I surprised my dear mom this Thanksgiving by popping out from behind the fridge! I didn't think I was going to make it home for Thanksgiving or Christmas, but about a week before Thanksgiving I found out I was off Thursday and Friday. So, I called up my dad and asked him if he could perform a miracle. I worked two hours longer on Wednesday night in order to get more prep done for the Thanksgiving buffet and went home to pack and finish cleaning and sleep. I got about one hour of sleep before heading to the airport. My dad picked me up and of course, we had to hit a couple of stores for last-minute items. I called my mom on the way home and told her that I'd just woken up and that I was going out to eat since I didn't have any time to cook. I then asked to speak to my dad and since he wasn't there, I told her I'd call back later. By this time, we're in the driveway. My dad goes in first and I can hear mom tell him that I'd called. Next thing she knows, I'm standing right there! She couldn't believe it. She chased me around the kitchen and kept hugging me. After a sandwich, I took a rather long nap, ate dinner, napped through a movie, and was in bed by 9:00. I believe overall, I slept about 16 hours. I needed it. I didn't cook my contribution to the Thanksgiving meal until Friday when we had leftovers. I made Not Your Mama's Green Bean Casserole from the Food Network's Party Line with the Hearty Boys, which I'd seen one day while laying on the couch. I didn't follow the recipe exactly because, first, I didn't have the recipe with me, though I could have printed it out, and second, I don't like sherry. It's basically a form of mushroom duxelles, which we made in Culinary 101. It turned out great, we all really liked it. The only thing I did differently was I blanched my green beans until crisp-tender.
The return trip to Chicago was tricky. I got up at 3:00 to make a 6:00 am flight. On the plane, they had a problem with a battery not charging, so they shut down the plane completely and we sat in darkness for about a minute. They ended up canceling the flight, and I didn't get out until 11:50, which made me about two and a half hours late to work. It was also a coworker's last day, so we went out across the street for a couple of drinks. Needless to say I was up for 24 hours, but I'm glad that I got a chance to go home and see my folks, otherwise, I wouldn't have seen my mom in a year or more.
It was in the mid-70's in Houston, and here in Chicago, it's been in the low 60's. With weather like this, it's difficult to get into the Christmas spirit. I've narrowed down my recipes to 4 candies and hoping they will work, should be able to get those made and out by December 18. I'm looking online for a company that will let me buy candy boxes but not by the case. I'm treating myself to lunch at Big Bowl provided I get out of the house. I'm taking it easy today.