Today’s quote of the day is from Julia Child, “A party without cake is just a meeting.”
No need to come back any other day! Or place. I’m just done with this crap. (Rant continues….)
It used to be that every once in a while I would go on a bender for a little bit. No, not a drinking bender- a baking or dessert bender, where I would make several different versions of a recipe or several different things in like a couple of days. It seems now that I’m on an ice cream binge. In less than two weeks, I’ve made orange popsicle, watermelon sorbetto, mint chocolate chip, maple and blueberry. I’ve got berries put away to make another batch of blueberry ice cream or perhaps pie. As soon as the chocolate flake I ordered arrives, I’ll make some more mint, with the chocolate mint on my deck. You know you have a problem when you need to buy more tupperware to contain your habit. (And ok, fine, maybe I’m also considering buying a second freezer bowl so I don’t have to wait 24 hours in between batches. I’m not ashamed to admit I might have a problem.) I’m thinking egg nog and rum raisin will be next. Make the rum raisin with local maple rum.
I also have to start working on a non-dairy chocolate mousse recipe, especially one that can be made a day or two ahead and will stay stable. I’m helping friends with a dessert reception they are having that must be all non-dairy and prepared in their home as they keep kosher. So it will be interesting working in someone else’s kitchen without my tools. First up on that list is my mother’s tried and true fruit cake with local blueberries. It’s seasonal and local, easy to make, and freezes like a dream plus we can do them with almost any fruit, so do a couple a week with whatever is in market. Then I have gluten free lemon bars and maple apple squares on the list to try!
Health and medical crud to follow, read at your own risk….
Some days I have lofty ambitions (some days getting out of the house is a lofty ambition!). Especially when I have company coming, as we do this weekend. One of our guests is from out of the country, and instead of going out for dinner, chose to have a BBQ/grill here at the house. To go along with that theme, I was going to make ice creams for dessert. I made an (outstanding!) orange cream one, and did not have the spoons to make the white chocolate one I had planned. I did also make candied cherries (pitted by hand since I couldn’t find either of my damn pitters), which did not come out quite as candied as I had thought, but I’m not sure that’s a bad thing. I’ll bake brownies from a box tomorrow and that’s going to have to do. Well with the home made stuff, anyways.
For dinner we’ll have salmon burgers and chicken breasts. I also got some coleslaw, potato salad, Israeli couscous with veggies, wheat-berries with fruits and nuts, and I think there’s one or two more salads, plus I’ll go to the farm stand in the morning and get fresh veggies for salad as well as what should be some beautiful raspberries! And giant marshmallows to roast, should we be so inclined. I meant to get a melon, but didn’t want the fussing. I’ll put together a local cheese plate, I’ve got a big bag of grapes (note to self, throw some in freezer). I have crackers and chips and veggies (maybe make dip?). No one will go hungry.
So I’m going to stop myself with what I’ve got and be good with what I’ve done. The Husband has been cleaning the house for what feels like days (I’ve helped a little where I can) so this is all just going to have to do.
Updated with post event notes: Our guests brought a lovely home made almond cake which had an orange glaze and went great with the orange ice cream, which was declared a resounding hit! There was more than enough food (big surprise there!).
I was going to title this “How Betty Got Her Groove Back” but I haven’t quite got it back yet. I’m working on it. Things have been….rough for pretty much the last year or so, even before I lost my job, but that certainly didn’t help things any. I’m trying hard right now to acknowledge that I haven’t been at my best, and working on doing things to improve my state of being. BUT, I may actually be able to get my Demented Betty groove back, even if it’s just for a little while.
Our neighbors and friends are celebrating the Bat Mitzva of their youngest daughter on the Monday of Labor Day weekend. They are self-catering a dessert reception and have asked me to help them out, with both setting the menu and the actual baking. All the baking has to be done at their house and with their equipment, as it is kosher. I wonder how much work it would be to kasher a Kitchen-Aid stand mixer? So I’ve started to think about different things we can do, keeping in mind that this is to be dairy free and mostly gluten free. I think we’re going to try to go with French macaroons for the centerpiece/main dessert. She’s not really a sweets kind of kid, so it’ll be fun to see what else we settle on. I’ll also have the pleasure of working with her older sister to get this all done, and she is already an amazing baker as a teenager!
We’re having some friends over this weekend and I’ve decided to make some ice cream for us, and candied cherries to go with them. I should probably make some chocolate sauce too and maybe some whipped cream. (Oy. This is where the demented comes from. I get going down that slope, and just keep going…..) Add that to the brownies I’ll make just before they come, and I think I have desserts handled. I’m making a white chocolate ice cream and also an orange creamcicle one. I love being able to keep my ice cream bowl in the freezer! I’ve made the orange one before, and I’m really looking forward to the white chocolate with the cherries. Hopefully the weather will be conducive to grilling, and we’ll get some beef burgers and salmon burgers going. On Thursday and Saturday I’ll go to the farmer’s market and stand and get fixin’s for a farmer’s market salad, with a local maple balsamic dressing. I’ll get some cheese and crackers to nosh on, and I think I’m good to go.
Health and etc wise, things are a mixed bag. I still don’t have a job. I still have issues with my health impacting my day to day life. But I’m trying to manage and do the things I need to, even through the pain.
For the more detailed version….
What a whirlwind Thanksgiving weekend turned out to be, and that’s without any major plans!
For Thanksgiving dinner itself we went out to the Dorset Inn and had a lovely, if unspectacular, meal. The appetizers of duck pate and gravlox were excellent. The turkey etc were good. And I should know by now to never order pumpkin pie- it’s just never as good as my own. (And I should know better at the Dorset Inn where I find more often than not that the bottom crusts are under-cooked for my taste.)
On Friday I made second Thanksgiving and roasted a fabulous turkey breast which we served with a smorgasbord of sides I had picked up from the various stores in town doing Thanksgiving to go. Three different kinds of stuffing, two gravies, two mashed potatoes, mashed sweets, roasted veggies and a cranberry pear chutney. This was so good we had it again for dinner on Saturday night. We tried to go the Weston holiday craft fair, but we got there too late in the morning and it was absolutely packed. We’ll try again next year, but getting there before they open.
The highlight to all this was the kick-off event of the holiday season- the 5th Annual Dorset Lighted Tractor Parade. Yes, you read that right. Nope, I’m not kidding, not even a little bit. We went last year, in the bitter cold and snow, and watched from a great spot in the car on the town green. This year the weather was much, much more hospitable. We were parked on the other side of the green, which meant that we’d only get to see the tractors come around once, so I’m very glad that I decided to shoot them all the first time they came around!
Thanksgiving is just a couple of days away at this point. It’s hard to believe that this year is almost over! Despite everything this year (losing my job and my health issues, for the most part), I’m thankful for many things.
I’m thankful for my Husband, who loves and cares for me no matter what.
I’m thankful for my extended family, which expanded even further when my brother got married earlier this month. (And I’m thankful that I was able to marry them!)
I’m thankful for my friends, especially the friends-as-family, and the new ones we’ve been making up here in Vermont.
I’m thankful for the mountains, for the changing of the seasons, for watching the sun rise and set and change its place in the sky. I’m thankful for the peace and quiet of our mountain retreat.
I’m thankful for my health, such as it is, since it could always be worse. And it has been, so I’m grateful it’s not now.
I still need to find a job, but I’m thankful that between severance and unemployment, it’s not really been an issue till now. And I’m thankful that I’m starting to feel better, so I can actually feel ok about getting a job!
I’m thankful that I’ve already got a lot of the skills and knowledge I need to find a job. The motivation has been the harder part. Feeling better helps. Liking my office more helps. (Yay purple paint!)
I’m thankful for all the love in my life, that embraces me every day, that lifts me up and holds me tight. And I’m oh so very thankful for the love of my life, the one with whom I feel complete, the Husband who holds my heart and my hand.
On Day 5 after the epidural I was doing ok; not great, but ok, and still optimistic. On Day 6 I had physical therapy (pt) for the first time since having it done and it went downhill from there. Really. Yes, I know pt is THE thing that’s supposed to help, but it seems that it may actually have been hurting me. Figures. Even before I had the epidural, we’re pretty sure that we traced my setback to pt, although we couldn’t figure out what could possibly have caused it as all we had done that day was body mechanics- ensuring proper movement doing every day tasks. After the epidural, we actually did them again, and did squats. About 30 minutes later, the pain in one thigh was quite noticeable, and by that evening, it was as bad as it had been before the epidural, if not worse. We decided to suspend pt until my follow up with the spine specialist, and decided that if I am to continue, I see another therapist in town who may be better able to help me. She’s got more training in certain things and I’m just that special.
Had an MRI done of the neck and cervical spine which shows something which I’m pretty sure it did not show when I had the last one nine years ago. I should get out to pick up the report tomorrow (and my new glasses), and hopefully I will get an appointment scheduled with one of the doctor’s at the orthopaedics office. I’ve been seeing a PA but the epidural not lasting and the neck stuff makes everyone think we should step things up and see the MD. I can’t disagree.
Fall continues here in the Green Mountains. It’s started to get below freezing some nights. The basil on the deck is done. I’m going to try and cut the mint back and see if it will come back in the spring. Some mornings I wake up and see the frost on the grass and it’s beautiful, but it reminds me of what’s coming and I’m not quite ready for that yet. I’m so grateful we have an attached garage for the cars; I couldn’t imagine having to start deicing now and continue to do so through March or April. We change the clocks this coming weekend and I am NOT looking forward to that! I wish we could just do away with daylight savings time and all this back and forth nonsense.
Tomorrow I pick up my winter stock up from the butcher up the road. Some briskets, which I’ve discovered are easy and tasty to make (thanks, Mom!), boneless turkey breasts (that may be from monster birds if I heard him right!), and some burgers which we can do as long as we can get to the grill since they’re quick and easy. A couple of pork tenderloins. I’ve been getting chicken breasts from the supermarket of all places so I’ll pick up another family pack when they next go on sale. I think I forgot to get just plain ground beef. But I can get that whenever.
I’m trying to cook more. I made crab cakes last night and tomorrow we’re having mustard balsamic chicken over roasted veggies. On Thursday I’ll be making short ribs, possibly in the crock pot, but they’re for dinner on Friday night. I’m not sure what I’ll make for dinner Thursday if we don’t go out. Dinner on Saturday will depend on if we have guests. If we do, maybe early Thanksgiving. If we don’t, I don’t know yet.
How is it almost NOVEMBER?!?!!?!?!