Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thank you thank you silence

It's 7pm and the whole family is in bed.  Sad, I know, but we had a nice, busy day.  TJ's parents and Granny came over this morning, right around the time I started cooking, and kept BabyT and the dogs entertained and even better, out of the kitchen.

Cooking started off on a low note, with the pumpkin vinaigrette dressing tasting mostly like garlic.  I think the issue was using garlic paste instead of minced garlic. It wasn't bad, just not that pumpkin-y.

Rather than fretting about timing the cooking exactly, I just started cooking, and figured I could pop the early items back into a warm oven to reheat when it was time to eat.  We were aiming for a meal around 3pm, which would coincide nicely with the end of BabyT's nap.

I had a rule where I only had 2 things cooking at a time so that I wouldn't get overwhelmed/forgetful.  I also like to clean up and put things away as I go, which is something I learned in all the Chem labs I took at Caltech.  We even had a bit of downtime to run a load of dishes midway through the cooking (thanks TJ!).  Again, the Heating of the Ham confounded us.  Instructions say 7-8 min per pound, but also heat to internal temp of 130 degrees.  No word on whether that meant we needed to get it to room temp first.  So we didn't and it took more an hour for the ham to reach temperature.

The meal was a success, except for the mysteriously dry ham.  But that was TJ's gig, so I'll let him take the credit/blame for that.  And to be fair, neither BabyT nor the dogs had any complaints about the ham.

I could make a list of all the usual things I'm thankful about - my family, our cozy home, our health, etc. etc. I'm thankful for those things every day, and I know I'm blessed and lucky (to steal a line from 10,000 Maniacs).  But that's not very interesting, is it? 

So here's my list of little random things I'm grateful for:

1.  Vegan pumpkin pie.  Yessiree, it turned out AMAZING.  Even better than the Trader Joe's Apple Pie, which is the stuff babies are made from.  Or, well, my baby anyway.

2.  My in-laws are not outlaws.  They are really nice people. Seriously, no complaints here. Except their failure to finish all the roasted bacon squash, which meant we needed to dig up a tiny container to store the leftovers.  Because nobody throws bacon away.

3.  The fact that TJ wakes up ridiculously early in the morning (some of us call it the middle of the night).  99% of the time he's already been awake for a while when BabyT gets up. So he gets Morning Baby Duty (hehe, I said "duty") and I get anywhere from 30 min - 2 hours of extra sleep.  Hooray.

4.  The Whole9/Whole30 folks for fundamentally changing how I think about food.  I may not be perfectly "clean" but I have eliminated so many processed foods and feel *so* much better about it.  Today's Thanksgiving dinner was almost entirely made from whole, unprocessed foods, with the exception of the boxed gravy (last-minute addition) and the Trader Joe's stuffing, both of which I could totally live without.  Thanks Whole9 peeps!

5.  King County Library System and its amazing online catalog thing they've had at least as far back as the late 90s when people were using a text-based web browser (Lync? Lynx? whatever.)  Even back then, you could look up books online and request they hold them for you at your local library, regardless of where the book lives.  And they have *everything*, seriously.  Right now I have 6 books that I requested, and all I had to do was run in and grab them from the 'R' section of the Holds shelf.  Though, phooey to the other Redmond resident whose first name starts with 'ANA' and last name with 'RAM' because I keep trying to pick up the lame DVDs he/she requests, and it confuses me.

So there's my list of what's been making me all warm and gooey on the inside.  What about you?  How did your dinner go?  What are you thankful for? Inquiring minds want to know, plus you can leave me a comment while recovering from food coma in your stretchy pants.


  1. Instead, I'm leaving you a comment while the house is quiet and I'm getting ready to work all day... We did dinner earlier this year (about 1:30, instead of in the evening) and it worked out really well. Normally I'm too full/tired to eat pie, but with this schedule, we had pie in the evening after naps. Very good decision. =) I'm not a big pumpkin pie person (apple is my fav), but the tart I made was pretty good--almost as much crust as filling, which was fine with me. And now I get to eat leftover apple pie for breakfast, which is the best thing ever. =)

  2. @Di, bummer about having to work, but I too had pie for breakfast :) We ate at 3pm and that worked well, too.

  3. That's so wonderful about your in-laws being good ones.

    Amen on the awesomeness of the King County Lib Sys. I live in an area of WA that has reciprocity with it, and it is seriously life-changing.

    Our dinner went really well - DH is the cook in our family, and even though he had to work part of the day, he did a lot in advance and knocked it out of the park again this year. ;)


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