Selecting this year’s menu for your holiday feast will be challenging. With ongoing supply chain slowdowns, and packaging and delivery issues facing the United States right now, obtaining exactly what you want for your holiday table will take some planning, patience, and preparation.
Couple that with upcoming wintery, icy conditions that will be plaguing ¾ of the country and you’re on the verge of a personal holiday crisis! You’ll want to be able to travel to the store to get these valuable items but do not brave the roads unprepared.
Preparing Your Vehicle for Winter
Planning a holiday meal, as well as friend and family get-togethers, requires driving around town for the best cuts of meat, freshest produce, elegant decorations, and everything else that you’ll use to celebrate. First, you’ll need to make sure that your car is able to handle the frigid temperatures, arctic winds, and snowy, icy roads.
- Test the car battery. The last thing you want while you’re touring around the city is for your battery to die. Ask your local mechanic to test it or perform your own test by turning on the lights while the car is off, waiting 15 minutes, and turning the car on. If the lights dim, you’ll want to consider replacing the battery.
- Replace damaged or old windshield wipers. Don’t put up with that streak on the windshield any longer. If your windshield wipers aren’t doing their best, get them replaced. They are very easy to replace on your own, as well.
- Check the windshield antifreeze levels. Road spray is so common in winter driving; you’ll likely use the wiper fluid every day. Since some of the spray can stick or blur visibility, you’ll want to keep yourself well stocked to avoid potential accidents.
- Switch out regular tires for snow tires. Or check the tread on the tires; they shouldn’t be less than 2/32”. Tires with good tread will help with traction and keeping a solid foothold on snowy roads.
- Brush all of the snow off your car. When visibility is low and roads and snow piles all look the same, you’ll want your car to stand out and be as visible as possible. Clear all of the snow off your car, especially windows, mirrors, and cameras. Keep the windows, headlights and brake lights free of dirt and grime.
- Get the hoses, brakes, belts, and suspension system all tested for proper functioning. Snow, salt, slush, frigid temperatures, and freezing rain will all take a toll on the vehicle so these items should be properly inspected.
- Ensure that your insurance is up to date. In winter weather, the last thing you want to find is that your auto insurance has expired, or you’ve left behind your insurance card. If you find that it’s time to renew, consider saving a bundle by looking for car insurance quotes
If you are stuck with not being able to procure your favorite foodstuffs this holiday season, there are a number of viable alternatives to choose from, and you never know, one or two might just become a preferred dish at holidays in the future!
No Turkey Available?
- Roast chicken with herbs. This will satisfy those who are hungry for some white meat.
- Baked ham with maple-mustard glaze. Meat with a little bit of sweet, ham has long been a favorite holiday meal for many families.
- Garlic shrimp. Don’t want a meal that will put you into a food coma an hour after eating it? Garlic shrimp makes for a delicious and off-beat choice.
- Steamed rockfish with herb butter sauce. Fish is delicate, tasty and healthy. Don’t hesitate to break out your seafood culinary skills if turkeys have flown the coop.
- Beef tenderloin with port wine sauce. For those who are in love with the taste of beef, cook it to medium-rare doneness, and pair it with a lovely port wine sauce.
Canned Cranberry Sauce Hard to Find?
- Tart cherries can serve as a suitable cranberry substitute with regards to texture and flavor.
- Frozen or dried cranberries. Certainly not quite the same as canned cranberry sauce, but you can still make them work!
- Tart green apples. Cut the apples in chunks or cubes for a colorful, delicious alternative to cranberry sauce that still offers a bit of a kick.
Gravy Given up the Ghost?
- Puree chicken stock and a variety of vegetables. You’ll get the bird/fowl flavoring and a bit of heartiness with the vegetables.
- Go homemade. Simply reserve the pan drippings, combine it with some flour, butter, and fresh herbs. Don’t forget the salt and pepper. Boom. Gravy.
- Seasoned plain yogurt. Gravy and yogurt have roughly the same consistency; just add a bouillon cube and fresh herbs like thyme, basil, and rosemary. Remember to move the yogurt gravy to the refrigerator as it is, in fact, still dairy.
Being flexible and adaptable is a big part of enjoying the holidays and feeling like they were a success. Plan ahead for any eventuality on the road while shopping for your delicious goodies, and plan ahead for suitable alternatives to long-held favorites to avoid any Thanksgiving mutinies!