My schedule becomes a nightmare around the holidays. Every year, I can see it coming like a turkey waddling across the barn yard. It may look like a clear shot to Thanksgiving, but suddenly my calendar is choked with out-of-town assignments. Last year, I dozed off three times during Thanksgiving dinner, having just arrived home from Europe the night before.
And, now as another festive season approaches, instead of spending time preparing in the kitchen, I’m on the security line at the airport.
I’ve learned to cope with the travel. I got rid of my lace-up shoes years ago, and I have a whole selection of microfiber clothing that crunches into any suitcase and comes out wrinkle-free. I listen to seasonal music on-the-go on my Ipod, and I dream up holiday menus while reclining in the emergency exit row.
It helps to have a selection of recipes at hand that are short on preparation and big on those traditional autumnal Thanksgiving flavors.
Quick breads are a welcomed addition to any road-warrior’s culinary portfolio, and easily prepared and frozen in advance of the holiday feast.
Old-Time Maple Gingerbread takes only minutes to prepare and can be squeezed in between a flight to the Windy City, a trek to Denver, or an Amtrak trip to our nation’s capital. It’s a great way to use the gallons of maple syrup I purchased in Vermont, and it’s a snappy alternative to the usual options of pumpkin or corn bread on the Thanksgiving table. The loaf emerges from the oven a lustrous amber-color and each sweet, tender slice has hints of ginger, toffee and caramel.
And, if you happen to see a guy trying to get a 20-pound turkey through the metal detector at LaGuardia Airport this holiday season, be sure and say “Hi!” It’s probably me.
©2007 T.W. Barritt All Rights Reserved