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happy thanksgiving!

I hope you are all having a lovely Thanksgiving!

As you know, I held our Thanksgiving last Saturday – I always choose the weekend closest to the actual day that S has off work. It was a quiet affair for once with just family which suited me just fine.

Our Thanksgiving Table

This is what I served (follow links to the recipes where available):

I was so pleased to finally be hosting Thanksgiving in our home. We got to use our fancy silverware and our tableware which we got as gifts at the wedding and have lived in our loft ever since!!

I also got to finally share Thanksgiving with my Scottish family which was very nice.

Today I would like to be in Kansas with my American family as they sit down at the table to give thanks, but you can’t have everything!

To those hosting today: Good luck! I am sure it will go swimmingly.

To those merely gobbling: Good luck, as well!

Now I’m  off to re-heat the last of my leftovers (thoughtfully frozen until today!) and have my own, smaller Thanksgiving lunch!

xo
A

p.s. If you are not hungry when you wake today read this, it will help: Jenny Matlock: Thanksgiving Morning

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thanksgiving stories

Because of the Cul de Sac post this morning I have been thinking about Thanksgiving all day. I mean, I would have thought about Thanksgiving today anyway considering it’s tomorrow, but this made me think of very specific Thanksgivings where everything goes wrong.

I mean, I’ve never broken my foot kicking a radiator, but I have experience my fair share of Thanksgiving disasters.

We used to take the 3am train from Cleveland to Boston (My Mom always said that “The train has to be somewhere at 3am!”) and spend the whole week with my Nana and Papa (and in later years just my Nana). Thanksgiving was my favourite time of the year. Not only did we get a week off school but we got to spend lots of time with family.

I remember one year my Auntie D insisted on hosting Thanksgiving dinner. She was never the most calm cook so we should have known it was a bad idea. She made the mistake of using one of those flimsy aluminium roasting pans. On one rotating and basting occasion the pan warped, spilling turkey grease onto the heating element and catching the oven on fire! Never a dull moment.

The rest of my Thanksgiving horror stories revolve around disliked relatives. I was the youngest and smallest cousin and two of my older cousins (a brother sister pair) delighted in my misery. This despair was only worsened because one of this pair had a birthday which often fell on the same day as Thanksgiving and the day was invariably turned over, at some point, to celebrating her birthday. I do not think it is fair to make a kid dress up all nice only to watch their stupid cousin get all the presents. Cruel, really. We still don’t really speak.

All of that aside my question is, what are your Thanksgiving horror stories. I am sure you all have some story you are willing to share? Are there any Lampoonesque tales you’re dying to share (perhaps anonymously?!)?

Because Thanksgiving is not a holiday here I will be at work tomorrow, but as I had my own Thanksgiving last Saturday hopefully I’ll get around to sharing some pictures and stories from this year.

Have a great Thanksgiving, folks! Enjoy the day!

xo
A

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links

I am swamped with pre-Thanksgiving preparations and therefore do not have time to write anything proper. So I shall leave you with these links to keep you busy until I get back!

why modern books are all too long

awesome camera lens bracelets

are offensive words more tempting after they’ve been  banned?

spare some change to help save three original charles dickens manuscripts

type in your own handwriting

what can you do in 25 words?

a book you must read – and buy a copy for me while you’re at it

and finally,

happee fangsgivings, everyone!

xo
A

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fall.

It’s officially autumn which is my favourite season of the year. Don’t get me wrong, there are things about winter that I love and there are certainly things about spring and summer that I love as well, but nothing compares to the leaf-crunching, crisp air, hot chocolate and a good book, smell of distant smoke, perfect weather for baking loveliness of autumn.

And, boy, am I ever excited!

One thing, though, autumn here is just not as good as autumn in Ohio. The leaves on the tress change colours differently (it seems to happen overnight here…) and the air is more damp than crisp (read: constant rain). There aren’t (as far as I can find) any orchards nearby where I can go apple-picking. There are no choose-your-own pumpkin patches. No haunted houses. No trick-or-treating (unless you’re under the age of 7). I can’t find any non-alcoholic apple cider and there’s no anticipation of deep winter with feet and feet of snow. Not to mention their screaming lack of THANKSGIVING.

But I have resolved to make the most of it.

Attempt number one was my baking of Smitten Kitchen’s Jewish Apple Cake whish has to be my favorite First Thing To Bake in Fall. This would have worked wonderfully, I had visions of myself seated on the stairs of our deck drinking hot coffee and enjoying this cake in the mist of a chilly Sunday morning, however this was not to be. Why? Because after the cake was in the oven for nearly 3 hours and still liquid I had to admit to myself that the oven just isn’t working. So. Until we figure out what is wrong with our new oven I’m afraid my enjoyment of fall has been thwarted.

There will be no delicious apple cake, no dense and sticky gingerbread, no Christmas Morning Muffins fresh and hot from the oven. The way of tackling this problem is three fold. First I am going to ask my In-Laws if I can bake cake at their house (understanding I’ll surrender half shares in all baked goods), second I am going to plead with my husband to figure out how to fix our oven (thermostat? auto-shut off? who knows!) and if we can’t get it fixed I am going to beg my sister and brother in-laws (hi Alan!) to give us their old oven when they get their new oven installed during their kitchen renovation. Although the broken oven in our kitchen right now is the result of one such charitable donation and I’m wondering if it’s just a bad idea to begin with.

So, to take my mind off the broken oven and the startling lack of sweet cinnamon and apple smelling kitchen, S and I are redecorating our lounge. This is an ongoing task which is sapping my will to live. First the wallpaper had to come down which took forever, then we had to wash the wallpaper residue off the walls, which took forever. Since then we have painted two coats of white paint over the (lovely, ha) teal blue paint which had been hiding beneath the wallpaper (and I thought it couldn’t get worse than peach!). Now all that remains is gloss paint on the woodwork (loads of it!) and two coats of our chosen color on the walls.

We’ve been taking our time with this task so as not to wear ourselves out, however now we have a deadline in the form of S’s flat-screen television purchase which will be delivered a week from tomorrow. A race to finish the lounge so we can hang a television on our wall. Apparently it’s 3.8cm wide which is, apparently, amazing.

So this weekend will be spent not baking, but painting. My trip down to Galloway Forest Park will have to wait another week, although the leaves are still green so there’s no point in going until they start to change. I just hope they don’t do their spectacular changing colour in one evening and then falling off the trees in one fell swoop all over the course of 24 hours trick (see the Whomping Willow in Harry Potter 3), like they usually do. Because if I miss the leaves falling off their trees I might just cry until spring time.

Do yourselves a favor, though, and bake that apple cake.  It’s delicious and the perfect treat to have ready when returning into the house after raking a metric tonne of leaves off the lawn in the backyard.  And go to an orchard and pick-your-own apples to make it with.

Happy Fall.

xo

A

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Thanksgiving was on Saturday.  Ours was, anyway.  The 4th Annual Glasgow Thanksgiving at Laura’s flat.  It was a lot of fun – the best ever, maybe.  There was a lot of food and even more laughter.  Amy and I discovered that we like some of the same music, which is unnerving considering she’s 8 years younger than I am.  One of us is doing something wrong and it is probably me.

Lately I have been wondering about the timings of life.  Crucial and not quite so crucial.  I have two friends who have only recently met and have begun a swift romance and I wonder if it would have happened sooner if I had thought to introduce them.  Or, whether their meeting earlier would have made their romance impossible for any number of reasons.  Or what might have happened if they had never met at all.

There is no sense pondering it for too long, though, because everything happens as it was always going to happen – I don’t feel there is anything much you can do to prevent that, even if you know in advance.  Which is a depressing thought, really.

A week ago last Saturday I banged my head and have spent the past week struggling to get over what the doctor called “quite a bad concussion, really”.  I have had a headache since about 11am on the 15th of November excepting an hour or so on Sunday right after I woke up.  Apparently I’ll have a sore head for another week and a half yet which, at least, gives me something to look forward to. 

I’ve noticed my short-term memory is playing tricks on me.  I will write something down on the to-do list and then 30 minutes later I’ll see it has been crossed off, except I haven’t done it yet.  And if you want me to remember something or write it down you are going to have to talk very slowly and I’ll probably make you repeat yourself a few times – especially if it involves numbers.  I go back and forth between feeling like I am underwater (slow movements and comprehension) where I can’t really hear or understand what you are saying without really concentrating on it and extreme clarity where everything is harsher and louder than it should be.  I am told this is all normal.  And then there is the dizziness and nausea which I don’t want to think about as I have just had my lunch.

Last Wednesday the doctor said the only thing for me to worry about would be if I fall asleep and no one can wake me.  Oh, really?

I am very happily waiting for all these consequences to go away.  If I had thought about the timing of things before I bumped my head I would have bought some stock in aspirin.  But I didn’t, because I already would have and I haven’t.  Oh, my head!

 

xoA

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