I could be wrong but it seems like Christmas shopping has been a hot news item since Labor Day. The big bosses at all the big stores are pacing nervously. Many stores do as much as twenty, even forty, percent of their business in holiday sales. Historically, the Christmas shopping season kicks-off the day after Thanksgiving. The infamous Black Friday is when the bottom-line of many stores turn from red to black.
Thanksgiving is late this year. Not only will there be less time to trim the tree and bake cookies; there are fewer days to shop ‘til you drop. To get a jump on the season and your dollars, many stores are opening on Thanksgiving Day. Forget about spending time with family, eating too much turkey, watching football and reliving old rivalries. You can now line up in front of Walmart or Toys R Us and freeze your buns off. Only to discover that supplies are limited is code for there is ONE and ONLY ONE super-duper, super-sized television for $99. And it’s somewhere in Oklahoma.
What to do?
If you want to avoid the cold and the rush, hide in the store at closing time on Wednesday. Wait until all the employees go home and, then, fill a shopping cart with bargains. Be careful to say clear of security cameras or you could end up spending Thanksgiving and Black Friday in jail. When you’ve filled the cart, hide it and yourself. Look for tents and sleeping bags in aisle fourteen or bedding in aisle seven if you want to catch forty winks. For entertainment, there are books and magazines to the left of the cash registers and DVDs in electronics.
When you hear thundering feet and excited voices, drop your cover and head to the checkout line. Drive home and enjoy a turkey sandwich and the cooks’ wrath.
Alternatively, you could stay home on Thanksgiving AND Black Friday and …
• Spend the morning in the kitchen, chatting with the cook(s) and lending a hand. Peel potatoes, set the table or wash the dishes. And Black Friday? Forget shopping and celebrate Soup Friday by turning that turkey carcass into a great stock for soup and sauces.
• Swap stories of Thanksgivings past, including the time the dog swiped the turkey and Aunt Bess had one too many Manhattans. Don’t stop with Thanksgiving, any good story will do.
• Enjoy a family walk. Long or short, a little fresh air will do you good and whet your appetite for the harvest feast or a turkey sandwich over the weekend.
• Organize a game of touch football, soccer or basketball. If your family is too small to field two teams, invite the neighbors over. If you lack the athletic prowess, or refuse to shoot hoops in heels, try charades or the famous person name game.
• Share the love and gratitude. Let your friends and family know why you are grateful this Thanksgiving. It’s a lovely tradition, one that many families follow at the start of Thanksgiving dinner. Unfortunately, children often hem and haw, teenagers got nothin’ and grandpa’s story goes on and on. All the while, a delicious dinner rapidly cools. You might want to share your feelings of gratitude over cocktails, with dessert or even the next day.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends. Bon appétit!
Black Friday Enchiladas (Turkey & Black Beans Enchiladas)
Before you have one too many turkey sandwiches, turn your leftover Thanksgiving turkey into a Mexican fiesta. For the other fifty-one weeks of the year, these enchiladas are just as delicious with leftover chicken or pork. Enjoy!
2 onions, chopped
2 red or yellow (or 1 of each) bell peppers, seeded and chopped
1 tablespoon minced chipotle chilies in adobo, mashed to a paste (about 2 chilies)
1 tablespoon (or to taste) chopped jalapeno pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 cups crushed tomatoes
About 1 cup turkey or chicken stock
1 cup cooked black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups shredded or chopped cooked turkey
8 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded
6 (12-inch) flour tortillas
Garnish: Sour cream and roughly chopped cilantro
Make the enchiladas sauce: Heat a little olive oil in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions, bell peppers, chipotle and jalapeno, season with cumin, oregano, salt and pepper and sauté until tender, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté 2 minutes more. Remove about half of the vegetables from the pan and reserve.
Add the wine to the remaining vegetables and bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the wine has reduced by half. Stir in the crushed tomatoes and stock, raise the heat and return to a simmer. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Remove the sauce from the heat and cool for 10-15 minutes. Put the sauce in a blender and, adding more stock if the sauce is too thick, process until smooth.
Assemble and bake the enchiladas: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread about 1 cup of enchilada sauce in the bottom of a 9×13-inch baking dish.
Put the reserved vegetables, turkey, black beans, half of the cheddar cheese and 1 cup of sauce in a bowl and toss to combine.
Lay a tortilla out on your work surface. Put about 3/4 cup turkey filling onto the bottom half of the tortilla and roll it up. Repeat with the remaining tortillas and filling. Arrange the enchiladas in the baking dish, cover with sauce and sprinkle with remaining cheddar. Cover the pan and bake for 40 minutes or until the sauce is bubbly and the cheese has melted. Garnish with sour cream and cilantro and serve.
Can be assembled in advance and refrigerated for several hours. Store extra sauce in the refrigerator or freezer.
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One Year Ago – Snowy Pecan Balls
Two Years Ago – Chocolate Truffles
Three Years Ago – Smoked Salmon Mousse
Four Years Ago – Roasted Beans
Five Years Ago – Winter Soup with Pasta, Beans & Greens
Or Click Here! for a complete list of and links to all the recipes on this blog!
How will you spend Black Friday and the rest of Thanksgiving weekend? Feel free to share. Let’s get a conversation going.
Want more? I’ve got links to lots more to read, see & cook as well as a day in the life photoblog! In addition, I hope that you will take a minute to learn about my philanthropic project Eat Well-Do Good. © Susan W. Nye, 2013