My version of Uncle Kevin’s Oyster Stew.

One of our holiday traditions is Uncle Kevin’s Oyster Stew.  Years past, he’s always had a nice big pot of it simmering on the stove welcoming us when we arrive for Thanksgiving eve. This year found me in charge of the oyster stew, stemming out of our offer to bring some of Smiley’s oysters for the purpose of making said stew. Uncle Kevin is not the sort who cooks from recipes nor is he the sort of make the same thing exactly the same way twice, so there was some wiggle room in how I made it. He sent me a link to a recipe that he thinks his was based on once upon a time. I took a brief glance at it and then went about making oyster stew the way I’ve been making it for a few years now, based on his as I know it.

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It tasted good. And that’s what matters.

I had every intention of showing you photos of the cakes I baked for a party this past weekend, but in the latest episode of my camera drama, it seems the photos I took disappeared into the netherworld.  Not one of the shots I took of the baking process Saturday night, the frosting process Sunday morning or the actual finished cakes Sunday afternoon is anywhere to be found on my camera or memory card.  None.  Clearly, my trusty old point & shoot is not as trusty as I though.

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Sort of in season.

Grandma’s fruitcake cookies are a holiday staple here. Which probably has you asking why I’m blogging about them in February, because everyone knows fruitcake is clearly a December holiday treat and not a February holiday treat.  In the hustle & bustle & multiple cookie swaps that were December, the cookies didn’t get made.  We had fourteen dozen cookies on hand – we didn’t need any more.  As we don’t share these cookies well there was no way they were getting made for a swap for us to only have a few left on hand.  No, we need the entire batch all to ourselves. Continue reading

Easing back into it…

The holidays are officially over, the big yellow angel has returned despite the frigid temps, the halls have been undecked (with the exception of a few strings of lights left here & there about the house I’ve decided need to stay out in the name of staying cozy & bright) and so-called real life, the one with schedules, responsibilities and 6:30 am wake-ups has returned. Continue reading

Year end thoughts.

I’ve always thought the number thirteen has been given a bum rap.  It’s not that I’m not superstitious – I am.  I’ve been known to walk out into traffic in order to avoid walking under a ladder or anything that resembles a ladder because we all know that’s bad luck – but the number thirteen has proven to be a pretty good thing for me over the years.  I’ve had so many positive things happen on Friday the Thirteenth that I actually look forward to them.

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The year Pat saved Christmas dessert.

7:30 Christmas eve & I was in the home stretch.  Pat & Edie were cleaning up dinner dishes and I was heading upstairs to start wrapping.  It had been an impossibly long day that started with the snuggling of a baby pig in the kitchen of Farmer Tom when we went to pick up our freshly smoked Christmas dinner ham.

cookbooks 013After leaving the farm, we hit the grocery store for the forgotten holiday essentials like candy canes (it’s not a proper tree without them I was told) before heading home to start the baking & wrapping.  After a long afternoon of cooking, I was looking forward to calling it quits when that timer went off and I could pull the cake destined to be Christmas dessert out of the oven.  Continue reading