Christmas Decorating Done

This is all we’ll be doing this year…because I’m not insane enough to put up a tree when chaos is scheduled to arrive in a week.


Thanksgiving Menu: All The Fixins And A No-Baste Turkey

My favorite holiday has come around again. I am afraid nothing new or exciting this season, it’s been a rough year and this month especially. But cooking always makes me feel better, so traditional Thanksgiving is on the menu this week.

This year I’m going to post the Thanksgiving menu and provide links to each recipe.

I’ll spatchcock the turkey as always, but I’m going to use Michael Symon’s recipe for a maple/bourbon/butter wrapping.  Everything else will be family favorites.

On the Thanksgiving Day board: Continue reading

Thanksgiving Files: Roasted Turkey with Bourbon and Maple Syrup

This looks simple enough that I’m not worried about trying it for the first time on Thanksgiving Day. I love Michael Symon’s recipes. His Rib Roast is my go-to every Christmas.

This Thanksgiving he’s been posting recipes and videos for a complete dinner. Link here (you don’t need a FB account to read or watch). I’m fascinated with covering the turkey with cheesecloth.  I’ll roast it in the oven, instead of on the wood pellet grill, so I can keep a good eye on it.

I’ll add photos once I’ve actually prepared the recipe.

Michael Symons’ Roasted Spatchcock Turkey

Click for full size


Adventures In Ducks: Nick and Nora vs. Winter

The duckteens experienced their first blast of winter and were not too pleased about it. They had to stay in their coop (which, to be fair has a decent-sized yard attached) until it was warm enough for their little flat feet.

This is a short-lived cold snap and for most of the winter, they’ll be outside all day. We have very few days too cold for them to trek around the yard.

Nora has been doing something very interesting – she’s been very motherly with her eggs. Every night she creates a nest, gathers the fake egg and adds her own (usually in the early morning). This morning she covered them with a deep layer of wood chips. She’s the first of my many ducks to show this kind of instinct. I’m wondering if come early summer next year she might actually be broody and stay with her eggs. That could be intersting.

Stay tuned…

It Was A Cold And Blustery Day

Photo by JeffreyW

My mom left us this week. I’m not sure quite yet how to process it all. There were a lot of hugs, tears and laughs as we shared stories and remembered her.  We said goodbye on the coldest, windiest day imaginable, which seemed fitting somehow.

What is most important for you to know is that she is why I cook, why  I share recipes with you. Why the kitchen is a place of joy and warmth and creation. She never met a dish she couldn’t improve on, a recipe that she wouldn’t tackle, or a lesson she couldn’t teach in the kitchen. Success or failure, it didn’t matter, what mattered was you tried. And if was a complete disaster, then you laughed it off and salvaged what you could, but you never let that discourage you from trying again.

And just like Julia Child, you never let them know if the chicken falls onto the floor, you just pick it up and dust it off and serve it as if nothing happened.

Never let the ingredients intimidate you.  Cook what you love. Sometimes what looks like a failure turns out to be a completely new creation. And a pie tastes just as good with an ugly crust as it does with beautiful lattice.

Rest in peace, Mom. My best spaghetti sauces will always be the ones you taught me and the sweetest cookies will be the ones I made by myself the first time under your watchful eye.