Taking the full measure of life

The Week in Which I Finally Get to Breathe (and my weekly meal plan)

December 2nd, 2007 · 9 Comments

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In about half an hour, I’m leaving for a big annual event that I planned for my (non-profit) job. We’ll have 250 attendees and 50-60 volunteers present. Santa will be there for free photos (which one set of volunteers will take, and then will put in frames they create with the kids). Each of the 150 children present will get a toy as a gift. There will also be a toywalk (a cakewalk with toys–and Christmas ornaments for adults–instead of cakes). There will be a light meal. There will be a table for kids to create Christmas crafts with some volunteers. There will be a singer performing Christmas carols. There will be donated door prizes for adults–from the small ($25 gift card to Target) to the very large (castle-like backyard playgrounds from Home Depot). I could go on, but you get the idea. It’s been a big deal to plan, and it’s been an even bigger deal because I (with some help, certainly) have been planning it on top of having a normal full-time-plus workload already. This is the final *big event* in a very stressful, busy year for me at work. Tomorrow night, while I’ll still be tired from this event, I’ll have the holiday dinner celebration with my two volunteer committees that I’m in charge of. We didn’t have to do a holiday party, but I’ve spent part of my energy this year doubling the active membership in each committee, and I want to encourage the people to feel joined with the committee. Thirty people are attending, which really pleases me.

Tuesday, I get to slow down some, take some deep breaths. Wednesday, I’m leaving work early for an hour-long massage. Friday, I’m off. So my meals in the next few weeks get to reflect–at least a bit–that my priorities get to turn inward to my home a little. They will reflect me–knowing myself–being aware that at first, I will still be tired and worn out , needing to make easy meals or have my husband make food; then, they will reflect the love I have for expressing myself in the kitchen. Actually, assuming I have the energy after my event, tonight’s meal will be a burst of celebration of me starting a period of greater free time. I’m going to attempt to make a Thai lasagna that I’ve been thinking about creating for a while now.

I was going to include my weekly meal plan in this post, but I don’t have time now. I’ll add it when I get home tonight. In the meantime, if you read this between now and 4 p.m., keep me and my event in your thoughts and prayers!

Edit: The event went remarkably well, though it wore me out entirely. (I could go back to bed, and it’s 1:30 p.m. the next day. Luckily, I have Sally-friendly hot chocolate sitting beside me in the coffee shop, where I’m taking my lunch break.) I’ve rarely had so many people asking me questions or needing my guidance simultaneously as much as I did at this event. Next year, we’ll have a to-do list for volunteers at the event posted somewhere so that people can check it to see what remains to be done! Overall, I’m thrilled it went well.

I knew I’d be tired, but I didn’t think about how exhausted my legs would be. When the event was over, my husband (who is usually frugal enough that he does not want to eat out) suggested we just hit a restaurant on the way home, so that’s what we did.

Here’s my meal plan for this week:

dinner: make roasted winter squash for work party

I put this one together this morning: 2 acorn squash and 4 very small butternut squash, peeled and diced, tossed with ~2 T brown sugar, ~1 tsp. chili powder (1/2 tsp. cayenne also works), 1 T ghee (oil would work), ~1 tsp. cinnamon, ~1/2 tsp. ginger, and ~1/2 tsp. salt. I also added some lemon juice out of fear my vegetables would discolor before I baked them this afternoon. I put the vegetables and seasonings–minus ghee–in a gallon bag and shook them together. I sealed the bag, tossed it in the pan I’ll roast the squash in, and took it to work. (I’ll add the ghee, toss again, roast the veggies in our work kitchen oven tonight for 45-60 minutes at 375 or 400. I use a taste test to ensure they’re done before I pull them out.)

dinner: vegetable stirfry–soy-free–with almonds and rice (I’ll stirfry in sesame oil, garlic, ginger, and green onions, and then add OJ mixed with cornstarch as a sauce.)

Dessert: vegan almond thumbprint cookies (the first baking in my Sally-friendly baking month, this month’s new activity I’m undertaking)–I’ll post the recipe if they come out well.

dinner: the vegetable plate I didn’t make this past week

dinner: gf sausage links with horseradish apple sauce (I’m getting fresh horseradish in my CSA order), herbed, roasted red potatoes, and steamed chard with lemon and garlic

dinner: Curry Simple Thai lasagna with rice lasagna noodles (more details if it works out!)

lunch: Go out to eat
dinner: Vegetables stuffed with lamb and rice (using pastured, organic lamb from my CSA)
lunch: Salad with beets, goat cheese, toasted pecans, balsamic dressing
dinner: Drive to my mother’s house to stay overnight before my appt. to start food allergy treatments!

I’ll be submitting this week’s menu plan to Carrie at Ginger Lemon Girl, who is hosting this week’s gluten-free menu swap.

Tags: 2/3 veggies · allergen-free recipes · dessert · new activity of the month

9 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Sarah // Dec 2, 2007 at 10:33 am

    That is a huge event! I will be thinking of you. I know how hard event planning is especially if it is not your primary job duty. I am sure it will be wonderful and I can’t wait to hear about its success!

  • 2 Jen // Dec 2, 2007 at 12:58 pm

    Hope the whole event went off without a hitch! Can’t wait to hear how it all panned out!

  • 3 Lindsay // Dec 2, 2007 at 1:44 pm

    Oh wow best of luck with your event! That must have been a lot to plan, especially when you are doing it outside of your workday. I’m sure everything will run smoothly!!

  • 4 amarinthia // Dec 2, 2007 at 4:58 pm

    I totally want to go to that party! Crafts, ornaments, cake walks and free gifts…my kind of place 🙂 I’m sure all the families had a great time and that you pulled it off without a hitch!

  • 5 grumpy chair // Dec 3, 2007 at 7:20 am

    Wow sounds like a terrific event. I’m sure it was a huge success!

    Enjoy that well deserved massage.

  • 6 Marianne // Dec 3, 2007 at 2:59 pm

    Congrats on a successful event and on your weight loss this week!

    Those thumbprint cookies sound yummy, you’ll have to let us know how they turn out!

  • 7 Mary Frances // Dec 3, 2007 at 7:18 pm

    Here’s to a good rest and successful baking towards the end of the week =)

  • 8 cheryl // Dec 17, 2007 at 4:56 pm

    so…can we get a recipe for the almond cookies? you mention converting them into pecan, but as I’m allergic, I’d much prefer the almond version =)

  • 9 sally // Dec 17, 2007 at 6:09 pm

    Sure, Cheryl. It came from the Vegan & Gluten-Free Yahoo group:

    Thumb-Print Almond and Date Cookies

    1/2 cup almond butter
    2 cups almond meal
    1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. maple syrup
    1 Tbsp. pure maple sugar granules (powder)*
    1/2 tsp. pure vanilla
    1/2 tsp. almond extract

    Place almond butter in mixing bowl and stir until smooth and creamy. Add almond meal, maple sugar granules, maple syrup, vanilla, and almond
    extract. Mix completely. Form dough into small rolls and then pinch off enough for a small cookie. Roll into a ball and then place on baking sheet and press thumb into center to make an indentation. Then prepare date filling using recipe below:

    1 cup dates, pitted
    1 Tbsp. cornstarch
    1/2 cup granulated sugar
    1/2 cup water
    1/2 cup finely ground almonds

    For the filling, mix the water, cornstarch and sugar together. Add dates and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook until thick and dates are
    smooth. Remove from heat and cool slightly.

    Fill each indentation in cookie dough with a small amount of the date filling. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 20 – 25 minutes. Do not overbake. Cool and enjoy!

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