Day 31: A Creative’s Proper Order for Planning Xmas Dinner

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Yesterday I bought all the ingredients. Today I figure out what to do with them.

Shopping without recipes and lists saves a lot of time.

  • Buy what looks good. No settling for wilted cilantro.
  • Be opportunistic. Without recipe restrictions, you can decide on those beautiful Brussels sprouts.
  • Focus on what’s in season, local, organic, fair trade, GMO-free, price – whatever is important to you.
  • Only buy what the store has. When using recipes I can remember driving to three stores to find sorrel or pink peppercorns before giving up.
  • Avoid the gridlock of grocery carts. You don’t need anything in that area.

This method requires in-store vision. Go-together ingredients pop out at you. You know whether you’ll have enough balance of vegetables and starches. What I do once home is really to decide whether the carrots will go with the roasted vegetables or into one of the other dishes. Will the mushrooms go with the rice or the salad.

I should mention that meat is a whole separate thing for us. I know what it’s going to be and what will go with it. But I’m strict vegetarian. I don’t eat it. I don’t cook it. It’s bad enough I have to smell it.

The ingredients I am most excited about this year: Brussels sprouts (they’re making them so palatable in restaurants lately); burgundy red rice; and local baby arugula – neonatal, really (it looks like sprouts).

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