I have learned the hard way to make lists when I entertain. I am married to the king of sticky notes, but I have (true confession) always prided myself on the fact that my brain did not require me to make lists. What a stupid thing to be proud of. Anyway, I recant. I renounce. I rescind. Or whatever. I now sorta make daily or at least twice-weekly lists and always try to always make lists when I entertain. Otherwise I do things like forgetting to serve a side dish that I spent a lot of time cutting up broccoli and frying bacon for that I discover all by its lonesome hours later in the refrigerator when I am trying to cram all of the food I once took out of the refrigerator back in. Why does it never fit the second time around? I think I could write another post on how refrigerators have their own growth cycle (not the one with the mold or expired things, cause they have that, too) but the growth cycle that means that things multiply. Like bagged lettuce and jars of mustard. I swear I keep finding expired bag lettuce in my refrigerator that I know I did not buy. And four jars of the exact same type of mustard, all of which have been opened up but not used up.Really?
But back to my list. I now make a list when I entertain, complete with a timeline. I also get out my serving dishes and label them. Yep, that's right. I label them. Sounds stupid, I know. But again, I learned the hard way that the platter that was exactly where I thought it was in the kitchen...turned out to be on the top shelf of the playroom closet and getting it down would require acrobatics. Need I mention that I no longer do acrobatics? Not that I ever did. So I learned that substitution of important serving dishes like platters is not a good thing when the oven door is open and you are hollering to The Husband to get that platter from the lower cabinet and he is looking back at you with a blank look on his face. We won't talk about the "Man Look" thing either because that definitely is another series of posts, but to his credit, he was right about drawing a big fat blank because the platter was definitely not there. It was, as I confessed earlier, on the top shelf of the playroom closet. Why he did not know that I do not know.
So I make little lists, and I label my platters, and bowls, and all sorts of other things. Sometimes I get carried away with the labeling process and decide to print everything out in my nicest block lettering. Why? I have no idea, except that maybe Martha Stewart is going to be the surprise guest, and I want her to think that I am organized or at least have nice handwriting.
The first thing on my list this morning (after making coffee and swilling down two cups as quickly as possible which is not on my list but is something that I do on autopilot nearly every single morning without fail) is to get my tomatoes, cucumbers and Vidalia onions marinating. This is one of my no fail dishes that I love to serve in the summer when the fresh vegetables are in. Okay, the tomatoes are really not in yet in Tennessee, but the guy at the Farmer's Market swore that they were Alabama tomatoes. I hope he is not lying to me. So I promptly get to the business of slicing and dicing. I am getting everything nice and ready to go into my large plastic container when I realize that the container itself will not fit into my refrigerator. At least not my refrigerator in its current condition. I take a quick look at the clock. I am going to be in trouble if I have to clean out my refrigerator, but that is exactly what appears to be looming on my immediate horizon. Now five bags of bagged lettuce and four plastic jars of mustard later, I am still knee deep in my refrigerator, and I have not yet made enough space for the container which seems to be getting larger by the second. The dog is standing by my side hoping that the chicken my husband accidentally barbequed black last week is going to come his way. I can tell by the way that the dog is wagging his tail that he does not care about the carcinogens in meat that was burned on the grill. I am well on my way to filling up an entire garbage can with the leftover contents of my refrigerator when I realize that I am already more than an hour behind. Oh dear.
So I hurriedly finish up my pseudo cleaning out job on the refrigerator and finally squeeze the container into the third shelf with a good push. Don't tell me you haven't learned this trick? But I now need to empty the trash which was not on my list until later. However, I am feeling somewhat satisfied when I turn around and see that I have left the gallon of milk and the half and half out. How did I do that? So I spend another four minutes rearranging the top shelf to get these items back in, and I think to myself, "The day is already feeling old," and it's only 7:30 am.
I decide to take a much deserved break. If Martha Stewart asks what my timeline indicated I was doing at 7:30, I will pencil in a bathroom break, but I am really writing this post while I sit in my chair and seriously consider burning my list. But the folks are arriving at 4 pm come &$# or high water, so I better get busy...maybe I will have one more cup of coffee to fortify myself for the gauntlet that lies ahead. Somehow, I don't think Martha will care.