Holidays in years past have been epic affairs. Thanksgiving practically required a spreadsheet to organize, and Christmas needed Swiss precision as we rushed from this place to that. All that planning and coordinating made it hard to enjoy the holiday as it unfolded.
This year, Brian and I decided to make some changes. Our Thanksgiving featured only the four of us, Brian, me, and our two girls. In typical fashion, we sat down an hour later than we’d wanted to, but it didn’t matter in the least. After dinner, we had pie, put our littlest to bed, while our older daughter got to stay up late to watch It’s a Wonderful Life with us. We had to pause a lot and explain things that don’t come up much in a 7 year-old’s life, like the difference between a building and loan and a bank, World War II, bank runs, the Charleston, and the nature of greed, but still, it was a lovely time. Right after that, our weekend spiraled out of control a little bit with sickness and the like, but nobody had to go to the hospital so we count that as a victory. read more »
A Thanksgiving cocktail should have the dryness of a good aperitif to prime your appetite, pack a little bit of a punch to help you smile politely as your family talks politics, and contain whiskey to remind you of how thankful you are for whiskey. I’ve been wanting to share the Boulevardier since summer, but have waited until its perfect mix of bitter orange and smoky rye was right for the season. That time is right now. read more »
There are weekends that stretch out, with golden evenings and long, eventful days. The ones where you look back Sunday evening and feel like Friday is only a distant memory because you’ve had a week’s worth of fun in two days.
This wasn’t one of those weekends. read more »
In the beginning, neither Brian nor I had grand ideas for parenthood. Honestly, it was a selfish endeavor for me –– I wanted to see if I really could, you know, create another human. I also, somewhat mistakenly, saw pregnancy as a great opportunity to eat a lot of ice cream. Our daughter was an easy baby, especially once we’d made it through those first six weeks, and Brian and I settled in to parenthood rather effortlessly.
And things went along this way, with the usual ups and downs, until last year. That was when we realized that the skills required to nurture a big kid and help them become an upstanding person are pretty different from the ones you need to nurture a baby. It’s been a tough transition, with lots of instances of helping our oldest navigate her relationships with others, resolve conflicts, and right wrongs. These same things happen with littles, but the social web of interactions is so much more immediate. Also, there’s homework. read more »
Last weekend, Brian and I had a few friends over for a Friendsgiving feast. We planned a pared down menu and approached the gathering in a pretty laid back way.
It was a small crowd, so instead of a whole bird, Brian and I opted for a bone-in turkey breast. We’ve roasted up a pretty spectacular breast in years past, but with a warm fall Saturday ahead of us, we decided to smoke this one. Brian and I don’t have a fireplace, so it’s nice to have the grill going all day –– we all need a hearth. read more »
Home decor, especially kitchen appliances, can last a long time, so even though I was born after the heyday of burnt orange and pea green, the palette persisted well into my childhood. Even now, overly warm wood stains, yellow undertones, and dimly lit television shows all send me running for aesthetic cleansing. This may be why I have such difficulty embracing the hues of October. Besides the pervasive orange-ness of the season, to embrace all things squash or pumpkin is to admit defeat. For me, winter squash signals the end of the growing season, meaning everything from now until April is either a storage food or from someplace else. read more »