Over the river and through the woods

Hello to you! And a merry post-Thanksgiving weekend!

We have begun our initial descent into the grand holiday season. Or is this like a flight and we are ascending? Either way, as far as the holiday season goes, it's on.

We had a nice feast at our new Brookside casa and the day was a success with the exception of our Julia Child's Poulet au Porto, which is roast chicken steeped with port wine, cream and mushrooms, failing to ignite.

Generally, it's viewed as a good thing when you don't set things on fire when you're cooking.

But not in our case. The near final step of the recipe is to put the chicken back over the flame after you carve it (butcher, in our case) and then you sprinkle it with 1/4 cup of cognac (Courvoisier, in our case) and then you light a match and the thing is aflame. It was supposed to be a remarkable moment for this, our first Thanksgiving we ever hosted.

But we gathered everyone around to start the fire...and alas, the cognac barely sizzled and then soaked itself into our bird. Someone asked, "was that it?"

Hardly spectacular.

Yet, in my mind it had such promise to be a wonderful moment.

I've scoured the web (did one google search) for an explanation and I only found one person who remarked on the comment. They said that they had successful ignition.

So if you know me at all, you know that means Adam, Kitten and I are going to make this recipe over and over and over until it finally bleeping ignites. Stay tuned for more on that.

 I am pictured above attempting to clear the wreckage following our Thanksgiving fete.

Would you like to see our full menu?
Poulet au porto
Braised carrots (Julia Child's recipe)
Peas with pearl onions (Julia Child's recipe and suggestion to accompany said poulet)
Mashed potatoes (my mom's)
Mixed green salad with apples, walnuts and feta in a balsamic beer dressing (my mom's)
White bread stuffing (the internet's)
Chicken biryani (our guest's)
Rolls (the store's)
 ...and a whole bunch of pie and a dish of French Nougat (insert drool) from Fannie May (the chocalatier, not the housing organization)

One of our guests brought the biryani and I think it may have been my favorite dish of the day. It had such a nice punch of spice. I ate it for breakfast yesterday, honestly. And lunch.

On a project related note

So I was out shopping the other day and I saw this home decor store with lots of high-priced holiday decorations and I said to myself, "What's the big deal? I can spray paint acorns gold, too."

And then I set out to do it. I had been so excited when I discovered nuts in our front yard, only to break one open with a hammer and find that it was a nut favored more by squirrels than human folk.

But they were pretty, so I gathered about 15 nut tops and bottoms (because they had separated in the process of falling from our tree) and then I painted them gold on our front porch with $5 spray paint I bought at Big Lots:




Aren't they pretty? Then I set them out to dry overnight and promptly forgot about them for nearly two weeks. But when I went back, they were all there and ready to go, so I hot glued the tops back to the bottoms. And then I put them in a glass jar:


Isn't that fun? It made me so glad they turned out cute and also that our neighborhood squirrels didn't try to eat them--but I suppose squirrels are much too smart for that.

So there you have it! Home decor on a dime.

Kitten and I are back to my Grandma's quilt today. My ingenious husband, who, by the way, brings to our marriage a far superior iron than mine, helped me rework my triangle template and the measurements are far more precise now. We spent the afternoon yesterday watching movies and Simpson's episodes while I worked on tracing and cutting. I will post pics soon!

Hope you're off to a good start with your holiday planning! Leave me a comment about your holiday decorating plans! I need some inspiration!