- Every evening, after dinner, I would choose an old movie to watch on video or television (I enjoy watching those with a holiday theme...to spark my enthusiasm). I settled myself in a comfortable seat in the family room to prepare the apples [for the apple pies I planned to give as gifts]. Flanked by two large mixing bowls, I peeled and cored apples over bowl #1. Next I cut the peeled apples into slices directly over bowl #2 (I also added a bit of lemon juice at the bottom of the bowl beforehand, to prevent the apples from browning). This process continued until all of the apples were processed, taking about two hours. I then seasoned the apples with cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar and cloves and set them, covered, in the refrigerator. The following evening, while playing my favorite Christmas music, I prepared a quantity of pie crusts, and proceeded to bake the apple pies. [See HERE for more on easy food prep.]
- My "movie watching strategy" is also quite effective for many craft projects as well. You may settle yourself in a comfortable chair and hand sew or craft over a deep (2 inch) lap-size tray (you may substitute cardboard boxes, or jelly roll pans if you have no trays available). Doing this keeps your mess within a confined space (the tray) and makes clean up simple and easy. If your project requires several days, you may set aside your tray (perhaps on a closet shelf) until you have a chance to finish.
- Create a master craft and cooking/baking list helps you to budget your time. Because you are able to see at a glance the many projects you wish to accomplish during the holidays you may easily prioritize and edit your plans if necessary.
- Another self-induced incentive to action is to invite friends over for a few hours, and host a cooking, baking, or craft night. The old saying that "many hands make light work" is drenched in truth. I have done this and find that at least twice as much gets done when you have help. As well, the simple fact that time has been set aside for you to specifically accomplish such tasks makes it more difficult for you to procrastinate or become sidetracked, before they are completed.
- Perhaps the most important thing to remember when performing any task is to make them as enjoyable as possible. If you look at something as a chore you will naturally find ways to put off doing it. Listening to your favorite music, watching a favorite holiday video, listening to [audio] books....or visiting with friends (remember the efficiency of the old~fashioned quilting bee?) will most definitely enhance any project.
|(Zucchini spice bread, using the farm stand zucchini I saved by freezing...I wrote about it HERE.)|
|I made these while implementing my classic "Movie Watching Technique"... all accomplished within a few episodes of "Downton Abbey" season 2!|
|This page scanned from the 1998 Holiday Issue of our original newsletter, Frugal Luxuries. To enlarge right-click and choose "view image"...then click the image to view a larger size.|