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sakon76: (Sakon)
Big family Thanksgiving, with fourteen adults, one toddler, and one baby, successfully pulled off by my mother.

Yet somehow the best part of the day was not talking with friends and family at the shindig, nor eating a lot of very good food. It was sitting in a skychair in my backyard this afternoon, hand-sewing binding on a quilt, watching my three-year-old chase a butterfly, calling out "Butterfly! Come back!"
sakon76: (Sakon)
So y'all remember when, a few months ago, we had to rush Squiddle to the emergency room because he'd managed to get into our pill case and one of Wonderful Husband's medications was missing?

Guess what I found half-hidden under the refrigerator yesterday.

Still, as my mother put it, at least it was a good wake-up call for us.

In other news, the dining table is covered with things to be transported to my parents' in a little bit. Pies and cornbread and quiche and cranberries and whipped cream, oh my!
sakon76: (Sakon)
Busy couple weeks coming up. My inlaws arrive tonight from the UK. Tomorrow Jazzy has his 2-month doctor's appointment. The one with lots of shots. ^_^;; So sorry in advance, little baby, but I am a firm believer in vaccinations. Wednesday is my father's 70th birthday! His party is on Saturday, and so either on Friday or Sunday a group of us is going to head to the Norwegian Seaman's Church in San Pedro to go to the small Norwegian Christmas fair there. Next Monday my sister arrives, Tuesday is the big family photo, Thursday is of course Thanksgiving, and that Saturday is my sister's baby shower. Then my sister and inlaws fly out on the Monday and Tuesday after that. Plus Squiddle and Jazzy's classes. Phew!

I'm on (partial) sides and desserts duty for Thanksgiving. Cornbread, cranberries, and three or four pies. I'm also contemplating if I can fit one more hearty vegetarian side in, since we have a vegetarian in the group. I'm currently thinking either a quiche or a soup...?

I get the Thanksgiving desserts draw since I'm a relatively good baker. And this last week I started initiating Squiddle into How To Bake! His UK auntie sent him some toy cupcakes and they've recently been a great hit with him. So over the weekend he got to help Mummy make some real cupcakes for Sunday dinner. He quite enjoyed helping (and licking the spoon for the frosting). Maybe I should make him an apron for Christmas?

(He gets to learn to sew too, but that's not until he's four.)
sakon76: (Sakon)
I have just fed nine people full to bursting. Plus the Squiddle. I sent home quite a bit of leftovers with my aunt.

How the merry whatnot is my fridge even MORE full now than it was this morning?

*glares at fridge*

In other news, my reputation as Domestic Goddess stands unchallenged by the wider parts of my family. (My immediate family are far too aware of my failings to believe in that title for an instant.)
sakon76: (Sakon)
So I have a schedule. Which goes something like this.

Today: Make cranberry sauce (check!) and pie dough to chill in the fridge overnight.

Tomorrow: Make pies. And turkey #1. And stuffing #1 with it. And the soup. And the vegetarian quiche. And the whipped cream.

Overmorrow: Make Every Frickin Thing Else. Feast. Collapse.

Also, somewhere in there, Clean All The Things. Repair the chairs. Put the insert in the dining table, break out the nice card table, find the linens, and make sure all the cutlery is clean.

Friday: Sanity returns. Also, do not go shopping on this day. Read books instead.

I really hope to have this "faking adulthood" thing mastered by the time Squiddle's old enough to notice. :)
sakon76: (Sakon)
Back at 100%! Hooray!

The set of books I took in for the gift exchange last night were moderately popular. In our class of nineteen, they got "stolen" twice. The first steal I wasn't surprised by, my "birthday twin" (tho she's several years older than me) Pat, who writes sci-fi. But the second steal was by Eleanor, who writes romances. And that did surprise me.

Today, though, my only set goal was doing a round of some of the local thrift stores to get Squiddle some dressy togs for Saturday, which is when we're booked in for our annual family photo. We succeeded at that, then Skyped my inlaws for a bit, then went out in the backyard for a session on the swingset. And after Squiddle had enough of the swings, while he played about, I fetched out the loppers. I'd earlier seen the city trimming our trees from the park side, and since I thus had to put a few branches into the yard waste bin anyway, I figured why not go for broke, and started tackling the suckers and low-hanging branches. I am about two-thirds done, but need Wonderful Husband to come home and help me squnch down the stuff already in the bin so I can fit the rest in.

And now, while Squiddle's napping, I get to tackle tidying and formulate a strategy for the next week's cooking and cleaning. Did I mention I'm hosting the family Thanksgiving this year? At least six adults plus Squiddle, possibly up to ten adults. One of the maybes being a vegetarian. Anyone have any favorite vegetarian Thanksgiving dishes you can give me a heads-up on?
sakon76: (Sakon)
Got my grocery shopping for tomorrow (I'm doing my succotash, House of Blues' cornbread, and [livejournal.com profile] hoshikage's sweet potato biscuits) done. Have had lunch. Baby is napping. Time to sew! Current project is making Wonderful Husband another pair of pyjama bottoms. And I've started another quilt.
sakon76: (Sakon)
Apple pie done. Jellied cranberries done. Chunky cranberries done. Purchased sourdough starter started.

To make tomorrow morning: cornbread, succotash, [livejournal.com profile] hoshikage's sweet potato biscuits.

My mother-in-law spent the day extremely sick with the flu. We're hoping it's the 24-hour version....
sakon76: (Sakon)
Ha. Last year I posted that I'd finally found a jellied cranberry recipe worth keeping. Guess who didn't link to it or put it in her recipe book? That's right, that'd be me. Last night I made up the chunky cranberries from my usual recipe; tonight will be the jellied cranberries from the Food in Jars recipe. Tomorrow night will be pie crust, and then Thursday morning will be the succotash and lots of baking.

I've started up my sourdough starter again, which will be ready to use in a couple days. Wonderful Husband wanted a more historic/official starter, though, so when we found a packet of dried San Francisco starter at Surfas for a little over $5, we got that too. Though the instructions for starting it are just, gah! Must be kept between 80-90 degrees for X hours, etc. The house isn't reaching those temperatures currently, so I'm thinking of getting the foam cooler from the garage, putting that on the counter, and using either hot water or hot/cold packs to get the official starter started. I guess it needs a lot more babying than my wild-yeast one!

Also, I had listed out everything else I needed for my part of Thanksgiving, and got most of it at the Saturday farmer's market. There I ran into Shannon from the mommy/baby group I've been attending. I have a suspicion that the universe may be telling me to make friends. Not a hardship!

And, finally, today I did something I've been pondering for a few weeks now, and called Mother's Milk Bank in San Jose to start the process of becoming a milk donor. While I'm not a super-lactator like some nursing mothers (seriously, did you know that the Guinness Book of Records has a category for "most human milk donated"?), on one pumping a day I'm averaging about four ounces over and beyond what Squiddle needs. And if that can go to a milk bank, to be pasteurized and then sent on to preemies and sick infants who need it, that makes me feel good. God knows I'm not too good at charity; this, at least, is something I can do. There was about a five-minute interview over the phone, mostly about the same stuff that you fill out on the form when you donate blood. I'm being sent an information packet, along with forms for my doctor and Squiddle's, and there will be a blood test to make sure I've not got any diseases that would be transmissable through the milk. News to me if I do, so....

Update

Nov. 20th, 2013 10:00 am
sakon76: (Sakon)
On Monday, my root canal from nearly two and a half years ago got redone, part one. They did about 80% of the work, and I'm on antibiotics through next Wednesday to killkillKILL the bacterial infection inside the tooth that was the problem. Pain is 90-95% gone at this point, thank god. On the 5th, I get to go back for part two, and then I get to go back to my dentist to get a new crown, which will be two visits. Ah, how fun the holidays are!

On a lighter note, my inlaws arrived Monday evening... and my father-in-law had to have his own root canal on Thursday! Dental synchronicity? In any case, the Squiddle is being soundly adored and lavished with attention. Poor thing - his life is so difficult, y'know? :)

I need to make my shopping list for Saturday Farmer's Market for everything I'll need for my part of Thanksgiving. Due to Squiddle, I'm out of the family rotation for hosting either Thanksgiving (my mother) or Christmas (my aunt) this year. But for Thanksgiving, I make the smooth cranberries, the chunky cranberries, the succotash, the cornbread, and, if I can manage it, an apple pie. Yes, I suppose I could just buy cans of cranberries (we used to), but I've been making my own for several years now, and the chunky recipe especially tastes vastly superior to the tins from Ocean Spray.

Plus, with inlaws here to cuddle and play with the baby, I'm pretty sure I can get the cooking time in. And anything I can do to help my mother with the cooking for eleven, possibly thirteen, people is good.
sakon76: (Default)
Am hitting the post successful holiday crash. It is not helped by my feet hurting. But all the dishes are washed (thanks to my mom and aunt and Kyri), the tables put back to their normal positions, napkins and tablecloths going through the wash, and the fridge, of course, packed with leftovers. At least my aunt took some! My parents have their fridge stuffed with other leftovers, and thus refused. My part of the menu:

turkey (22 pounds is apparently bigger than my pan really fits; next time I'll get one of those disposable aluminum pans)
stuffing, both wet and dry (Mrs. Cubbinson's Herb, with a chub each of Jimmy Dean's hot and sage sausages crumbled in)
giblet gravy
mashed potatoes
sweet potato biscuits
cornbread (recipe is a clone for House of Blues' old rosemary cornbread)
succotash
chunky cranberries
jellied cranberries (I seem to have finally hit on a winning recipe for this)
glazed carrots
steamed green beans
whipped cream and vanilla ice cream to go with dessert

My aunt and uncle brought drinks, and my mother brought both pumpkin and berry pies. Nine people in total, and no one went away hungry. I did not end up in a food coma; I had a little bit of everything, and limited myself to one plateful. I did end up having to ask for more help toward the end than I really wanted to, but that's life. Next time I'll try to plan/prep things better.
sakon76: (Default)
Sweet potato biscuits done. Turkey in the oven. Dry stuffing sits on the counter, ready to go in later. Giblets simmering atop the stove for gravy. Mashed potatoes, cornbread, whipped cream, green beans, and carrots to happen later.

T-Day Eve

Nov. 22nd, 2012 12:03 am
sakon76: (Default)
The house did not quite get a top-to-bottom scrubbing today, but it is decidedly more cleaned than it was yesterday. This included (what felt to me like) rather a lot of time on hands and knees on the tile floors after sweeping them, liberally applying 409, kitchen towels, and a razor blade. Several of the worst marks/stains turned out to be old paint drips which had attracted dirt. They've been razorbladed up from the tile, a bit trickier of a task than it sounds due to the fact that the tiles aren't glass-flat.

In addition, both types of cranberries got made up (chunky and pureed; new recipe this year for the latter, as I continue searching for the perfect one), and Wonderful Husband and Kyri took charge of making the succotash. Lunch was udon noodles in memmi broth, and for dinner we got pizza from Lui's, our local hole-in-the-wall which makes pretty tasty 'za.

Wonderful Husband and Kyri also rehung both skychairs (they found a spot for the one I thought would have to get packed away! I am amazed!) and dealt with various tasks for me, inside and out. Currently they're playing Soul Calibur 4. I finished the dress I was working on (discovering in the process that Mikaela-the-Singer-101 has stopped running; I will deal with finding the problem later, fortunately there was not much left to sew), the dishes are washed, time chart for tomorrow is done up, tables are extended and clothed... time for me to go to bed and dream of someday having a kitchen with multiple ovens.
sakon76: (Default)
Guest (Kyri) arriving tomorrow night. Somehow, miraculously, everything has gotten done, with one possible exception.

When we were switching the closet doors over to the back bedroom to hide the closet full of stuff that we really need to go through, we discovered that we were mixing our doors. We had painted one large door and one small door, assuming them to make a set. It turns out the closets are different sizes (back bedroom being bigger), and it's supposed to be small/small and large/large. So now each closet has one door! ^_^;; (The other two are out in the garage, waiting to be sanded and painted.) So, as Wonderful Husband put it, "Semi-victory!"
sakon76: (Default)
I have been intending to use November and the associated NaNoWriMo to work on Field of Stars. I don't think I'll be able to finish it in one month, no matter how hard I push, but I'm hoping to get a huge chunk of it written and hopefully have the whole book, draft 1, done by New Year's. Doing this kind of huge push, though, means a pretty big investment in time and energy, so I've been trying to get things as what need doing, done before the first.

I'm finishing up a dress I've been working on. I have this weekend earmarked for a set of linen fitted sheet and pillowcases. And somehow, somehow, I need to work on curtains. I've also been cleaning up the garden from summer and sowing the winter/fall crops. Wonderful Husband has been informed (though I will doubtless need to remind him) that I'm planning to absorb myself in the book, and thus the onus of cooking will fall further on him.

All this worked perfectly with Thanksgiving being done by my parents this year, and Christmas by us. It gave us time to get the house spruced up a little more, even.

Except yesterday my father finally got scheduled for knee replacement surgery. In mid-December. Which means we're flipping holidays, as it will be trickier for him to get around at that point, and our place has three stairs up to it which theirs doesn't, and it'll be all around easier that way....

Dammit, wrench being thrown in my NaNo plans! Because now I not only have to plan a major holiday meal for 8+ during the month, I have to speed up making-the-house-presentable. Sanding and painting furniture, painting the shower room, deep-cleaning things, rediscovering the surface of my desk and the areas of the office where I have stuff stacked, tidying the yard....

I hate having to be hyper-organized, and now I have to be so for the next month and a half.
sakon76: (Default)
My parents and Wonderful Husband and I celebrated Thanksgiving at my uncle and aunt's last night, which was an interesting endeavor. You know how different people are good at different things? My aunt-by-marriage is a fantastic decorator. They're nearly finished with a couple years of house remodelling and their place looks incredible. But, unlike my mother and sister and myself (who in turn are not as good as my aunt at the visual stuff), she's not so much of what you might call a cook.

(I occasionally have harbored the uncharitable suspicion that their entire branch of the family lives on microwaved meals and fast food. Probably not actually true, but neither would I be completely shocked to find out it was so.)

I was therefore pleasantly surprised to find the turkey perfectly done, the potatoes among the best I have eaten, etc. It was a group effort; part of my aunt's family was there as well and everyone brought some dishes. My mother did superlative pies, and I made the cranberries and succotash. Which, for the cranberries, the usual orange-and-ginger ones I did went across well, as always, but the jellied ones from the Food in Jars recipe were merely okay. Dead ringers for the canned version, but nothing standout, so next year I'll try another recipe in search of a winner.

And a little TMI gross girl stuff. )
sakon76: (Default)
Cranberries (jellied*) done.

Cranberries (non-jellied) done.

Tomorrow morning: succotash and one apple pie. Pie first.

* My non-jellied recipe is one I cut out of a magazine years ago and my family loves. The jellied variant is a first for me, but is one of the many fine recipes I've gotten from the wonderful Food in Jars website. The recipe is here. Though I molded it in wide-mouth pint jars, not repurposed BPA-free commercial tins. We shall see tomorrow how/if the family likes it....
sakon76: (Default)
*collapsethud*

T-day went well. Foodwise, it was possibly our best effort ever, with the exception of the cornbread which ended up rather more quiche-like than bread-like. I need to take a stern looking at that recipe and start tweaking it so I end up with something that's an actual clone of House of Blues' very yummy cornbread, because this sure wasn't.

But my mother's turkey and stuffing and gravy were, as always, to die for, and the green beans with sauteed red onions and a mustard seed/red wine vinagrette was beautiful to look at and quite tasty to boot. Plus my aunt/uncle/cousins asked me for three recipes, so that was kind of rather amazing.

Conversationwise, it went quite well as well. I think it perhaps helped that my cousins are getting older and thus more likely to converse with us older folk? The burgeoning filmmaker cousin was able to talk shop with my television engineer father, and the hyper teenage girl cousin is finally starting to become a little less hyper and more mature. It also helped that there was a sleepy kitty to cuddle and some fun videos on YouTube to share.

Wonderful Husband and I ended up getting home just around 10pm. I simply shed clothing and crawled into bed, as I had to get in to work early today; I think he stayed up a bit later playing Kingdom of Loathing.

ETA: A-ha! There appear to be two different recipes for the cornbread floating around the internet. One (the one I used) is basically 2.5x the other... except for the part where they forgot to multiply the amount of corn muffin mix in the recipe. Shall give it a try again later with this new information at hand.
sakon76: (Default)
My mother is doing the bulk of things this year, but my culinary contribution for the eight-person dinner is: gingered cranberry sauce, two pumpkin pies, one apple pie, [livejournal.com profile] hoshikage's sweet potato biscuits, a hopefully copy of House of Blues' rosemary cornbread, and my own Frankensteined succotash. Plus a loaf of sourdough bread for my parents' later consumption and a gallon of the newest batch of ginger beer.

So for now I should get dressed (I've been doing my cooking this morning in a sarong and sandals) and then we should head over.

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