Monday, December 02, 2019

November Hill farm journal, 87

I am late saying Happy Thanksgiving here and so will wish it now - I hope the holiday weekend was full of gratitude and family/friends. This year my son and daughter-in-law stayed at home to celebrate their first anniversary and we here on November Hill had a lovely week with my mom here and my mother-in-law here for the Thanksgiving meal.

I don’t often write about cooking, but this was the first year we were totally meat free. We had our final fall CSA veggies on hand and I used most of them in preparing the meal. This was the menu:

Baked pumpkin stuffed with wild rice/tart cherry/walnut/spinach + many lovely herbs and spices

Cranberry sauce

Sweet potato casserole with vegan marshmallows, pecans, plus a little brown sugar + cinnamon

Sourdough/kale “stuffing” baked in a pan

Brussel sprouts with soy “bacon” bits

An oldie but goodie from my childhood: lime jello salad with cream cheese, celery, pecans, and no sugar added fruit cocktail

Pumpkin cheesecake with a ginger snap/pecan crust

I made everything from scratch and started on Tuesday so I was able to enjoy Thanksgiving day itself without much work. I have such good memories of staying up late cooking while my husband and children are asleep, and I did some of that this year. It was lovely, special time, and gave me a chance to be thankful for all that it represents. To be awake while loved ones sleep, making food you know they will enjoy, holds so much of what it means to be a mother, for me. And this year, to be able to do it while my own mom slept was especially nice.

The herd got leftover ginger snaps, the dogs got tasty bites of the veggies, and the cats got a bit of heavy cream to lap up off a dish. We all enjoyed the day.

We also finished rewatching the brilliant, gorgeous Netflix series Anne With An E. If you haven’t seen it yet, it’s wonderful in every way. There are two seasons on Netflix and a third coming in January, but Netflix announced last week that they are canceling the show, which was originally set to have five seasons, and this provoked a twitter-storm of protest. This is one of those shows that is just so beautiful it should be held up as a shining example of what can be done with the medium. I hope a network picks it up for the final two seasons that are on the stove simmering.

I have a trifecta of films I always love to watch this time of year, so we also squeezed those in during the holiday weekend: Contact, Interstellar, and Arrival. I love all of them. This year after watching Arrival again I got intrigued with the fact that it was inspired by a short story by Ted Chiang, who is a technical writer for software development but also writes creatively. He has two books of short stories out and apparently writes about one story every two years or so. He says he has no inclination to try to write a novel, and no need to try to write stories more quickly. There’s something truly beautiful about a creative process that is willing to spend two years on a story, its concepts and themes and expression. I’m reading his stories now.

We may watch Gravity and The Martian this week to complete the mood. Last night my daughter lured me into rewatching Silence of the Lambs, which is outside the space mood but such a finely-crafted film. A screenwriter/author friend, Alexandra Sokoloff, analyzed it in a 36-page brilliant look at the film from the perspective of craft and plot, and we looked at it while watching, as we also looked at how the Clarice character inspired Dana Scully’s character in the X-Files. A fun way to end the holiday weekend!

This morning it’s sunny, cooler, and I’m going to have to spend some time trying to get christmas tree lights to work. Isn’t that just the worst thing? When you plug the tree in and an entire section is dark? Okay, in no way the worst thing, but annoying.

Last week the oaks went into their full glory here, so I’ll leave you with my beautiful Oak At F.


Grey Horse Matters said...

A belated Happy Thanksgiving! I've been away the last week and spent Thanksgiving at my sisters house with my nephews and niece. My sister had a hip replacement and I stayed there for a week to help her out. Your meal sounds interesting with some really good dishes to try. We all eat turkey and ham except for J. who hasn't eaten meat since she was five and found out where veal parmigiano came from!

It sounds like you had a lovely peaceful time. Your tree is gorgeous! Our trees have barely any leaves left and we've had snow already so we have a totally different landscape.

I've been putting up decorations and one of my trees is dark at the top. I can't wait to find the one bulb that's causing this annoyance and get it working again. Good luck with your lights!

billie said...

That doesn’t surprise me about J! :)

I need to do the same with our dark section of tree - I’m going to tackle it tonight, I think. Thanks for the good luck.