Saturday, November 19, 2016
Living the Pantry Lifestyle - Thanksgiving and Thanks
As much as I love decorating for Christmas, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It is all about the moment, the meal, and the table. It is also about giving thanks. I've noticed this year a lot of people and advertisements calling the holiday... Friendsgiving. Which, I suppose, is what a people do when they no longer believe in Someone to give thanks (also understanding some have their meal with friends).
I am thankful for so many things for in spite of less than perfect circumstances, I am rich in family and friends... a few good in-person friends and so many blog friends. I never thank you enough for your kindness and your friendship through the years. There are a few I chat with online regularly, many I communicate with off and on, and some precious blog friends I may communicate with only once a year.
My sister told me recently that I would feel better if I get out more. Obviously she is an extrovert for whom people is the great energizer. She does not quite understand the fatigue of autoimmune diseases. But I love her, anyway. I told her that I do get out a little but I have a vast amount of friends throughout the world through Coffee Tea Books & Me. Not having a computer in her home or knowing how to even turn on a computer... I was met with a blank stare. ;)
So until we meet at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, I will thank you and give a general prayer for your well being in this fallen world in which we "see through the glass darkly". Thank you. I am way behind sending real letters but now that the temperatures are more seasonable, that will be taken care of soon.
This year I am very thankful for a long time blog friend who surprised me with a financial gift that made it possible to complete my Thanksgiving meal shopping and even stock up on some items for the pantry that are on deep clearance this week. I make pumpkin bread a lot and when Meijers marked pumpkin down to 99 cents a can, I stocked up enough for the Thanksgiving pumpkin pies and about six months worth of quick bread making.
Some other items on deep sales in my area were evaporated milk, Cool Whip (one of my "don't ask don't tell" foods along with Velveeta), cranberries, and... turkeys. I will purchase more cranberries when they begin to drop in price after Thanksgiving to make cranberry quick bread throughout the year. I just slip two or three bags into a Ziploc bag and place them in the freezer. Easy. I can only find cranberries around Thanksgiving so if I don't stock up then, there won't be any orange cranberry bread the rest of the year.
After Thanksgiving, we should see a further drop in the cost of baking supplies. I just read an article on how vanilla beans are now in short supply due to a crop failure so if I can find a good price on vanilla extract, I will purchase a couple. I have made my own vanilla extract and it is quite good but a good quality store bought is also fine.
I'm just using the last of the King Arthur AP flour I was able to stock last year and the last bag of sugar. Both going into their individual glass-with-the-red-top canisters. Mrs. Christopher's family will again be at our house for Thanksgiving (which makes me very happy), so I'll be baking a few Christmas cookies and preparing another food gift for them to take home with them. Thus, I guess you could say the Christmas baking season has begun!
As I write this, I have Yankee Candle's Apple & Pumpkin Picking candle providing autumnal scent in the Study and I'm listening to one of my favorite instrumental Christmas CDs. I mentioned it last year and a lot of people asked about it. Although the title is The Spirit of Christmas Past, A Charles Dickens Christmas... it sounds a lot like American traditional music.
Which, I suppose, is only normal since the Mother Country before the Revolution was Great Britain. The only other Christmas CD I've allowed myself to listen to this week is On a Cold Winter's Day, which is absolutely fabulous when played while reading my Christmas books. I have more modern Christmas music, many of the classics... but they wait until after Thanksgiving. I do begin with Christmas books and Christmas movies before then as one month is not enough for the reading and watching.
Oh, before I forget... I was asked how long tea lasts that is not packaged individually in foil. I have never had tea actually go bad. For instance, I find Celestial Seasoning teas will last at least a year (and I have had some boxes longer) and be quite fresh if unopened but even if they begin to weaken with age, all I do is use two tea bags to get a stronger tea.
I have some bulk teas that I've had for years and because they are stored in air tight containers, are still good. As with the teabags, I may need to use a little extra to obtain the same strength. I just brought out some Christmas blend teas from last year that are fine, too.
Items mentioned in this post*:
On a Cold Winter's Day: Early Christmas Music and Carols from the British Isles... here.
The Spirit of Christmas Past, A Charles Dickens Christmas... here.
*Most links to Amazon.com are Associate Links. I thank you.
Image: Google Images Thanksgiving