Thanksgiving Prep

It’s almost time for us to submit to our yearly food coma! Among other things, this year I am thankful we are not traveling anywhere.  We are looking forward to a quiet “just us” day of binge-eating and parade/dog show watching, followed by pie with our friends The Stowells.

Today I am working on prepping everything I can in advance of tomorrow’s cookfest. I made cranberry chutney this morning using THIS RECIPE. The only thing I changed was that I swapped out the water for bourbon, beacuse, well….have you met me?

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I am also making the pumpkin bread for the stuffing, which I will finish putting together tomorrow morning.  As always, I’m using Susan’s recipe, because, honestly, it’s what my dreams are made of. You can find that recipe HERE.  I can’t wait! I’m going to serve it in this adorable pumpkin serving dish I picked up at World Market.

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Speaking of all things pumpkin, I tried out another recipe of Susan’s that I can’t get enough of, and I offer up here in case you need a (very) last-minute side dish idea.  STUFFED PUMPKIN

Can I just tell you, it’s the most cozy, homey, delicious ambrosial thing you have ever, ever had.  I made it last week when Paul had the kids in NY with him, and I ate at least half of it myself before they got home and finished it off.

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I let it cool quite a bit before cutting it so that I could get individual pieces rather than eating it like a fondue (though that would be scrumptious as well).

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Really, try it for yourselves.  I used a sugar pumpkin because I could not get my hands on a Long Island Cheese pumpkin for all the tea in China around these parts.

Incidentally, if you’re relatively local to Richmond, Va, there’s a brewery that makes a pumpkin ale that compliments this dish beautifully.

The other food advice I can give for the holiday is THESE dinner rolls from King Arthur Flour.  They are very nearly foolproof, the recipe makes plenty (quickly!) and everyone loooooooooves them.

The kids in particular are looking forward to breakfast – I got some frozen chocolate croissants from Trader Joes for us to enjoy while we watch the parade, all snuggled together in our jammies.

It’s going to be an interesting holiday season with all the new cats around here, but no one seems to care about the potential for disaster, since they’re so darn cute. And they haven’t mastered jumping up on the table yet, either, so there’s that.

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As for Dilly, she’s just as adorable and naughty as ever, but she’s coming around to them. She’s even actually been playing with them. But she still won’t admit she likes them.

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Happy Thanksgiving, all. Hope it’s a warm, cozy, fun, delicious one!

 

 

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Two In One?!

That’s right! TWO finished objects in ONE blog post!

Actually I have not been nearly as productive as that. I pulled out an old kitty bed project from several years ago and finished it up, and then used my homespun to make a simple cowl.

The kitty bed simply required binding off and felting, but since I have an older front-loader, felting is problematic. I ended up boiling it on the stove for awhile, beating it up a bit with a wooden spoon, and then throwing it in the wash.

It didn’t come out too badly, but there’s still quite a bit more stitch definition than I would like for a felted item.

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Fortunately, the kitties aren’t that picky. They love that it’s wool, and that’s that.

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They’re settling in rather well here; Dilly hasn’t quite decided what she thinks of them yet.  She follows them around, and keeps a close eye, but if they get too close she hisses and runs. Sushi and Mister cat are rather more angry still.  All in good time, I suppose.  I am NOT, however, looking forward to the next several months of bratty/destructor kitten behavior.

For the cowl I knitted up, I simply cast 80 stitches onto my size 8 circulars and knit every round until I had used up almost all of it. Then I bound it off, and voila!

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I’m pretty happy with it. It’s a good, thick, solid cowl; perfect for colder days (that we don’t really get much here in the fall, but whatevs).

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The colors are everything I want them to be and more; like autumn in a cowl!

Who Turned the Heat Back On?

After we got used to some absolutely beautiful, crisp, autumn weather, we are back into the mid-seventies now.  We all feel like we are roasting alive!

All of the soups, stews, and warming foods we had planned seem downright ridiculous now.

So do all of the holiday decorations I am seeing going up everywhere.

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The sheep have been chasing the shade all around the field. They’re not fans of the heat, either. It means there are still too many flies around.

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I’ve also had to turn the air conditioning back on; in the fall and winter the back of our house (which is all windows) gets direct sunlight the ENTIRE day. It’s great when it’s cold out. Not so much when it’s unseasonably warm.

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The kittens, Poppet and Widget, are settling in nicely. We had them separated for awhile we we awaited their FIV/Feline leukemia tests, and also because they were so tiny we worried about the dogs stepping on them.

They’re still pretty darn small, but they’re learning to navigate us a bit.

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They LOVE the dogs, and Cini, especially, loves them.

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Widget is only slightly larger than Cini’s paw.

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Had to throw in this picture Neve took of Oona playing in the leaves!

A nasty cold virus has been making its rounds here for weeks now, and we are trudging along trying to get through it.

I’ve been occupied with new knitting; not only did I cast on a pair of socks, but I’ve also started swatching for my next Shepherd sweater AND an additional sweater pattern called “Chimney Fire”.  I couldn’t help myself! After Rhinebeck, i want to knit all the things!

Bring back the cold weather!