November 2018 has been “one of those months.” I have been super busy at work and at home. I had some fitness goals that I set in October and I did really well considering how worn out I’ve been from work. I’m ready for some peace and quiet in December…. yeah, right.
Here’s my menu:
December 2018 Menu
Find the recipes here: December 2018 Menu
As we tend to do, most Americans will eat way too much on Thanksgiving and end up feeling miserable. This is especially problematic for the 14.3% of Oklahomans with diabetes. Don’t miss out on the foods you love this holiday, but if you’ll be eating a larger variety of foods in one sitting, keep your portions very small. That way you can experience all the flavors of the holiday without overdoing it on carbs and calories.
Give each of the kids at Thanksgiving a small task to do. It will keep them busy and help them feel like they are useful. Younger children can help set the table. Early readers can write down what everyone is thankful for. Older kids can help with food preparation and decorating the table.
Last week’s blog post was all about tips for showing hospitality to your guests. Today, we’re going to discuss being a good guest. I would think there are more people who are visiting someone else’s home for the holidays than there are hosting. Those of you going visiting need to be careful to be good to your host, or you might not be invited back next year!
Daytime only guests:
- First of all, before the big day arrives, ask if you can bring anything. The host might need someone to bring a salad, bread or dessert. If your host says “Nothing! I’ve got it all covered,” it’s still not good form to show up empty handed. You could bring a bottle of wine, or a small gift for the hosts. This could be a small box of chocolates that he/she can hide for later, a loaf of quick bread, some fancy soap…. whatever you think your host will like.
- After you’ve arrived, offer to help in some way. If you are handy in the kitchen, offer to help with last minute meal prep. If you aren’t so handy in the kitchen, be honest with yourself and stay out of there! You could help in another way, like bringing in firewood, keeping the kids entertained, or cleaning up later. Remember, offer to help in areas you have some skill or talent. People who can’t cook offering to help in the kitchen aren’t really any help at all.
Overnight guests should follow the two tips above, but there are some added tips for being good overnight guests.
- Pick up after yourself. Your host should not be made to feel like a hotel housekeeper. Keep your personal items packed up as much as possible, and live out of your suitcase for the weekend. Bring your wet towels to the laundry room- maybe even throw a load in the wash!
- If you are staying more than a couple days, have something to do. Your host will feel obligated to entertain you 24-hours a day for the time you are there. Give him/her a break: if you’re staying for more than a weekend, have an outing planned. Invite the host to go along with you, but don’t be offended if they decline. They might just need some quiet time. Let your host(s) know when you can be expected to return.
- Find a pet hotel for your pets. Even if your hosts have indoor animals and say it’s okay for you to bring yours, remember: the house is going to be more crowded than normal just with the extra humans. Adding extra dogs/cats/etc to the mix can be taxing on your host and her pets.
- And my last tip is really specific to Christmas. If at all possible, do your personal gifts with your own kids (Santa and all) in your own home. I know it’s not always ideal due to distance, but if you live fairly close to your hosts, just leave all that at home. You never know if there will be enough room for all those gifts, and you also don’t really know how the kids (cousins and such) might feel about the comparison.
I hope you have a great holiday season! Be a good host and be a good guest!
If you are hosting a big crowd for Thanksgiving and you’re going to need an exceptionally large bird (a rule of thumb is 1.5 lbs per person), buy two smaller turkeys. The smaller turkeys will cook faster than one giant bird, and will stay juicier because the longer cooking time will dry out the meat.
SHAMELESS PLUG: I am holding a Holiday Desserts workshop on December 1st at 1:00 pm at the First Baptist Church in Davenport, OK. The cost of this workshop is $15 per person. The workshop will be run more like a food network show than an actually cooking class. I will be doing demos for French Macarons, Pumpkin Bread Pudding, and Caramel Coffee Creme Brulee. There will be desserts for everyone to try and a coffee bar. I have chosen this format to keep the cost minimal and to better control the time frame.
Here is my practice round of the Red Velvet French Macarons:
You can sign up for this fun workshop by bringing your registration fee by the extension office or mailing it in by November 26th. The address is 811 Manvel, Ste 2, Chandler OK 74834. Call if you have questions: 405-258-0560!