Did you ever think about how much gets done quietly? Like chicken breasts thawing. Right now I have about 40 pounds of them lying there doing what they’re supposed to be doing—getting pliable enough to be cut in half and then fitted into baking pans and topped with good things (cheese, wine, stuffing, butter, and more). I don’t need to remind them over and over about what they’re supposed to do, or even chase them down and forcibly return them to their thawing spot. And they never once argue with me.
I started thinking about this quiet-ness business when I was up alone this morning, trying to remember where I’d stuck everything that I bought from six different food markets in the last three days. None of the things I had brought home was announcing itself, so I began by hunting in our cold cellar, under the poinsettia leaves, for the fresh pears and apples I was pretty sure I had laid out on the floor, hoping.
Hoping, you see, that the poinsettias wouldn’t show any signs of aging before Christmas day, which is why I had put them in that cold dark place. I figured being in a slight chill should discourage their dropping leaves and yellowing up.
The fresh fruit is in the cold cellar so it goes the other way—ripening up, but not too fast. Lots of calibrations going on here, but I’m really just running on hunches.
Okay, what I didn’t say yet is that it’s Merle’s and my turn to host the extended Good family this year. We have a system, but it can still be a little overwhelming to pull this thing off.
The system is that the particular family-in-charge makes the main dishes and a bunch of extras, plus arranges for a big meeting place, and then makes it feel homey and intimate and Christmas-y.
Those-in-charge may give food assignments to the other adults who attend. It’s expected. And this year, at the urging of our pretty-much-grown-up daughters, I even made food assignments to their generation. So Merle and I aren’t stuck with feeding 53 people a big full meal by ourselves. But we gotta make sure it works and works well. (Okay, that’s my self-pride showing through there.)
Anyway, that’s the background to why at 6:30 this morning I was ferreting stuff out of cupboards and drawers that don’t usually reside in those places, but had been stuck there until the big day arrives, which is tomorrow.
I have this horror that we’ll come dragging home from the get-together tomorrow night and discover a few things that I had bought for the family gathering, but had put away so well that I missed finding them.
That’s when I imagined the stuffing having a tiny voice of its own, and the dried fruit for the appetizer, and the special tea—all chirping up (patiently, of course), just enough to make sure I didn’t try to have the party without them…
I do have my lists. I love my lists. I’m counting on them since all I’m hearing at the moment is utter quietness. Which I do kinda cherish.