A few things today before I sign off for the weekend:
:: I've shared some thoughts about yesterday's photo journaling project in the comments section here. Thank you, Gemma, for the prompting. Thanks also to Steph and Pia for their thoughtful comments here.
:: I've (finally!) been updating and overhauling my recipe index this week, and I'm almost done. The new design is much more user friendly, I think. There will be a section specially devoted to Thanksgiving, which I hope will be helpful. I'm aiming to get it up by tomorrow night or first thing Sunday morning, so stay tuned.
:: These party maps! I've shared my party maps a couple of times on this site, here and here, and a reader e-mailed to ask if I might share more. I'm sure I have a zillion of these things tucked into various cookbooks and buried in stacks somewhere, but these are the three I could get my hands on this morning.
There are a few ideas behind the maps. First, they allow me to visualize the meal or spread in a way that helps me better judge if all of the parts and pieces are working together and if the quantity of food makes sense. When I think not only about the menu, but about the mechanics of how I will serve the food - which platters and plates and bowls I'll use and, in the case of bigger parties, where in my home I'll put each dish - I start to get a feel for the energy of the meal I'm creating, and I like that. That sounds kind of new age-y and weird, but I'm not sure how else to put it. The maps' most functional purpose, the reason I started drawing them in the first place years ago, is that they make it very easy for people who know my kitchen to lend a hand. I'm sure you've experienced the feeling that it's just faster to do something yourself than to explain to even the most eager and competent helper how you'd like it done. What's nice here is that all I need to say to Eli or a friend is, "Please plate the eggplant." They can do it without asking which plate to use, and they even get a reminder from the map to sprinkle the za'ater over top before serving. I'm not hosting Thanksgiving this year, but if I were, there'd be a party map, for sure.
Thanks for another great week of NaBloPoMo. Enjoy the weekend, and meet you back here on Monday.
(p.s. If you click on the party maps, you can see them larger.)