A (Thankful) Sunday Salon

I don’t know about you but I hate those posts where the blogger apologizes for not blogging because they are _________ (fill in the blank) busy, lazy, distracted, sick, tired, *whatever*.  So, I won’t do that.  Because really, nobody cares.

But from looking around I see it is time to dust off the cobwebs in the corners, water the plants, throw open the windows to air the place out and try to get rid of that smell of neglect.

Whew!  That’s better.  (Thank you, BOTB readers, for understanding, and for checking in with me.  I’m fine!  Just uninspired!)

At some point in recent weeks I all but stopped writing reviews.  I have all the usual excuses (busy, etc.) but mostly I’ve just not had the writing mojo.  I would sit down to write a review and the words wouldn’t come.  Now I have so many to write I may never catch up.  I’m thinking of clearing the slate and starting fresh, with the exception of books I agreed to review for others (thank you, authors and publishers, for your patience).  Has anyone else done this?  Just wiped the slate clean and moved on rather than trying to write reviews for books you read weeks ago?  (Thank you, blogging friends, for your advice in this area).

What happened to me?  There was a time when I reviewed everything I read, immediately upon finishing.  It’s much easier to write a review that way.  If enough time passes, the details get fuzzy, and nobody likes a fuzzy reviewer, right?

My aim in the new year:  fuzz-free reviews in a timely manner.

We’re looking forward to some quality family time this week.  The kids are off from school and I do not have to bust my butt cleaning my house and gearing up for company (yay!  YAY!) because Thanksgiving dinner will be somewhere else this year (thank you, Mom, for making dinner!).  All I’m required to do is show up with clean, well behaved children (ha!), a bottle of wine, and a casserole dish full of sweet potatoes (thank you, Tara, for the most excellent recipe!).   My holiday responsibilities end there.

The girls have NO HOMEWORK over the break (thank you, teachers!  I was expecting the worst!)  So we will be out carousing this week.. shopping, seeing movies, going roller skating, and just generally hanging out.  With no school projects to attend to, it will be a real break for them.  We are dying to see New Moon (even Mom’s looking forward to seeing werewolf  Taylor HOTner-all three of us are TEAM JACOB) and Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant (thank you, Hollywood, for all the great movies this time of year!).  Daddy has to work (thank you, Dad, for being a great provider!), so it will be a whole lot of girl time. Hopefully there will be no drama and we will all get along.

I’m also looking forward to some reading time.  I’m reading How to Save Your Own Life by Michael Gates Gil, a super quick little guide to finding joy in unexpected places.  I need to finish Bold Spirit for a December book club discussion (thank you, book club friends, for enriching my life!).  And finally, I can’t wait to start Keeping the Feast by Paula Butturini this week (thank you, Penguin Group, for sending the book!)

What are your plans this Thanksgiving?  What are you reading?

I’m thankful for YOU.  HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Happy Thanksgiving!

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There’s nothing to eat!

How is it that a person (me) can drop about $150. at the grocery store, after coupons, lug in about 20 bags of stuff, and still have nothing to fix for dinner?  I do have a 22 lb. frozen turkey, fresh cranberries, celery, onions, baby carrots, poultry seasoning, sparkling cider, beer, wine, soda, a new roasting pan, coffee, Mocha Mix, flour, sugar, tubes of crescent rolls, butter, and 10 lbs. of potatoes, among other things, but nothing to eat right now.  Good planning, huh?

The Great Sweet Potato Debate

imagesThis year I am cooking Thanksgiving dinner myself.  Usually our only obligation is to show up at my mom’s house with a side dish, a bottle of wine, and a couple of well behaved kids (ha!  THAT is the hard part!) but this year, my mother went and broke her hand (on purpose, perhaps, to get out of making dinner?  Hmmm.) It’s in a cast and it’s making everything difficult for her to manage.  I’m more than happy to make dinner, but it may not be up to my mother’s very high standards.  She will just have to be ok with that!  

So I was at the gym this morning with my good friend Carrie.  Carrie, the perfect hostess.  Carrie, the gourmet cook.  Carrie, who effortlessly throws a sit down Thanksgiving dinner for 25 year after year.  We started talking about Thanksgiving when she said she had this new recipe for sweet potatoes that she was going to try.. something about peeling and cubing and baking.. Huh??  In our family, we open up 3 or 4 cans of Princella sweet potatoes, cook ’em, mash ’em with butter, brown sugar, and hot milk, top ’em with marshmallows and brown them in the oven.  Sweet Jesus, they are to die for.  As I was telling her how they were done in our house, Carrie was mesmerized.  She had never eaten sweet potatoes with marshmallows.  She said something like, “Why marshmallows?”  Seriously, you have to ask?

For me, Thanksgiving dinner isn’t the time to get gourmet.  It’s not the time to pull out the cookbooks and try something new, get experimental, or worry about calories or fat content.  It’s a nostalgic time, an opportunity to make all the traditional recipes you’ve had since childhood.  But I suppose every family is different.  Personally I can’t imagine Thanksgiving dinner without sweet potatoes and marshmallows, and I’d be willing to bet that most of middle-America eats them that way.  Am I right?

How do YOU do sweet potatoes?