths. I still have a plan to put it in a brine Tuesday morning after I clean out the giblets and such. I'm starting my Thanksgiving declutter so that I have room for everybody to sit comfortably in my small house. I made a new plan to make bread for stuffing on Monday, give it time to go a little dry. I'm hoping this Thanksgiving will go smoothly.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012 part 2

Today I did my main shopping. I got everything that will not go bad before Thanksgiving. I was lucky enough to find a 20lb turkey. I'm putting it in my freezer until this coming Thursday. I know it's silly that I just put it in the freezer and then I'm going to have to defrost it starting the day after tomorrow but, I don't want to risk making my family sick. I'm going to let it defrost until two days before Thanksgiving, then I'm going to brine it until the evening before, I'm going to take it out of the fridge, let it warm up to room temperature overnight, and at 6am Thanksgiving morning it should be ready for the oven.
I had to clean out a lot from my freezer to make room for the turkey but I found a bag of sugared strawberries that I made back in May and boy am I enjoying the heck out of them right now. You know what I'm having delicious strawberries in the middle of November because I took the time in May to freeze them instead of throwing them away when they started to go bad.

I used the hand I was given.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Thanksgiving Menu Plan

It seems that I have been conscripted into hosting Thanksgiving this year. I have never done this before. After I married Brian we usually just spent Thanksgiving day with his parents and then spent black Friday with mine, eating a dinner not shopping. One year my oldest sister hosted but now it seems to be my turn and if I had known before today I would have already had a plan. Heck I probably would have started my menu and plan right after getting back from trick-or-treating with Claire.
Any way here is my first time host menu plan and grocery list.
Turkey (organic hopefully free range)
Turkey giblet gravy
crock-pot stuffing from scratch (I'm going to make the bread and everything)
Macaroni and cheese
cranberry sauce (handmade, luckily I can make this a week ahead)
Apple cranberry crisp
sweet potato casserole
asparagus casserole
Potato salad

and for dessert
pumpkin pie
pound cake

Hopefully my family will bring something so everything is not on me. I've already made my grocery list and divided it between "go ahead and buy" stuff and "wait until week of" stuff. Good luck to me making Thanksgiving with the hands I'm given.