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taygete

adventures, by accident

Month

November 2012

Giving Thanks

I missed out on the Facebook trend about giving thanks for something every day of November, unfortunately. But I did have a lot to be thankful for on Thanksgiving: an abundance of food that gave us almost two meals’ worth of leftovers, a lively evening with my extended family, and gorgeous weather to top it all off. I’m lucky enough to be able to come home to a warm and cozy house (now that the heat’s back on …) at the end of every day.

T & Cookie the Cat
Warm & cozy!

I pretty much failed on my Thanksgiving  photography – I tried three new recipes and didn’t photograph a single one! I made an older Serious Eats recipe for Green Bean Casserole with a mix of white button and dried wild mushrooms; it was a success, but next time I’ll soak the dried mushrooms for longer and then chop them more finely. I also made the herb-y buttermilk biscuits from Joanne Chang’s Flour cookbook, though I put the parsley into the biscuits and put chive butter on top, and I made them drop biscuits because I couldn’t find cutters at Target! After a successful cookbook club experience with Deb Perelman’s Smitten Kitchen Cookbook, I made my own cranberry crumb bars with mulling spices, because the leftovers I brought home for T were mysteriously consumed … this book is definitely on my Christmas list!

Now that Thanksgiving has passed, I have as promised gotten a good start into my Christmas knitting. Some gift recipients read this blog, so I won’t be posting any pictures or details yet, but I’m enjoying the results so far! And our mini-fake-tree is up already, so I’m ready for presents to start rolling in 😉

Tabletop Christmas Tree
Tabletop Christmas Tree

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to listen to some Christmas music!

Frequency

Not that you’d know it from the frequency with which I post here, but we did survive Hurricane Sandy with only some water in the basement. Having  a friendly neighbor next door really paid off, because she tipped me off about the water situation, and I was able to get my bike out in time. I got two days off work when the school was closed, which marks the second time this semester that’s happened (two full days in a row). And I get time off at Thanksgiving as well – what a treat! We were lucky, and many of my friends in New Jersey and New York were not. It seems strange that my life has returned to (what passes for) normal while so many other people are scrambling to pick up the pieces.

I’ve been keeping busy as of late … I spent the extra time off work getting a head start on my Christmas knitting, which I hope will prove to be productive. Speaking on a panel at my graduate school alma mater turned into a mini-reunion with some classmates at the local dive bar. $3.25 for a pint of Fat Tire! Amazing! A modified cookbook club met on Sunday to delve into the new Smitten Kitchen Cookbook, with delicious results. We had iceburg stacks with blue cheese dressing, cider and horseradish pork chops with sweet potato blintzes, and cranberry bars and apple cider caramels. Oh, also, a pretty decent apple cider sangria, even if I did forget the brandy.

I’m excitedly planning my trip to Seattle for the American Library Association’s Midwinter 2013 Conference. My parents visited for a (different) conference a few years ago, also in January, and I’m trying to glean some ideas from my father’s travelogue. It’s a bit complicated because he references “such-and-such distance from the hotel” for almost everything, except the hotel has moved! He’s also attentive to details that are relevant to him but not necessarily widely useful. There’s a lot of descriptions like, “a restaurant three blocks from the hotel with a particular kind of beer or food dish.” I feel like Sherlock Holmes having to track down these references!

A recent catch-up conversation with my former supervisor, who still works here part-time, reminded me that I’ve been derelict not just in my photography, but in the activities that inspire me to photograph. My schedule has been so grueling this semester, I feel like I spend my day off either working a “second shift” of errands and cleaning, or catching up on sleep and resting. Now that our oven is working again, maybe there’s some photography-inspiring baking in my future!

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