Generally speaking, I hold a winter without snow in very low esteem. Still, when temperatures hit the sixty degree mark this weekend, we surrendered to nature and decided to grill. Likewise, I typically frown on early chives or premature forsythia blossoms, but decided to embrace things and reserved a spindly bunch of early chives for the weekend’s cooking projects.
Brian likes to take a book outside and watch the grill while it gets going. Then at some point, I’ll set the girls up with an activity (just kidding –– it’s tv) and sneak outside. If there’s bourbon, we drink some. We dodge the smoke and talk. The girls usually make their way out too. And for just a while, we all hang out before things descend into the usual pre-dinner chaos. read more »
Certain winter vegetables feel like they are only for the most devoted seasonal eaters, with turnips and rutabagas at the top of the list. Ugly, with radish-y undertones, it’s not surprising these homely roots don’t make their way onto a lot of home menus. But, by this time of year, seasonal vegetables come down to a choice between bracing brassicas and sweeter vegetables like beets and sweet potatoes, or winter squash. And after all the sweets and rich foods of the holidays, the slight bitterness of brassicas make for a welcome change of pace. The humble turnip, for example, doesn’t just have to be buried in a stew. It can be a delicious base for a fresh salad. read more »
I’m pretty sure that the work week after Thanksgiving is the longest of the year. And this one, especially. Christmas preparation and hard news are a strange and terrible combination.
Brian and I have been staying up late discussing the week’s news, exchanging links, and sharing social media discussions. After such a long, heavy kind of week, I’m looking for holiday escapism –– getting our tree, ice skating, making cookies, and all that. But first, my weekend links. read more »
This week has been all about recovery. Something about the first gusts of bone chilling wind, the time change, and plain old exhaustion, have had me in bed every night by 10pm. Extra blankets have come out, even if it’s just so Brian and I can still sleep with the windows open.
I like the change. And the wind is even better. It’s cleansing –– blowing away whatever’s built up or unwanted. With each gust, a colorful rain of fall leaves pour down and a faint howl wraps around the house. Cozy times are in full effect, and I am so completely all in. read more »
I love the feeling of getting home after even a short trip. There’s a brief window where all the comforts that you’ve missed trump the endless list of things that need to be done, or organized, or cleaned. I arrived home from a quick trip to Wisconsin last night, and am thrilled to be staring down a fall weekend completely void of plans. On my agenda are things like finishing the girls’ Halloween costumes, buying pumpkins, and traveling to the Blue Ridge Mountains to take in some fall color. But before all that, I’m totally going to sit on the couch with a big cup of coffee and decompress. It’s been a heavy week and I think we all need a little break.
So, let’s leave things at that and get into some weekend reading. read more »
For the squirrels, it started a month ago. The first day of September, before the acorns fell, panic washed over the animal kingdom. Squirrels were more furtive and skittish then ever. Either a deer or a groundhog decided to eat all of our late strawberries, leaves and all. These days, it’s the birds who are nuts; the blue jays have returned from wherever they summer and the crows are back to making a ruckus.
In the human world, early October is a more appropriate time to freak out. read more »