Cookie Bakin’, Wreath Makin’, Doomsday Preppin’

The long Thanksgiving weekend was low-key for us. Thanksgiving was at my sister’s and was very nice. I brought the corn and also made honey-glazed carrots using carrots from the garden. We also made sugar cut-out cookies as a dessert for those who don’t like pie (the kids). So Thanksgiving morning was fun for me, just bustling around the kitchen with the ’60s station on Music Choice, cooking and baking. The kids helped a little with the cookies.

Alphabet letters, hearts (for family love!) and pumpkins. We don’t own a turkey cookie cutter. Did you hear that, Mom? I dipped the cookies in a glaze made of confectioner’s sugar and water.

Friday, I had to clean up from all that cooking and baking, then decided to make potato soup. I used the Pioneer Woman’s recipe. It came out nice, and the kitchen smelled yummy. I ate it for dinner, but no one else would try it, so now I have to freeze the rest. It was kind of a lot of prep, and I didn’t even put in the carrots and celery it called for. Probably not worthwhile to make it unless I scale the recipe down in servings.

That’s a big piece of bacon floating there. Once again, I’m sorry for my terrible food photography skills.

We took a walk around lunchtime Friday, and at night we went downtown to watch the tree lighting and Santa’s arrival. And I didn’t buy a darn thing all day. I didn’t even look at a single website. Luckily, there is simply not much that we really need right now. I can’t fault anyone for trying to use a Black Friday deal to get something like a TV or computer at a good price.

Saturday was supposed to be super busy, what with marching in the town holiday parade and Aidan having a soccer tournament, but then Aidan developed an ear infection overnight, and that put an end to all that. He was pretty sick Saturday, with a fever and an upset tummy from the antibiotics. So it was another hanging-around-the-house day. I wasn’t feeling great either; I have this migraine-type headache that I get about once a month for two days, and it was in effect. I did lots of laundry, more dishes. I paid the bills. To Sebastian and Gemma’s delight, I even hauled up one box of Christmas decorations to paw through, and we took down all the Thanksgiving/birthday stuff that was still up. Dinner was pizza and cheese steaks (lunch was leftover carrots and corn!).

Everyone was better on Sunday. We went to the last game of the soccer tournament. I’m pretty sure I was the only parent wandering around the edges of the field gathering fallen evergreen branches and pinecones, but I was thinking about making my own wreath for the front door. I was inspired by someone on the Nonconsumer Advocate Facebook page who said that it’s a tradition in their neighborhood to go on a nature walk and gather stuff to make wreaths with. Whether it was as a response to Black Friday or what, I forget exactly. But anyway. The branches have probably dried up in my trunk by now, but we’ll see! I also want to stop at the craft store to get wicks this week; I have a plan to make a new candle out of the remnants of one, because I really liked the scent.

Sunday night I roasted a pumpkin and it’s sitting in the fridge waiting to be pureed and frozen. Damn, those things are a bitch to cut through. I’m lucky I didn’t slip and stab myself in the gut. I’ve got a couple more pumpkins on the porch but not eager to wrestle with the knife again.

I wasn’t able to avoid food shopping completely last week; I ended up going to Acme on Wednesday and spending about $135. Yesterday, I hit up Springdale Farm in hopes of finding local apples; no luck, but got some other apples, local broccoli and green beans, and peaches that are canned in Ohio. Then it was on to good old Shop Rite, where I haven’t shopped in forever. Shop Rite really is the best, in terms of number of brands and variety. They have everything. Some members of this household were complaining about us not having certain things that only Shop Rite carries regularly, so I stocked up on those, as well as the usual stuff. Would have been nice to get through November without grocery shopping again, but that wasn’t realistic I guess. I did hold off from buying any meat, in an effort to make myself remember to order meat from Hillacres Pride, to pick up this Saturday.

I believe I cooked every night last week except Saturday. Oh right, there was a little bit of Chinese takeout Wednesday night for hubs and me. One night I made homemade chicken soup with my frozen homemade stock and carrots from the garden. So good! I need to get a whole chicken to roast and make more.

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Can’t remember too much else of interest from last week. On Saturday I reviewed my spending for November, and I’ll tell you what, I haven’t bought anything besides food and a few birthday presents. It is a short, short list of transactions. Nothing on the credit card either. So that’s good.

I’ve been feeling kind of blurgh about Christmas, especially in light of the election. I think the election has been a force that has crystallized ways that I was already feeling. I am not in the mood to give nor receive gifts. I don’t think my kids really need much. It all seems a little gross to me. Sometimes it’s good to forget the problems of the world at the holidays, and focus on friends and family and our own small worlds, but I’m not feeling it. On the other hand, I’ll probably change my tune as Christmas draws closer.

I took a break from Game of Thrones to read another apocalypse-themed book (seems like that’s all I’ve read this year): Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. From the library, of course. Beautifully written. I wish it was longer. It’s about life just before and just after a flu pandemic wipes out most of the population, focusing on an actor and his family and friends, and a girl who survives the pandemic and grows up to join the Traveling Symphony, a band of actors and musicians who travel around to the small outposts of humanity that remain after the pandemic.

Reading something like that, which spells out just what life would be like without electricity, running water, etc., made me glad for the few skills I have acquired. Should we experience an apocalypse, I’ll at least be able to grow some food. And sew a little bit. Maybe I should learn how to hunt… The artists of the Traveling Symphony are skilled with knives and arrows too.

2 responses to “Cookie Bakin’, Wreath Makin’, Doomsday Preppin’

  1. 1)I love other people’s left-over home-made soup – HINT; 2) saw a guy on tv carve pumpkins with a small saw – worked great; 3) “Smitten” apples at Acme now are “Delicious” – pardon the pun!

    • Haha well feel free to grab the soup out of the freezer anytime. I roasted a pumpkin whole; post forthcoming.

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