An Antidote to Lassitude

I have several cooking and household jobs to accomplish today, but I am having trouble with both motivation and organization. “I want a nap, I want a nap, I want a nap” — that is the litany repeating itself insistently within my head. I am trying to ignore it, but it is distracting and a little disheartening.

I know the fix for my problems very well — I just must be self-disciplined enough to obey it. Make a list, dear tired Lori, and you will experience the wonderful “Well begun is half done” principle at work. All right, I will do the right thing:

–prep; chill Cranberry Madeira Gelee DONE LAST NIGHT
–grocery store for last minute/forgotten items/too-good-to-pass-up deals DONE
–thaw chicken stock
–dry bread for stuffing IN PROCESS
–bake sweet potatoes for sweet potato casserole IN PROCESS
–eat breakfast DONE
–mix meatball mixture with too-good-to-pass-up discounted ground beef IN PROCESS
–shape meatballs, freeze, bag
–prep leftover ingredients from last night’s dinner for tonight’s fried rice dinner
–prep celery, bell pepper, and onion for stuffing (Do not saute until Thanksgiving morning so The Daughter can “smell the smell that is Thanksgiving” when she gets up.)
–tear bread for stuffing
–make pecan/brown sugar/butter topping for sweet potato casserole
–make sweet potato casserole filling; assemble casserole; chill

Non-food jobs:
–Bible lesson
–change The Daughter’s sheets to the cuddly, snuggly flannel set
–do something with my hair
–do something with my face
–bathe Calvin the Wonderdog

There, that’s not so bad. There might even be time for a short nap in there somewhere.

Here is the recipe for Cranberry Madeira Gelee, a new version of the cranberry something I make each year. It is only an obvious but slight adaptation of Canal House’s Cranberry Port Gelee.

Cranberry Madeira Gelee
makes about 2 cups

1 c. Madeira (or Port or good red wine) (Strongly consider using 3/4 c. water and 1/4 c. Madeira — we found this as written to be too potent for our tastes.)
1 c. sugar
1 T. juniper berries
10 black peppercorns
4 c. or 1 bag fresh cranberries

Combine the Madeira, sugar, juniper berries, and peppercorns in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring as the sugar dissolves. Add the cranberries, return to a boil, lower heat to low, and simmer until the cranberries burst and are very soft, about 10 minutes or a little longer.

Strain the sauce through a fine-mesh sieve, pushing the solids through the screen with a silicone spatula. Whisk the gelee mixture, pour into a pretty glass serving dish, cover, and chill. The natural pectin in the cranberries will cause it to set up into a solt gelee.

Now get up and go cook something good.

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