1. Call the Thanksgiving Day hostess and ask what to bring. "Snacky appetizers for people to eat before and after dinner."
2. Obsess. How could you make this The Year of Appetizers?
3. Really. Think about it a lot.
4. Ask your friends for ideas.
5. Call your mom.
6. Settle on something outlandish you have a) never made and b) never eaten at a function with this part of the family. Like... asparagus tips in prosciutto.
7. Go overboard: Decide that asparagus tips in prosciutto are a good start, but plan to also bring cantaloupe wedges in prosciutto, cheese & crackers, and veggies with (homemade) dip.
8. Shop. Revel in the exotic cheeses you could buy if you thought it was reasonable to spend upwards of $12.99/pound on cheese.
9. Stuff everything in the fridge and do a websearch on how to prepare asparagus tips in prosciutto - cook or fry or bake the asparagus? Leave it raw?
10. Find no help online and call your mother instead. (Blanch it!)
11. Wake up Thursday morning (bonus points if your child was up half the night with a cold and you got no sleep at all), and begin preparing appetizers right after breakfast.
12. Pile everything up next to the fridge and get a little scared. Remember that you are trying to please a "corn chips and bean and cheese dip" crowd with asparagus in prosciutto.
13. Forge ahead.
14. Wash the asparagus, put in pyrex loaf pan, cover with boiling water.
15. Attempt to pour water into sink.
16. Clean water off your counter, drawer, cabinet, and floor.
17. Pat asparagus dry and spread onto paper towel to cool.
18. Find, unwrap, and clean your veggie-and-dip platter. Surely it's not atypical to have dishes wrapped in newspaper from a move over two years ago.
19. While the platter dries, cut the cantaloupe into wedges and peel.
20. Ready to wrap everything in prosciutto!
21. Realize you will have to cut the prosciutto in half because there isn't nearly enough of it. Sharpen your knife and set to work.
22. Wrap asparagus in meat while fighting back thoughts of an episode of Friends (#165) that involved wrapping lunch meat.
23. Arrange food in lovely, eye-pleasing way on the platter. Multiple times. Finally tell yourself to move on.
24. Chop, chop, chop those veggies. Actually enlist help from The Husband, who is a) very patient and b) extremely helpful.
25. Put in little bowls. Arrange bowls in various ways to optimize veggies' color coordination. Finally tell yourself to move on.
26. Set husband to work on slicing the cheeses and arrange them on platter.
27. Obsess over what kind of a plate or basket or platter or tray to use for the assortment of crackers.
28. Decide to leave them in the box for now and then arrange them on the bottom platter of veggie-tray upon arrival.
29. Do not be happy with this arrangement.
30. Obsess over the cracker platter. Get a grip and realize that there won't be that much room on the table for all your appetizers. Decide to use veggie-tray plate for crackers. Sigh about this, but finally tell yourself to move on.
31. Make special veggie dip out of sour cream, mustard, and seasonings.
32. Taste it and freak out over it being too salty.
33. And too mustardy.
34. Make husband taste it.
35. Husband likes it, so finally tell yourself to move on.
36. Take pumpkin muffins out of freezer and arrange on platter, because you have a hunch that some people there (yourself included) will need a break from the super-duper sweet desserts available.
37. Survey your work. Not bad!
38. Revel in the realization that overachievement has once again been achieved.
39. Get out of your silly pajamas & take a bath with the baby.
40. Have a good hair day.
41. Be jubilant over superior-quality appetizers, being almost on time, and having good, nay great! hair on the same day, AND a holiday to boot! Whoopee!
42. Have people oooh and aaaah over your appetizers.
43. Enjoy all the enjoyment.
44. Laugh off the one and only negative "Why would you wrap fruit in bacon" comment.