Thursday, October 13, 2011

Murky Grey Mornings (how I love them)

I'm sure this is a product of having read Wuthering Heights so many times as a kid

(seriously, is that any kind of example a 12-year old should be getting for adult relationships?  apparently yes, since I've always been better off than Catherine.  read it lately?  whoa)

but I do love a murky grey morning in fall.  There are so many possibilities for the day, all of them layered - from rain clothes and boots to the many ingredients in the cookies you'll probably bake or the pages of the book you'll read since it's too crummy to go out gallivanting through the heather. 

No sun to make you squinty or too warm.

Leaves standing out but softly against the sky if they are still on their trees; the ones on the ground bright against the darkened pavements.

Air wet and chilly enough for a good strong sweater

A hot drink that much more comforting

A nap that much more enticing

and anything you actually accomplish so much more rewarding.

Also, I get to go out and hear music while knitting later, and then have supper in a restaurant with friends.  And I tracked down my favourite weird skirt to wear. So even if it was gorgeous and sunny and warm it'd still be a pretty fab day.  Yay!

Monday, October 10, 2011

The fine art of mailing it in

Happy Thanksgiving, fellow Canadians!

and aren't we lucky to have summery weather (at least in Southern Ontario) for it? of which I have been very much taking advantage, though mostly in my 'big organizational overhaul' way.

I have had time for that because back when people first started to let me cook the Big Holiday meals, I worked very hard to make them great, and now I cheat everywhere.

For example, a lot of people choose between turkey and ham for the main course.  Both are simple and require minimal intervention during the cooking stage.  But I've learned the hard way you can go crazy with brining a turkey before, and making turkey stock after.  So I go with spiral ham.  It's even pre-sliced!

Vegetables for this fall feast often include a delicious squash mashed up with maple syrup and butter, or potatoes mashed up with sour cream and butter, or better still scalloped potatoes and oh how I love those. Here is an amazing revelation though: if you slice up carrots and wrap them in tin foil with pats of butter and and some brown sugar, you get no-brainer candied carrots that pair nicely with cut potatoes roasted in olive oil on the otherwise unused bottom rack of the oven.  And nobody cares that nothing got mashed or sauced.  Unless they really hate mashed veg and cheese sauce, in which case they love you even more for not making them eat that.

Think about this one too: given the choice between fresh beans steamed on the stove (three pot pieces to wash plus cutting board and knife), or peas thawed and cooked in butter in a (solitary) saucepan, guess which gives you more green on your plate?

Oh, and let's not forget pumpkin pie.  Ever since the year I did everything but remember to put sugar into the filling, I send somebody out to buy one.

Hope your day is simple enough to do fun things with too!