Thanksgiving, recap

I wasn’t going to do this because after all, everyone in the U.S. who cooks the traditional fare, cooks basically the same thing on Thanksgiving. But I didn’t see too many other Thanksgiving feast food photos in my reader, so here they are.

Here is the table. After we discovered I had turned off the oven where my husband was baking the stuffing, and it had been off for half an hour, I decided to drink some of the sherry I used for my squash recipe. The wine glass is a gift from my friend and critique partner, so it’s a nice reminder of one of the people in my life for whom I am very thankful.

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All the way back in 2005, Sunset Magazine did a contest for Thanksgiving and put all the recipe winners in their September (I think) issue. I use that magazine every year to make this because my husband and mother in law love it. It’s not super sweet, which they prefer, and it’s quite fluffy and light (though not low-cal).

Sweet potato maple cream cheesecake with a graham cracker and pecan crust
Sweet potato maple cream cheesecake with a graham cracker and pecan crust

That magazine also has a recipe for stuffed kabocha squash. I noticed these squash at the store this year so I decided to go for it. I’m so glad I did. It was fantastic, tho’  the photo’s a tad blurry.

Kabocha squash stuffed with veggies and glazed with a sauce of Worcestershire, soy sauce, sherry, cumin, cayenne and butter and olive oil
Kabocha squash stuffed with veggies and glazed with a sauce of Worcestershire, soy sauce, sherry, cumin, cayenne and butter and olive oil

The turkey was my husband’s masterpiece. It finished a couple hours sooner than we expected, necessitating a bit of an acceleration in the kitchen as I had been using the long afternoon to write a new scene in my work in progress novel. The turkey stayed on the barbie for another hour, on low, gently smoking to a crispy-skinned exterior while retaining a succulent interior (due to being stuffed with quartered oranges):

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He also made the best cranberry-orange relish I’ve ever tasted, with the mushy part being pleasantly sweet from sugar and the best orange crop ever from one of our trees, and contrasting with lots of whole and nearly whole cranberries which burst upon the tongue with freshness and a tangy tartness.

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I am thankful for my health, for my family, for my friends, for having enough to eat, for all the variety of life, and for being a writer. I am also thankful for a new habit I have of thinking about things I like and appreciate for a minute and a half, first thing upon waking every day. This new habit is better than coffee for setting up a joyful day. I recommend it.

I signed a pledge not to shop on Thanksgiving. I am also not going to shop today! So there! I’m going to do my favorite thing: write.

Thanks for visiting, and enjoy the day.

Here are a few people who blogged about Thanksgiving:

http://cookiedoughkatzen.com/2013/11/29/the-holiday-season/

http://followthatleader.com/2013/11/29/being-thankful/

http://chasetheredgrape.com/2013/11/29/crossfit-energise/

Peace III: A bird comes to visit

At a good breaking point in my writing yesterday, this bird came for a bath and a drink and stayed for quite some time. Just a humble bird, but I felt compelled to take its picture. A gift of peace.

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We run the waterfall every day for a half hour to keep the little pools fresh for the visiting birds. Much easier than keeping the water fresh in the little bird bath I used to try to keep up with. This little guy also did fly-by gulps out of the pool. I’ve learned that’s dangerous for birds because if their feathers get wet (and they aren’t a water bird, which all have oil in their feathers), they’ll drown. Perhaps that is obvious, but I never knew that!

September dinner

1. Pick some peppers (yeah, I really like my macro setting on my point and click camera):

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2. Have husband make homemade dough using the bread machine and a recipe from AllRecipes (plus he throws in herbs). 

3. Make weird shaped pizza so it fits on a Silpat.

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4. Using a pizza peel, transfer the whole Silpat directly to the rack of a 400 degree oven, but only cook for 13 minutes, not 16 because it cooks faster using this method:

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5. Enjoy! And then sleep from carb overload. (Man did that dough cook up big.)

After the storm, Alpine Meadows

Several people ran outside yesterday to take pictures. The amazing lighting and sky lasted for hours. There was a blue cast to all the trees that have smooth bark and to the granite. These photos are not enhanced except where noted.

Trees and granite
Trees and granite, looking west
Trees and sky
Trees and sky, southwest
Blue trees enhanced
Blue trees enhanced, southeast
Blue trees 2
Blue trees, southeast
Blue tree 1
Blue tree, south
Sky and condos 2
Sky and condos, looking east

Looking NorthLooking north

Smoky sunset, Alpine Meadows

 

I’ve found it challenging to capture the colors in the sky with my little camera. They wash out. Usually I have to post process to get them back. Last night, I took several shots and for some reason this one turned out. I did not process it and this is what the sky looked like.Smoky sunset

 

I’m finally getting ready to graduate from my little point and click. I’m breaking out the DSLR and tripod and reading the manual soon. I guess I’ll get a backpack to tote it all around in. Not such a big deal, after all.