Monday, December 1, 2008

Thanksgiving Preparations


Preparing for Thanksgiving is quite an ordeal... I'm so thankful we don't hold it in our apartment! If I had to grocery shop, cook and then HOST it, too, I simply wouldn't do it at all...

The preparations begin with a trip to the Mega Mall on Thursday, when Americans are actually celebrating the holiday back in the States. Here it's a regular work day, so we always hold our celebration on Saturday instead. 

This is what the parking lot looked like when I arrived at 9:30 a.m. I started off at IKEA, since I need some more silverware and glasses for when I'll host book club in two weeks. Then I headed to Auchon, the French equivalent of Costco. It took me three hours to simply get my way through the store, fighting for a space to leave my cart while I pushed and shoved into the aisles I needed -- and then carried the items back to the parked cart. 

The carts are INCREDIBLY hard to push and they're not as big as US Costco-sized carts, so I didn't even try to get everything I needed; instead I concentrated on the items I wouldn't be able to get elsewhere and the best values. 

I loaded up the car and then ran into Dyetsky Mir to get some colored paper we need to mat some more of the girls' artwork. Doesn't the central area of the mall look pretty? I wish I'd had time to skate -- or that I'd been well enough :-) I had wondered if I'd see shops going out of business or find numerous sales, but I didn't notice signs of the economic crisis...


Then I headed to Stockmann for cranberries and shallots, the local covered market for the remaining produce on my list, two other grocery stores in search of Philadelphia cream cheese (I guess other holiday shoppers had cleared out Auchon's supply). 

I got home at 5 p.m. after being stuck in traffic and unloaded it all.

Time spent getting the groceries/running into IKEA? Eight hours. Cost? You don't even want to know...

Days like this make it rather hard to feel thankful. Then again, I did find what I needed...

Hmm... Added a bit later... I should add that unlike last year, this year I didn't have a kitchen fire and no traffic cops tried to extort money out of me because I looked so horrible that I must clearly be drunk as I ran my last errand. That challah bread I need for my stuffing? The expensive French bakery no longer makes it... but I found it at a new Belgian bakery not too far from home! I guess some things do get easier...

And with the invention of the ipod, I did get to listen to favorite NPR programs all day... That's a biggie; I remember living here before there was any internet access in Moscow!

5 comments:

Annie said...

You even outdo me in the determination to have every detail perfect. Fortunately, I am NOT this way about cooking - well, not too often. However, I do get this way about everything associated with work, and much having to do with any other project I may attempt at home or away. I am trying to force myself to calm down and ask: Is this [tiny detail] absolutely necessary? Usually - no.

Fortunately, when it comes to cooking I make dressing with whatever bread comes to hand. Well. No. Not since the year we mixed the jalepeno cornbread from the day before with the regular bread. Oh, my gosh! Bread dressing with just a tiny bit of jalepeno and enough cornbread to provide some substance. I did make a special trip to the store for the jalepeno. Now, I'm spoiled and I don't want it any other way.

Anonymous said...

i love the new front. the girls look beautiful. did katya get the book i sent? it might come in handy this time of year. elias is so confused...he keeps saying "adavent" and then asking about st.nicholas.

hugs to all,
mqw

Carey and Norman said...

Wow, I can't imagine. I guess we have even more to be thankful for during the holidays.

The Expatresse said...

Nice blog!

I didn't have the strength to tackle Thanksgiving here. Haven't done it for years as it feels so wrong when The Spouse has to work.

Looking forward to reading your past entries . . .

garnet said...

I feel exhausted just reading the account of all your shopping. We were working too and couldn't get anyone interested in coming for a meal (not that we'd have had time to make one). Thankfully our cafeteria surprised everyone with one. Really enjoyed their pumpkin pie.