Thursday, November 28, 2013

A turkey Day Thanksgivannukah - and a Turkey recipe hint

Happy Thanksgiving!

This year, though far away from all our friends and family, we are thankful for each other, and the love that crosses the miles.

Never before had either Brian or Myself hosted a Thanksgiving.  We had some students at the University who couldn't make it home for the Holiday, over to celebrate with us.

And wow, did we prepare a feast.

We catered to both our omnivorous guests as well our veggie friends.

Might I add, the turkey I prepared was the best turkey I had ever eaten.

We prepared it a la Julia Child, but used the recipe in Cooks Illustrated

They suggested a novel approach.  Take the leg quarters off before cooking, Remove the thigh bone, season with sage, salt and pepper, and sew it back up ( not for the faint of heart, mind you.)

Remove the backbone, and pan sear the breast skin side down (without the leg quarters),, and bake at 425 degrees for 30 minutes.

Then, remove the breast and lay it over the bed of stuffing you've prepared along with the leg quarters brush a thin layer of Olive oil and lightly salt and roast another 30 minutes.  Then, lower temp to 350 for 30 minutes to 1 hour 20 depending on the size of the bird, to reach safe temperature.  Let sit for 20-30 minutes.

It was juicy, flavorful, and so easy to carve the dark meat.

Brian prepared the sweets and mashed taters yesterday, and I roasted to bird, veggie stuffing, and glazed carrots today.

Overall a highly successful day filled with new friends, and thoughts of loved ones far away.

Happy Thanksgivannukah!!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

In 5 minutes.

What can you do in 5 minutes?

Think about it.  Does it take you longer to use the bathroom? Take a shower? Get dressed? Prepare lunch?

This is what my son did in 5 minutes, today:

In 5 minutes, my son got into the stash of Christmas and Hanukkah presents and start opening everything.  Thankfully, he was so proud that he found a driedel,  he stopped what he was doing and came out of his room.  After disappearing for another 2 minutes, he came back with the packing material for the large box of Amazon presents.  Thankfully, he thinks that poppers are fun in and of themselves and likes to pop the in front of me.

In the next few minutes that it took me to move all the presents from their prior location to a new, out of reach location, my son took the entire tube of toothpaste and smeared it all over his room.  I came back into him room to discuss not opening presents, when I smelled an overwhelming scent of mint.


"Daaaaaniel!" I saw it on the walls first.  Dripping light blue slime trails with silver sparkles.

"Daaaniel?" He pointed to the window sill.  There in the sunlight was a silver dollar size blob of the. same, with a thin line that began to drip down the wall behind his bed.

I found it on a sock.

I found toothpaste footprints on the carpet.

And I found it on his comforter.  I'll get the chunks, but that, he'll have to live with until the next time I have to clean it for a more serious, natural based mess.

5 minutes.  Today.

It took longer than that to clean it up.
It took longer than that to write this.

Sunday, November 24, 2013


It's been a while since I posted about the kids, and all the fun and interesting things they get into.  I suppose over the years many things just don't surprise me anymore.

Then today happened.

I'm calling today's post "Padded" because that exactly what the kids were.  Covered in pads.

I caught them as they were saying "Ouch, Ouch, Ouch and ripping them mostly off themselves.

This is what I saw:

The box was empty.

The trail leading to them:


Please, child, speak no evil.

Speak. No. Evil.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

YOA: Year of Adventures - November

To quickly recap, I turned 40 this year, and for my birthday my husband is surprising me with a new adventure every month. Hence, my YOA, or Year of Adventures.

November's YOA began on Thursday morning.  Brian (my husband), said he needed the car to run an errand.  No biggie, except he is a terrible liar.  I knew something was up, but I wasn't sure what it was.  I pushed, I pressed the issue, I basically called him out on it, to which he replied "You said it was OK to lie to you if it were for a good reason," which or course, I don't quite remember saying it that way, but hey, I'm 40, I forget a lot of things...

Sitting at the computer minding my own business, procrastinating, I hear the front door open.  I'm not in the least divided from my work to look up at Brian.  But no, the voice from the kitchen is not his sweet tenor "hey honey!," but my best friend, AJ, who surprised me from NY!!!!!

The tears of happiness flowed.

But that wasn't the real adventure.

Saturday morning we woke up early.  I was told to dress in layers, but comfortable.  Check.

Brian watched the kids, and told me that he was too scared for this adventure, so AJ and I were going together.

The intrigue!

It took about an hour of driving out into the desert, past a stinky dairy farm, through miles of arid desert landscape, and finally into a tiny town, to get to our destination.

Before we arrived, a plane was blocking our path:

We drove around it.

Now at this point, I'm thrilled an terrified at the same time.  WHAT? WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO??  Wait, am I going to need Dramamine?

AJ smiled, and said she was very excited.

We drove a bit farther until we came to out destinations:

YOA: November - Hang Gliding!!!!!!

After all the legal paperwork was signed - you know, in case you die...blah blah blah... at least my life insurance is current.  We sat down for a little "what's-what" and "how to" and all that school requirement 5 minutes worth, which resulted in our student license:

With that in my pocket, I was first:  

I was harnessed above the pro, helmeted, goggled, and given a quick rundown which boiled down to "it'll be a bit bumpy at first, but once up, your heart rate will slow down as you relax into it. Oh, and don't touch the aluminum, it's the steering wheel" 

Got it.

We were hooked up to the ultralight plane, and from there it towed us to 2,400'.  It took about 8 minutes to get us that high, and trip up was as close to being superman as I human could be - safely.

When the cable was released, the glider jerked back a bit, but then it was all us.  Just the sound of the wind in my ears, but other than that, it was glorious.

Bill, the instructor guy, showed me how he could swoop and turn, and showed my how to do it as well.  I opted for a smooth, straight flight.  If we could have just gone straight for miles I would have, but for some reason he wanted us to stay over the landing area.  *sigh

There were no tall buildings, no big houses, no traffic sounds, no babies crying, and not a cloud in the sky.  It was even warmer above 1,600', not colder like I had thought.  

We even saw a red tailed hawk flying on the updrafts.

Truly, an amazing feeling and an even more amazing surprise.

When I landed, I was a bit shaky but filled with awe of the glory of the earth.

So much so, that I even gave her a present, my breakfast;

I really should have taken that Dramamine.  Sorry, it is my blog after all... ;)

It was AJ's turn next, and she was every bit the adventurer I wasn't.  She didn't even leave a present for our Mother. heh heh.

Together we shared a memory to last forever.

Here is a short video AJ took, click HERE to watch me fly high into the clear crisp morning sky.


Lastly, if you are interested in participating in any future adventures, or would like to help Brian in the planning or paying for any little parts, please email him:  Please put "A Year of Adventures" in the subject line.