Because it is rainy, misty, drizzly today, we’re leaving up our outdoor lights until things dry out a bit. Everything else is put away and the metric ton of needles has been swept and vacuumed. Like last year, we put white lights over our backdoor/windows and will leave those up until February. Or whenever we start having more daylight. It helps make things cheery.
Tomorrow we’re back to a regular schedule. I will miss the naps.
Of course it was a small Christmas this year. My parents came over for breakfast and we exchanged gifts (The Macallan for her and a large format Guinness and an oil can Fosters for him). My mom brought over a poinsettia. We haven’t had one in years and I’ll worry about keeping Lucy away from it after we take it off the mantle. It is very pretty though amongst the Christmas cards.
We had a family Zoom mid-morning and then my parents went home. We watched Wonder Woman 1984. We were less than impressed and a little disappointed. The first movie was so good. This one got lost midway through. Kind of like 2020.
We were at my parents for Christmas dinner and it was a very pleasant evening. We did some reminiscing and talked about current events. Even though my dad is in some stage of dementia, he held his own during the conversation. I have to tell you that as awful as 2020 has been, it has been nice to hang out with my parents all year. Whatever insanity my father had been carrying around for over decade is gone and now he is happy to spend time with us.
I took off a couple of days before Christmas and all of this week. It’s nice to not have to sit in our guest bedroom all day staring at a computer screen. This may be my last post of the year since I’ve been so bad about updating the site. In a complete departure from the rest of the end-of-year posts, I don’t have a list of concerts/shows or even a favorite. There was one show this year and our neighborhood hosted a Porchella in October. If you don’t click the link, it was a live music walk. The weather was amazing that day, the music was wonderful and the joy was real.
Merry Christmas and happy 2021. It’s going to be better.
The better-half and I hosted my parents for Thanksgiving yesterday. My mom brought over a very delicious turkey breast she made in her crock pot, corn pudding and apple pie (bonus jars of apple sauce too). We provided roasted brussels sprouts, sage sausage stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, cranberry sauce and a lemon meringue pie. We had never made a lemon meringue pie, but it tasted pretty good. We need to work on our whipped meringue…practice makes perfect.
The weather was beautiful and we ended up opening several windows and ran our Blue air purifier. Safety protocols were on our minds and we are uncertain what Christmas will hold. We were able to Zoom with my sisters and their families.
So the holiday was different, but it was also OK. The better-half and I found a new stuffing recipe and learned how to make a lemon meringue pie. My father got to feel useful by disposing of some concrete we busted up as part of our deck redo and my mother got to relax on a major holiday.
I have been taking pictures of what we’ve been cooking during the pandemic and have been quite lazy in posting here. We attempt to make something new every once in a while so we’re not stuck in a dinner rut and in the rut of being stuck in one place.
I’ll continue to update this post as I clean up the photos on my phone. I’m not food stylist so keep that in mind.
Apple cider muffin/donut
Mayonaise Chocolate Cake
Lasagna with our own spinach
Breakfast Ramen with cheese and egg
Tofu with chili crisp and roasted green beans
So many pizzas
Dutch Baby with smoked salmon
Yellow squash risotto
Inside-Out Lamb Persillade
Kielbasa, lentils and rice
Took a few days and escaped.
I have driven my car 729 miles since January. The last time I bought gas was in mid-May and with all my discounts, it cost $.45/gallon.
We have attended one show in 2020. This time last year we had enjoyed 9 shows. In 2018, we were at 16 shows.
Just when it seemed hopeless this summer that we’d hear any live music, two substitutes showed up. It isn’t the same, but it helps a little.
BBC Music just released a ton of videos from past Glastonbury Festivals.
The Richmond Symphony is doing a Beethoven recital series in July. We bought a ticket to the live stream.
No matter how the world goes, its important to maintain some traditions. For us that is smoking a meat. Today it is chicken. We brined it over night and then threw it on the smoker. No other rubs or sauces. I can’t wait to see what happens. I’m guessing deliciousness.
We have a surplus of mayo because a friend heard, incorrectly as it turns out, there was a shortage of Duke’s. We made chocolate cake yesterday and used some mayo. It is a recipe from the Depression when eggs and milk were scarce.
If anyone is worried about whether Lucy likes to hang out on the porch, this is how things generally are at our house these days. She’s in “her” chair, the better-half in his and I’m on the settee.
The better-half and I were talking the other day about how I used to keep a journal to chronicle our first years as a married couple. Whenever we dip into those notebooks (very occasionally) we have to remind ourselves why I was so amped up about something. Honestly, it usually related to the antics of his mother or my father. It really doesn’t matter anymore, but at the time…boy howdy. This relates to the current situation we find ourselves in. We’re wondering if we should be documenting this more somehow and what we’d say to the future. In the end, does it really matter that I sit at the gd kitchen counter for 8 or whatever hours each day? The days are relentlessly the same. We wake up, go to work, stop working, make dinner. Start over. The weekends are better because that usually means chores.
I ordered a completely ridiculous trucker hat with my Bitmoji on it so I can be weird in all of the endless video calls I’m on. I also have a rainbow wig that has made an appearance. It’s the small things. Here’s the cat, in the box that contained the ridiculous trucker hat:
Our garden has produced a ton of lettuce and spinach. We had so much spinach and so made spinach lasagna last night:
It was great last night and I expect it will be even better tonight. In addition to the homegrown spinach, we thawed the last of the tomato sauce I made last year and used that too. We were fortunate to get some sheep ricotta from our favorite butchery. We used all of that and a wee bit of leftover regular ricotta. Heaven help us, sheep ricotta is great on a crostini and even better in this lasagna.
We made red beans and rice the other day in the crock pot and because I can’t help myself, I made too much rice. We tried a thing that is apparently on Instagram, but we don’t ‘gram so I can’t say for sure. We have wanted to try the crispy rice thing for some time now and we’re really motivated now after we ate this for breakfast:
I pulled out the cast iron skillet, dumped in some olive oil and added the leftover rice. That cooked for 15 minutes (?) and then I made divots for two eggs. I covered the pan so the tops of the eggs would set. Crispy rice is a thing of joy. The eggs were set, not runny but jammy, and we added zaatar and salt and pepper. I think next time I’d like a little chili flake in there too.