PATSY BRUMFIELD: Extra cold space cools usual stress



Put me down for at least one good idea in 2013, as we stroll slowly toward a new year: renting a refrigerator for the family Thanksgiving get-together.

About halfway through the elaborate preparations, my daughter turned to me and voiced her amazement that I was not stressing out as usual.

“It’s the extra fridge,” I told her.

That’s the truth.

An extra cooler, first of all, gave me the much-needed space to safely store all food and condiments, which really get numerous leading up to Thanksgiving.

Then, it gave us space to put all the beverages in one place – away from the cooking area – so that no one had to infringe upon the preparation sanctuary to whet their thirsts. Less traffic, less stress.

I am not exactly sure what brought me to the rental idea, but it became meteorologically clear that I couldn’t count on cold weather to keep some items sufficiently cold outside.

My extreme thanks to the rental folks, who delivered and picked up on time for less than $20 and tips.

The holiday crowd will be much smaller across Christmas, so the additional electronics will be unnecessary. But, still, it’s good to know such a service exists.

This year, it’s a much tighter span between Thanksgiving and Christmas, so I waved good-bye to guests and immediately summoned up the last vestiges of strength to take down one season’s ornaments for the next.

I especially love outside Christmas lights and sparkle, so bedecking my front porch became an absolute necessity to join in the neighborhood cheer. Perhaps I was motivated by the hammer sounds coming from across the street late on Saturday night.

Another motivation was to take out the Christmas stuff and store the Turkey Day trappings like a Chinese puzzle in spare closets.

Inside, the tree is the centerpiece of much holiday decor. Old age drove me guiltily last year to a fake, pre-lit tree, but it surely is easier to deal with alone. The cleanup is much better, too.

The oldies CD player also came out of the closet so I could surround myself with holiday music.

I must admit to preferring the esoteric, which is always in the cheap-disc bin because so few folks long for Christmas tunes from the likes of Luther Vandross or ’N Sync.

I even found the gloriously colorful cover from Liberace’s Christmas album – that’s the one with him decked out in a full-length white fur coat. But unfortunately, the big record is missing. My Slim Whitman one too, though his suave image in a satin smoking jacket is rather charming.

And so it begins, the always anticipated Christmas time, although it’s actually Advent and Christmas doesn’t really come until Dec. 25.

But who cares about that calendar stuff. It’s parade time and music time and that good-ole-feeling time.

Surely, I must agree with Elvis, who is always to be enjoyed singing on several CDs, “Why Can’t Every Day Be Like Christmas?”

Patsy R. Brumfield writes at Thursday column. Contact her at (662) 678-1596 or Try her Southern recipes on her “Southfacin’ Cook” blog