Magazine article Working Mother

November Solutions

Magazine article Working Mother

November Solutions

Article excerpt

Holiday Meals in Minutes

Whip up festive fare and avoid emergency supermarket runs by stocking up on a few holiday-themed pantry essentials, advises Susie Quick, author of Quick Simple Foods.

First, add canned pumpkin, wonton wrappers (found in the specialty section of most markets) and cranberry sauce to your pantry shelves, which should already be stocked with basics like spices, pasta, olive oil, cake mixes and rice.

Then get creative: After you've baked your pumpkin pie, use the extra canned pumpkin to make pancakes and muffins. Or fill wonton wrappers with pumpkin for a unique version of ravioli. Fix a fast turkey stir-fry with the left-over bird and some rice-just add peppers, mushrooms or leftover veggies. Or add a dollop of cranberry and a slice of brie to a turkey sandwich, for another luscious leftover makeover.

Thanksgiving Made Easy

The prep and cook time for a Thanksgiving meal is about 12 hours. Average eating time? Mere minutes. To ease your preholiday workload, try a more leisurely approach. Instead of packing all the shopping, slicing, roasting and basting into a few days, prepare dishes well in advance, vacuum seal them with FoodSaver (starting at $40, www.foodsaver.com) and then freeze. FoodSaver extends freshness up to five times longer than freezing alone, so no one will know you didn't stay up all night slaving over a hot stove.

Gratitude Is Good for You

Feeling thankful these days? Write it down-and keep going. A study from the University of California, Davis finds that people who keep a weekly journal of things they're grateful for feel more energetic, report fewer physical ailments and feel better about life than people who record their hassles and disappointments.

Reader Tips

On being grateful

Dawn Vander Wey

Nurse, Tinley Park, IL

Weeks before Thanksgiving, I make a paper turkey, hang it on a wall and cut extra feathers. Each day my kids write something they're thankful for on a feather and tape it to the bird, By T-day the turkey is full of feathers, and we reflect on our many blessings.

Lucinda Clark

Consultant, Martinez, GA

Every year I write a letter to each of my children and mail it. I tell them how grateful I am for all the things they've done to help make our home joyful. I never knew they saved the letters until one day I found that my son had framed one of his and hung it on his wall.

Kathy Weymiller

School Principal, Gig Harbor, WA

We have a daily dinner ritual called "Best Things," From youngest to oldest, everyone shares the best "thing" from the day. …

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