This fall has been crazy busy!! I look forward with glee to December when I will hopefully have two weeks of quiet and calm, and can go into winter book hermit mode (although it’s not actually that cold here yet in North Carolina – I don’t usually go into seclusion mode until the cold weather blows in!).
Right now, I am gearing up for Thanksgiving, a holiday that almost always also overlaps with M’s birthday. Every year, we host a multitude of family for both Thanksgiving and birthday celebrations. Don’t ask me about the year of Thanksgivukkah – that one crazy year (2013) that I had 3 holidays in 3 days: M’s birthday, Thanksgiving, and Chanukah all rolled into one! So much fun…and so exhausting!
This year, we have 10 family members coming to visit, beginning to arrive on Tuesday, and hopefully I will still be sane on the other end of things! Too bad our bathroom renovation is about one week behind schedule, and will not be done by Thanksgiving. I am sobbing tears of defeat over that one!
In other exciting news, I am only 4 people away from 100 followers!! Who knows, maybe you will be my 100th follower! It would be wonderful if I reached that milestone today!
What I’m Reading
We had a great book haul from the library this week! Above is a selection of books that both M and I are reading.
- The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer L. Holm
- Serafina and the Twisted Staff by Robert Beatty (I will be reading this, too!)
- El Deafo by Cece Bell. M loves this one so much she has probably already read it 3 times, and we are currently reading it aloud together, as well.
- eleanor & park by Rainbow Rowell. I finished this a few days ago, and hopefully will have my review up before Thanksgiving!
- Heartless by Marissa Meyer – Squeee!!!
- a platter of figs and other recipes by David Tanis – I always like going back to this cookbook when I need new ideas for dinner.
Even more exciting news, my November OwlCrate came in the mail Saturday evening! Here’s a sneak peek:
Excuse the poor lighting, I didn’t open the box until I returned home from dinner last night!
What I’m Watching
The Hunting Ground (Documentary) – This documentary takes a look at college rape, and how it is handled by various universities…and hits the bull’s eye. It is an influential documentary that deserves all the attention it has recieved…as do the amazing young women who were brave enough to confront university and athletic programs head on and demand change and reform.
What I’m Playing
My reward swag bag finally came in the mail for my team finishing 1st Place in the Women’s Relay for the JJF Virtual Triathlon!!
You can read about the Jimmie Johnson Virtual Triathlon in one of my earlier Read Watch Play Posts, but look at this cool swag!
Here’s what came in the Swag bag:
- An awesome medal and Congratulations note for completing a 140.6 mile triathlon!!
- A Lowe’s Nascar hat – My dad would love this, so it will be passed on to him.
- Under Armour Coldgear running gloves – They have touch-screen fingertips, which will be perfect for cold weather bike rides and walks to/from M’s school!
- Sports towel – I can always use more of those!
- Mission EnduraCool Instant Cooling Skull Cap – I’m not sure if I will use this or not, so it might be gifted to my father-in-law, who runs and bikes and lives in the very hot, very arid desert near Phoenix, Arizona.
- $10 Gift Certificate to Dick’s Sporting Goods! Yes!!
What I’m Cooking
I am participating in the 5 Things on Sunday meme for the first time, hosted by Kendra @ Reads and Treats. This week’s theme is a Thanksgiving freebie, which fits in perfectly with what I’m cooking this week!
I tried to switch things up this year and prepare some new dishes for our Thanksgiving feast. I received a resounding, PLEASE, NO!!! from almost every family member. My daughter loves my sweet potatoes and would be devastated if I switched out the marshmallow topping for pecans. My brother-in-law would consider it sacrilege if I tried out a new stuffing recipe. And so on and so forth.
So, here are five tried and true dishes that I make on Thanksgiving, and apparently are well-loved by my family!
- Cranberry, Sausage and Apple Stuffing – made with a mix of whole wheat and farmhouse white bread that I buy at Great Harvest Bakery a few days before.
- Cranberry Sauce – a quick 10-minute skillet recipe that only uses 3 ingredients: cranberries, sugar, and orange juice. Easy, and delicious!!
- Turkey – We buy local, heritage turkeys as often as we can, and brine it overnight. We added the brining step a few years ago, and never looked back! I’m not a big turkey fan, but brining brings out the moisture and really adds to the flavor.
- Sweet potato casserole – I don’t make the sweet potato as sugary sweet as other people do, but we do pile the marshmallows on the top!
- Pumpkin Pie – my secret? I don’t use pumpkin, I use butternut squash! When we lived in Australia, sugar pumpkins (or canned pumpkin) was hard to come by. I substituted butternut squash one year, and loved how easy it was – especially compared to stringy pumpkins – and have done it that way ever since!
Happy Sunday! What are you up to this weekend?