A Thanksgiving Kitchen Tip From Be This Way

If you have Tapioca mix that expired several months ago it’s fine if you don’t want to use it, especially when you are taking a chance of poisoning everyone at the Thanksgiving table.

What is decidedly NOT fine is Tapioca, so don’t even think of putting it down your garbage disposal, at least without running the water for a few moments to make sure it all gets through your pipes.

Why, you ask?

Well, Tapioca expands.  And if it’s sitting in the pipe under your sink it will turn into a solid mass the consistency of glue, and you will have your husband cursing you as he takes apart the garbage disposal to dig it out.

Just so you know.

But don’t worry about us.  Making up is always tres’ fun.

Share a Hug with Your Pets on Thanksgiving, Not the Food

If you’re tempted to share your Thanksgiving meal with your dog or cat, think again.

Turkey and stuffing and all the rich foods that go along with Thanksgiving can lead to abdominal pain, diarrhea and vomiting for pets.  At least according to an article I read today, and my friend who’s a vet.

There are people out there who actually think about feeding their pets a traditional Thanksgiving meal, complete with turkey and stuffing.  A meal like that can be lethal to pets, so please don’t do it.
Here are some safety tips to keep in mind:

  • Keep your pet on its regular food and routine feeding schedule.
  • Do not feed your pet any turkey. The seasoning, skin and gravy can cause inflammation of the pancreas.
  • Do not give your pet bones. Turkey bones are particularly dangerous because the bones can splinter and cause intestinal damage.
  • Secure the garbage can. Don’t make it easy for your pet to help itself to tossed table scraps.
  • Spiked eggnog is a no-no. Alcohol can cause coma and death. Eggnog can cause diarrhea.
  • If necessary, keep your dog in another room during dinnertime so it can’t beg at the table.

If you must, buy some canned food and mold it into a turkey shape. But beforefeeding any people food to your pets always, always check with your veterinarian first!

Celebrating Thanksgiving Twice and Hanukkah Once on Thanksgiving Day

We’re not the only ones who will be celebrating Thanksgiving more than once on Thanksgiving Day.  I venture to guess that we’re one of only a few that will have TWO Thanksgivings and a Hanukkah, too.

Thanksgiving isn’t a day in my family – it’s a four day extravaganza.   We have many traditions (breakfast at the flea market on Friday, dinner out Saturday night and  various other and sundry fun things jam-packed into those four days) that are so entrenched that when friends misguidedly invite me to go on a Black Friday Sale hunt I must shake my head and decline.

We’d gone away the past few years, but this is going to be the first Thanksgiving at Dad’s new home without my stepmother, and we all feel it’s Especially Important.  Husband’s family has been so supportive the past yfew years that we’ve gone away, so we’ve made going to their celebration a priority this year.   We’ll go there first, relax and not rush, and then head to my Dad’s later in the day.

How did we start celebrating Hanukkah at Thanksgiving?  It all began in 1983, when Hanukkah fell on December 1st.  Us kids had already started to scatter, so it made more sense to celebrate while we were together. We decided to celebrate it the day after Thanksgiving so at least we had two separate holidays.  And that’s how it’s been ever since.

This year my brother-in-law has to go back to work in Atlanta on Friday, so we’re doing all of our celebrating on Thursday.

What am I going to be doing with my time over the next two days?

Two corn casseroles, two pumpkin rolls ( a yummy dessert), caramelized onions, pumpkin pie, rhubarb pie, and wrapping several Hanukkah presents. Already did the big shopping trip with my Dad (7 family members staying at his house).

Also last minute-shopping, wrapping, welcomes, non-Thanksgiving dinners, school, karate, laundry and cleaning.

Did I mention that I’m sick? I don’t even have time to go to the doctor – my sister-in-law gave me a Z-pack.

But happy! I get to see my sisters and their families, spend time with them and the rest of my family and spend time with Husband’s family. All the people I love most in the world!

On Monday I can collapse.

Deal of the Day November 25, 2008

For those of you that just don’t want to cook a Turkey dinner, and for those of you who try and burn it, here’s an option for you.

Select Ruby Tuesday restaurants will be open Thanksgiving day and offering a traditional Thanksgiving feast. For just $9.99 you can stuff yourself with a plate full of juicy roasted turkey with stuffing and rich gravy, fresh green beans, and creamy mashed potatoes. Call your local Ruby’s to see if they’re participating in this succulent offer. Valid at participating restaurants 11/27/2008 – 11/30/2008 only.

Check back tomorrow for another great deal!

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How to Not End the Year Fatter than You Are Now

Did you know that the average American consumes 4500 calories on Thanksgiving Day? And if you’re like me you gave two different Thanksgiving dinners to attend.  That reminds me – put Pepto-Bismol on the shopping list!

For many of us, the six weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day become one long excuse to eat and drink to our heart’s content  I’ve taken that to the Nth degree and have been on the 12 month plan.  Not my  best idea.  Time to make some changes.

Holiday parties and gatherings with family and friends can take a toll on our willpower and our waistlines which is why millions of us pledge to go on a diet come January 1st. Here are some tips to make the holidays less weighty, and perhaps start the new year with a few less pounds to lose.

  1. Exercise. Not only is exercise a great way to burn off a lot of those extra calories you’ll be consuming, but it’s also a great stress reliever. Have a houseload of guests? Too many obligations and not enough time to get it all done? Take a break and take a walk, each and every day.
  2. Eat before you go out. Lots of us think that by not eating before we go out, we’re saving calories that we can use up while we’re out. Makes sense but often, we eat more than we normally would because we’re starving. Have a healthy meal, or even an apple and a glass of water before you go out and you’ll likely eat less later.
  3. Adapt old traditions. Make the traditions you’ve always enjoyed healthier.  Here’s an idea: use those cookie cutters to make fun holiday shapes out of cheese instead of cookie dough.
  4. Start new traditions. How about a healthy recipe exchange amongst your friends and family?  Everyone can bring their favorite healthy dish and written copies of the recipe to taste and share.
  5. Listen to you. If you feel stressed out and want to leave a party or get away from your family and friends for a bit, do it. Don’t force yourself to be uncomfortable, neither you nor any-one around you will have any fun.
  6. Remember what’s important. We all wish we were thinner and that our houses were cleaner, but that’s not why we get together with family and friends and it shouldn’t diminish our enjoyment of these social events. If you’re going out, don’t obsess over how you look; no one else will notice that you’re less than perfect. If you’re having people over, don’t frantically clean if you don’t have the time (except the toilet – that must be done, especially of you have a four-year-old with less-than-perfect aim). The point is to spend time with the people you care about, celebrate life and have fun.

Adapted from an article in Husband’s company newsletter.   Some are theirs as I found them, some of theirs I changed, and  some are all mine.  Please don’t sue me.

Black Friday – Oops! I Missed It Again

In my family Thanksgiving is not a one day holiday, it’s a four-day extravaganza. The turkey and trimmings are just the beginning of a tradition-filled, written-in-stone series of events that had been the same forever(at least until a few years ago when we started to actually leave the country to celebrate).

No matter where we are, though, I am destined to miss that most important day of the year for frugal-minded, bargain-worshiping people like myself – Black Friday.

Please don’t misunderstand – I’m always having a grand time with my family. And we’re usually shopping – at the Swap Shop or a Bahamian Straw Market. It’s fun and togetherness and kitsch and really, what could be better?

But.

Every year I miss the DVD player for $6.99. The 5 am earlybird special at Bed Bath and Beyond, where I can get 20% off my entire purchase! The Buy 1 Get 1 Free on Wiis. The free Mimosas at Tiffany’s (Okay, that one never really happened. You can probably get free Mimosa’s at Tiffany’s every day of the year,though. Not that I’d know…).

This year I couldn’t even bring myself to read the ads.

Perhaps one day I will be able to scan the web days in advance for the Black Friday deals, plan my route to take advantage of the best deals by time and location, become part of the fervor of excitement at 5 am as my fellow bargain shoppers wait bleary-eyed at 5 am for the doors to open so we can buy six iPods for the price of one.

I must live vicariously through others. Feel free to make me jealous by sharing stories of your coups!

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