For me, November is all about preparation for Thanksgiving and the Christmas season. Mostly it’s about food.
The baking orgy usually starts the day after Halloween, but this year it was delayed for a day when I didn’t feel well on Tuesday.
However, yesterday I was better, so I got to work. I cut up the Halloween pumpkin and cooked it in the microwave to soften in, then used an immersion blender to reduce it to pumpkin pulp. I roasted the seeds for a healthy snack, too.
I’ll use the puree to make pumpkin bread and pumpkin muffins. Most of those get frozen for serving later at Thanksgiving and Christmas feasts.
The cookies follow that. I bake lots of cookies. I’m a grandmother, so it’s kind of required, but I also like cookies. A lot. Too much, in truth, but I also put those right in the freezer to preserve them for gifting and serving at Christmas. Cinnamon crisps, molasses cookies, shaped and decorated sugar cookies, chocolate chips, and orange pressed cookies are the family favorites.
Each year I like to try something new. It’s rare that the new effort gets added to the regular rotation, but it can happen. Last year I tried a rolled cookie with dried fruit that proved to be way too much work for the results. They were good, but not good enough to justify the effort that went into them.
The other thing I do in November is work on the gift list. I have a big family that includes eight grandchildren, so I need time to gather suggestions and ideas. I hate leaving things to the last minute. So much so that I sometimes go overboard when it comes to getting ready in advance.
But with rare opportunities to spend time with family around the holidays, I don’t want to waste a minute of it running down gifts or wrapping them.