It’s Black Friday. People all over America have levered themselves out of bed and  participated in an orgy of bargain shopping. To compete you need to be prepared. First, you’ll need a Breakfast of Champions. That is yogurt, fresh fruit, granola sauced liberally with the fruit flavored schnapps of your choice. Alcohol for breakfast? You’ll need to lose those warm, fuzzy feelings you developed during yesterday’s festivities. Second, a lot of black coffee. You’ve got to keep awake and the dose of caffiene will amp up the hostility towards those shoppers who stop and make descisions before making off with the desired item. Also, triple sugar in the coffee can’t hurt. Third, getting there early will only ensure that getting trampled is in your future. Come around eleven. Most of the real loons will have lost energy and fled home to gloat over their savings. Fourth, for God’s sake dress appropriately. Go in stealth mode. Loose clothing can be used by the more physically inclined to yank you away from the bargain of your dreams. I hope this will help. If not, go on-line and order the goodies. You can do this in pajamas with a warm cup of hot chocolate. You won’t have to leave the kids at home and they can provide valuable input as to what they want for Christmas.

I almost sacrificed my turkey so yours will live, next time. I read through all the information about how to prepare your turkey. To brine or not to brine. If you’ve got the space in the refrigerator, do it. I didn’t. Salt the bird, inside and out. Wrap it in plastic wrap and let it sit in the box for at least an hour but not more that three. Before putting it into the oven, mix 1/4 C oil, 2T cornstarch, 2T AP flour and 2 t sugar into a paste that you can apply. Dry the bird and spread the paste over the breast. Add turkey stock or chicken stock to the bottom of the roasting pan. Tent the bird with foil. 350 degrees is a nice temp to cook the bird. About three quarters of the way through remove the foil. WATCH THE BIRD. Take him out when he’s 16o internal and the skin is nice and golden. Let him rest and deglaze the roaster with red wine and stock. Pour it off into a container. Let the fat rise and skim it off. Use it to make a roux. Heat the pan juices and use the roux to thicken. The rest you know how to do.

I’ve been getting seduced. By Dell computers. They’ve got a nifty new pad/laptop combo that’s being featured in commercials for Windows 8. I wanted one. Maybe too much. I checked the company for a price and they said they’d get to me. I waited. A mailer from Dell featured the laptop/pad but no price. This whet my appetite. I waited. Finally they came out with the price. a measley $1200. Too measley for me. Althought I would have loved to had a nifty laptop/pad combo. I don’t think it does enough. For $1200 it should wake me gently, prepare breakfast and go automatically to sites I want. And I don’t see that amount of money leaving my savings when rent is coming up and there are Christmas gifts for the relatives.

Now is the time to start looking forward to Christmas. I know, you’ve just escaped one holiday. Why is this fool spoiling my well deserved rest with talk of a holiday about a month away? Because it’s still stuck in your head. By December 15 you’ll be all comfy with carols and those ads showing a happy family at dinner and unwrapping presents. What you need is a cold calculating view of the holiday. It’s Thanksgiving on steroids. Not only are you going to be bombarded with all the food company ads that will make you feel inadequate if you don’t prepare the next new side dish. You have to shop for gifts. Everybody on your list is deserving or else thet wouldn’t be on the list. Do it in stages. Break it down by age and sex. Don’t watch or read ads pimping what the toy companies think the kids need. Adults are easier. One word, liquor. It’s appreciated and helps make the holiday sensory overload easier to take. For yourself? Non-prescription drugs. An ounce divided between personal use and Alice B Toklas’ Fudge should do nicely. Just trying to help.

Remember those who don’t have. Support your local food bank. Toys For Tots is a nice way to help.

See you on Monday.