Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Pre-Thanksgiving preparations

Our refrigerator died on Saturday, and no one knows how to fix it, so for the past few days, we've been living out of coolers on the veranda, and that doesn't look likely to change anytime soon. The ever-vigilant Friday has been on duty, and woke me up several times last night, beginning at 2:45.

There's no chance any critters will get near our coolers with Friday on patrol. But it means I didn't get much quality sleep, either.
Knowing that I was going to be challenged this Thanksgiving, I decided to make life easier on myself and order our Thanksgiving pies from Yoder's, which is a restaurant run by Mennonites. The Mennonites make awesome pies. I have always made my own pies, and am very picky, but Yoder's pies are so delicious, I feel fine about relying on them.
Today is pie pick-up day, and Yoder's is a madhouse all day long, so Wyatt & I decided that our strategy would be to hit the ground early and arrive when the restaurant opened at 8:00 a.m. Having made numerous trips outside w/Friday, I woke up late, so of course needed a good cappuccino before leaving, and Wyatt needed breakfast.
And then I noticed I needed to fill up the car -- 8:18 running late!

Once we arrived at Yoder's, we saw that everything was under control. There were three pick-up windows open -- one for cash-only.

The girls were so sweet & friendly, and organized.

We had a laugh at the massive amounts of whipped cream they go through! The women have been baking for days, obviously.

Check out that mixing bowl!

We then made our way over to Fresh Market to get everything for tommorrow's feast. Wyatt & I loved the little cranberry bog.

Lots of gorgeous displays.

Pretty glacé fruit...but we'll save that for Christmas.

Since I had to hold off until today to buy my turkey, I ended up w/a massive 19-pounder, the "smallest" one they had left. Oh well. I'll give some to the guard dog, maybe the tryptophan will kick in and he'll conk out and let me get some sleep over the next few days.

I'm excited about Thanksgiving, I think it'll be really nice. If you're celebrating, I wish you & your family & friends a very Happy Day!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Gingerbread boys & Labradors

We've lived in this house almost three years, and I should probably be embarrassed that I'm still unpacking boxes, but...what can I say? I'm slow. The other day I found a box that contained my cookie cutters, and was thrilled. Good timing!
I actually don't really like baking, and am not very good at it, but I woke up determined to make gingerbread boys for the boys -- they love them.
I used the recipe from the Martha Stewart's Cookies book, which is really fantastic, and would make a great gift for people to bake cookies. Wyatt gave it to me for Mother's Day, as a present/hint.
We usually have a stern rule about not playing Christmas music until the day after Thanksgiving, but have bagged it this year (something I'll probably be regretting by December 5th), and listened to it for hours. I would like to note that this is the first year since my Mom died that I can listen to songs from Sarah McLachlan's "Wintersong" cd and not want to jump off a cliff.

Cut-out cookies are the most laborious, aren't they? Maybe my "baking problem" stems from my impatience. I dropped an entire baked tray during a poorly executed transfer from counter to counter. Merde!
I made gingerbread boys, Labradors, stars, and one gingerbread woman (the queen). It looks like some of the "boys" morphed into gingerbread aliens.

Alas, I had no Mutt cutter to make a "Friday." Look at his intense expression! "Drop it! Drop it!" And Lucky is so polite.

The smell of gingerbread cookies baking was sublime, and after eating a couple cookies each, the boys ran off. All except for Cooper, who sat next to me in a chair, and fell asleep while I was reading and waiting for the oven timer to ding. Then it started to rain outside, and it was just a perfect moment in time -- and I was sooo appreciative.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

For Pistachio

A rose that likes the sun.

Today I found this hybrid tea rose to plant in my garden in memory of Pi.

All around the world, she is thought of and missed, and will be remembered.