I aspire to Becky made gifts for most everyone on my Christmas list annually, but this year felt like the first in a while that I actually succeeded in doing that, beyond handing out jars of pepper jelly and pickles and jam. Although this year, I outsourced most of the jam to my friend Daniel the jam god. Between the great canning jar shortage of 2020 and the dire straights of most small businesses this year, it was a no brainer way to support one of my favorite local purveyors while also handing out handmade gifts. Not only is he able to source things like Damson plums, he may be one of the only people I know who is at least as picky about where his food comes from than I am. I know, right? I honestly don’t know why I haven’t outsourced to him before, but I’m totally doing it from here on out.Continue reading
As years go, 2019 wasn’t entirely a bad one. But I wouldn’t necessarily say it was a good one either. Like any year, it had its ups and downs, celebrations and disappointments. We lived through a construction project, I had a milestone birthday and we toured colleges with our not-so-baby girl. We slide into 2020 knowing it’s going to be one filled with changes – change being the one constant you can count on in life. Having spent the last 18 years with my world revolving around being a mom, my every day is clearly about to undergo a vast shift so I’m not going to bother making any sort of sweeping declarations of what I’m going to do in 2020, beyond of course, promise you that I really am not coming back to run the orchestra poinsettia sale, so please, stop asking. Really.Continue reading
I recently made a batch of chicken broth with a carcass I had stashed in the freezer. You do this, right? Have a stash of roasted bones in the freezer just for making stock? So anyway, I was down to my last jar of broth and needed to make a batch. There was just enough meat that came off the bones to make a pot of soup, but I sensed by my family’s reaction that one more pot of straight up chicken soup – or really, any variation thereof to be honest – might be one pot too many for this winter soup season. That’s when I realized I hadn’t made Dorie’s White Chili in some time and that might be a nice change.
A few months ago, my girl had asked if we could rent a nearby cabin for her sixteenth birthday party. We had previously rented Dunlodge for her dad’s fortieth birthday a few years ago and found it to be a lovely hidden little spot in town. Sixteen being a big deal, I went for it. And since I had to take the cabin for the full weekend, I thought I’d throw a party for her one night and a party the next evening for my dear husband, who also had a birthday that weekend. It seemed slightly ambitious, but not overly so. Just to be sure, I texted Pat’s best bromance, Will, to make sure he was in and when he was, I went with the plan. Continue reading
Before we get too far from the holidays and into the cold frozen bleakness of January, we need to talk about cinnamon buns. Continue reading
I thought about sending a holiday card this year, I did. But then it fell through the cracks of everything else going on around here, as is the case in recent years. It occurred to me at one point, if I was ever going to write one of those holiday letters, this would be the year to do so, as it’s been quite the eventful year for us. Which is when I got the brilliant idea to just do one of those in this space, seeing how pretty much everyone that reads here regularly are either related to us or friends. Continue reading
I have an admitted weakness for shabby old cookbooks. To me, a slightly abused old cookbook full of stains, with torn pages is a cookbook that has been well loved and well used. I’ve been known to walk out of estate sales with cookbooks that are absolutely in shambles because I just couldn’t leave them sitting there feeling abandoned. Friends that know I cook and how I feel about old cookbooks routinely share gems with me that were from their mother/grandmother/aunt that no one wanted, but they didn’t feel they could just give away to a stranger, or worse, throw away. Continue reading
We headed down to the lake with Will and the kids for the Fourth of July. The celebration (meaning the fireworks) was held on Sunday, the 2nd, which turned out to be wise, as the evening of the Fourth was wet and not at all conducive to fireworks. Continue reading
A bakery here sells Panettone every December, which I tend to buy several loaves of in order to stockpile in the freezer. A traditional sweet Italian holiday bread studded with dried fruits, I happen to think panettone makes an amazing French Toast, particularly on cold, snowy mornings. I may have once or twice lobbied the owner of said bakery to consider making panettone more than just once a year – pitching a “Christmas in July” idea – so that I could have access to this treat more than once a year. Gerry was not buying what I was selling, but, he did manage to plant a seed that I could learn to bake panettone myself. I spent some time looking for a recipe, but most of them seemed pretty intimidating. And then this King Arthur Flour Co. recipe came to my attention.