Left-Over Bits and Pieces

Leftovers. We’ve been eating them for days. I am sick of them. And there’s more…..what to do? Throw away perfectly good food? It bothers me to do this, but at this point, I think we both are sick of turkey, and stuffing, and turkey soup. Maybe not Dan so much as me. He is still liking the stuffing.

I did get accolades for the dinner. Best stuffing, best twice-baked potatoes, best pumpkin pie ever. They said. It did turn out well, I have to admit, but it always does. My ex-mother-in-law’s recipes. I gotta give credit where it’s due. Her son may be totally screwed up, but the woman could cook. And taught me how to do what she does for the most part, when it comes to Thanksgiving.

It turned out to be a nice dinner. But by the end of dinner, since we cooked the whole thing, carried it next door to his mother’s house, and then back after, and did ALL the clean up because we were the only ones who could, we were exhausted. It took a couple days just to recuperate, and catch up on sleep. But I’m not complaining, I like doing it. Dan helped with everything. All the chopping for the stuffing, and cooking the sausage and helping me get it seasoned correctly. We literally spent 3 days in the kitchen together, and didn’t have one issue. In fact, it was enjoyable. It was wonderful to make preparing Thanksgiving dinner a joint project.

There was some drama going on with my family, though I wasn’t aware until after. I told my sister that maybe it’s being emphasized by Mercury being in retrograde because someone told me that Mercury was in retrograde. However, I just checked and it’s not, not until Sunday. Must be something else bumming people out, like the ismercuryinretrograde.com says. I was happy that the drama does not involve my life, for a change, but sad that it’s going on at all.

Now, the Christmas decorations are going up and it’s really nice to have someone to do that with, who enjoys it as well. I made the mistake of putting my decorations in my shed, where they’d be dry, last year. Not realizing the problem with bugs and critters that Florida has. Yesterday I spent a good amount of time washing out some of the old handmade ornaments that I’ve been keeping, and other stuff, like Christmas stockings and leaving them out on the deck to dry. But the lights all went up and more stuff will get finished today. It’s all good, because I went through the stuff and really sorted out what I didn’t want to keep. Thinned it out a lot, and figured out how to keep it in the house. Helps to have a tall man in the house who can reach high shelves.

Last week we had a few showery days, Thanksgiving being one of them. Since then, the weather here has been gorgeous. I still take delight in being in shorts and flip-flops at the end of November. We’re talking about going to the beach tomorrow or Wednesday. Just puts a smile on my face that that’s a possibility. The water in the gulf is probably down to 70°, so might not stay in it too long, but hey, that’s as warm as it ever gets in New England. I’m a little spoiled now I guess. But it will be a good day to refresh our tans.

Love and light everyone.

Thanksgiving Prep

When I was young, we used to use the term “hot box” to describe the non-stop performing of some task. Like “hot-boxing cleaning the house.” Meaning, you start something and get so in the zone that you don’t stop til it’s complete. Don’t ask me where it came from. Maybe some obscure reference to non-stop pot smoking back in the day when I did those kind of things (like 50 years ago). But it seems to work in a lot of situations.

Yesterday, Dan and I were hot-boxing cooking. We’re making TG dinner for his family. We made the stuffing for the turkey, which was a joint project. Dan did a lot of the real work of it, chopping, cooking sausage, etc. I made a 3-layer jello mold. I know it’s a little old fashioned but then, I’m old, lol. The top layer is raspberry jello into which I put round cream cheese balls, maraschino cherries and banana slices. The 2nd layer is orange mixed with vanilla yogurt, kind of a creamsicle type of thing, and the third was lemon with peaches laid inside it. A simple thing to make, but you have to remember to keep checking it to add the fruit before it fully solidifies. You snooze, you lose.

Then I made a cookie sheet of twice-baked potatoes. I have more to make this morning. When we were done, it was time to start dinner, so we poured a glass of wine and made some Italian sausage and meatballs and pasta, and a salad, and called it a day. I was happy to sit down and watch TV for the evening.

This morning, in addition to the 2nd load of twice-baked potatoes, I am making a pumpkin pie. I bought a couple sugar pumpkins about a month or so ago, and cooked them and froze the pumpkin. It’s a pumpkin chiffon pie. Instead of using condensed milk, I beat up 4 egg whites and fold them into the pumpkin mixture. It’s really good, and lighter than regular pumpkin pie. I am a little nervous though, because I haven’t made a crust in a couple of years. I hadn’t been able to make one down here, because I had no place to roll out the dough. Dan bought me a beautiful pastry board though, so now I have to do it justice and not mess it up. Pressure pressure.

When we’re done we will pack it all up, and take it all to Dan’s house. Tomorrow we’ll stuff the turkey and make the gravy and veggies.

Tomorrow night the kitchen will be closed til Sunday. I think.

Thing is, I LIKE cooking Thanksgiving dinner. It sounds like I’m bitching, but I’m not. When my sister said she didn’t feel like having a big TG (last year she had a whole bunch of neighbors in) she also felt I should make it for Dan’s family because his 91 year old mother had done a lot for me. I remember telling her, “Well, ok. I really want to make it for someone!” So now, when I sit down and think about how much food one cooks and consumes on this holiday it makes you think you’ve been working hard. Whatever it is, it is a labor of love.

I hope you all have a happy Thanksgiving. It’s very cool to have a holiday just dedicated to giving thanks. One thing I know, is there is always something to be grateful for, even if it’s just your breath.

Love and light to everyone.

Memories of Woodstock (Though I Wasn’t There)

The 50th anniversary of Woodstock is in 2 years. That seems CRAZY. I was just graduated from high school in the summer of 1969.

We watched the movie Woodstock on Amazon the other day. Had to pay to rent it, $2.99. It was worth it. It was really fun to see all those great artists again, at their beginning. It did disappoint me in that it didn’t show some of the iconic bands playing their iconic songs that were sung there. Like Jefferson Airplane, later Jefferson Starship, did their songs White Rabbit and Don’t You Want Someone to Love at Woodstock, but the movie only showed some obscure (if any of them are) song. Still….crazy to watch Grace Slick and company. We really enjoyed Santana too. Man, can Carlos Santana shred a guitar. Arlo Guthrie singing “Flying into Los Angeles, bringing in a couple of keys” brought back a lot of memories. Lots of great talent, lots of people, it’s how it all began. I think the final count was something like 450,000 young people in attendance, less than 100 arrests, no violence, one birth.

I wonder, sometimes, where everyone from that “cultural revolution” went. Most of us (and I include myself loosely because it was my time in life, though I was in Iowa while Woodstock went on) kind of ended up in regular mainstream kind of lives for 40 years. With regular jobs, and families, and mortgage payments and credit cards. We were so full of ourselves in those days, thinking we were going to change the world. We just didn’t realize how slowly real change comes. Nor did we ever expect the polarizing politics that are in place today.

Now many of us are retired, or thinking about it. I’m retired and now live in a warmer climate. I live in a town full of people like me, and here, sometimes, it feels like the cultural revolution goes on, mellowed by age and life. Almost feels like a full circle kind of thing.

It was fun to watch the movie again, and relive memories of that very free and slightly wild time in my life. There have been some anniversary concerts, I think one of them had 50,000 attendees. I can’t imagine what the 50th anniversary concert will look like. I hope it’s grand, and some of the original artists are able to come back for it. I’ll keep an eye out for plans.

Far-out, and be cool.