Autumn mornings are kinda rad out here on the farm. Hard to see but we now have three eucalyptus trees planted along the front fence – far left is a lemon gum that we just got, and the two on the right we brought over from PDX and are growing like crazy! Very happy about that as they are going to be a great windbreak (and are having no issues at all with the current evening winds, woo hoo!). PS – What’s not rad? Our dirty ass windows. (Add it to the to-do list…)
Years ago I picked this vintage Royal Baking Powder cookbook up at an antique store and just thought I’d share one page about how you’re supposed to (as a good housewife, of course) provide “healthy” lunches for your kids. The next page by the way has a recipe for doughnuts. Oh yeah and a section for how teenage girls can entertain and – of course! – make sure the boy gets to choose what he wants to eat. Biting my lip…
This is only exciting to Dan and I but hell with it, I’m sharing. Slowly but surely he is getting our (future) master bedroom’s tongue-in-groove ceiling painted white. The room is already ten times lighter with just this one section done. Why the middle first? Well the lower part is where we’re adding drywall to cover up those old skylight openings, but we need to rent a lift to do that and our budget’s too tight, so right now we’re using up our existing two gallons of Kilz low-VOC ceiling paint to get the job done. While he works on more of that this week, I’m going to be doing more demo work, as we’ve finally figured out how we’re going to create a walk-in closet of sorts. As I told him, dammit if I’m going to leave a house with a walk-in closet in Portland to have a bigger house with a shit closet! Let’s just say right now our clothes are smashed into a tiny closet in the guest bedroom, a dresser left by the seller, and yep – Dan’s t-shirts folded up all over the guest bed (he’s got nothing hanging besides his coats). But hey…bit by bit we’re getting closer to having a REAL master bedroom (and bath!).
And totally psyched to say that we got some KICK ASS seats to go see Savion Glover in April in Portland. After seeing Bring in Da Noise, Bring in Da Funk when he toured back in the 90’s in Seattle (one of THE greatest performances I’ve had the privilege of seeing over my lifetime – this video I’ve shared is just a small bit of it), when I heard he’d be back in my neck of the woods I was all over it.
And finally, an awesomely chill Thanksgiving! Was it as ambitious as my husband’s first Thanksgiving in America? No! Were we still up at 7AM getting the collard greens and pulled pork in their respective day-long cooking positions? Yes. But I did slow prep the day before – making the homemade bbq sauce for the pork, shredding all the cheeses for the mac, chopping the bacon for the green beans and greens, and making the stuffing, so that on Thanksgiving morning we just had to get the pork in the slow cooker and start the greens simmering first thing and then we could focus on the more important task at hand – eating the homemade cinnamon rolls (holy cow y’all – THIS is the recipe to use, best thing ever…and I don’t even usually LIKE icing yet this was like, well, magic!) and tasting the first bites of Dan’s homemade pancetta. Delish! Our turkey-free Thanksgiving dinner menu went as follows:
* Pulled Pork (from the shoulder of the pig we butchered, slow cooker’d)
* Five-Cheese Mac (my specialty, way better than any restaurant, been making this annually for 15 years – hell no to anyone who tells you to use Velveeta btw!)
* Second Generation Stuffing (as a kid my mother made great stuffing so years ago I varied her ingredients and now love it even more – this year I put in gorgonzola and some of Dan’s homemade chorizo made from our piggy, DELISH).
* Skillet Cornbread (I have been trying versions of this for years and this may be the winner – using sour cream and cream cheese to moisten it up a ton – tasty!)
* Killer Collard Greens (Eons ago during my first marriage there was a place in Seattle around the corner from our house called the Kingfish Cafe that made the most gorgeous collard greens – this is my homage to those wonderful women!)
* Candied Yams (These are so perfect on their own that I have no idea why this year I decided to add marshmallows. We immediately pulled them off and ate them without as with brown sugar and spices and a stick of butter? They’re already great!)
* Green Beans with Chanterelles & Bacon (organic green beans, local piggy bacon, and locally sourced mushrooms from a colleague of my husband’s? Perfection.
* Pumpkin Tiramisu (Instead of sweet potato pie this year, I borrowed from Ashley English’s Year of Pies cookbook, removing the “pie” from the recipe name and going more traditional, then using a homegrown sugar pumpkin my neighbor gave us to roast for the filling, gorgeous mascarpone, homemade sponge cake – I will never buy ladyfingers again! – and organic cream and sugars. Very rich but happily, not overly sweet. YUM!
And of course, it’s all about expressing the gratitude and we told each other how grateful we are for each other and our life together – because THAT my loves is what Thanksgiving is all about – to celebrate the harvest and to celebrate LOVE!
Then, of course, we put on some old records and mellowed out all evening…