Time flies when…
You’ve been staring at Oliver’s homecoming date for months, but with life so busy, the days leading up have been a bit of a whirlwind.
Late last week David needed surgery for his broken finger (he had an accident Nov. 1st and then rebroke his finger last week), so there’s been a lot of going back and forth to the hospital and various doctor appointments.
Luckily the surgery was relatively minor and the recovery from it should be complete with time. In the meantime, I’ve become an absolute whiz at pulling together items to have on hand while waiting around in medical settings.
And everywhere I go, be it in the Cancer Ward, post-op or waiting rooms, the Love Box comes with me.
I was asked my 85 year old friend Irene to take her shopping so that needed doing, too.
She’s so appreciative when I bring her to all her favorite shops — so how can I refuse?
I love how discerning she is (she treats herself to smoked salmon, superlative cheeses, etc.) but she’s on a very tight budget so she goes to different stores to find the best deals on what she needs.
I’ve carved out time for fun, too. I hit SCRAP and found a few interesting things.
The deer is amply sized and will be probably go on some door in my house in the next couple weeks, and the pile of red gingham paper will be lining baking boxes and trays in the weeks ahead. The presidential playing cards will probably be in Oliver’s spring care packages — or used as gift tags for him at Christmas.
I also got together with friends for cocktails this week. I hadn’t seen this group for far too long, so I wanted to show up with something for them to enjoy later.
I had all these beautiful herbs and a couple packages of Boursin in the house so I decided to make one of my favorite easy holiday spreads — homemade Rondele.
Have you had the commercial variety before (another version is Allouette)? It’s basically an herby, creamy, enhanced cream cheese spread that is delicious on everything. Homemade is even better.
It really couldn’t be easier; mix the best cream cheese you can buy with herbs, freshly pureed garlic, cracked pepper and a little cream. In yesterday’s version I added some of the Boursin, shallot salt and lemon zest to the mixture to boost the flavor.
This is basically like a boosted bagel schmear, but it makes so many foods that much better. Yes, it will automatically add cachet to your cheeseboard but it will also greatly elevate almost any sandwich (use instead of mayo) or dip poached asparagus or roasted potatoes into this and prepare to swoon.
I loved sharing these vintage Japanese ramekins with my buddies, purchased at the Goodwill Bins (and washed thoroughly) just the day before.
Speaking of Bins, I also snuck in a visit after a big Costco, pre-Thanksgiving haul.
As luck would have it, I found some other fun things there.
The brand-new socks will be doled out to pan-handling strangers with granola bars (I also have wool ones I give away) and I will craft with the vintage red and white ribbon, pipe cleaners (they look to be from the 40’s) and vintage gift wrap.
Look at the fun graphics on this paper.
And it’s funny: I walked into the Bins wanting to find something vintage Thanksgiving-ish and it did not disappoint.
Love and behold, under a mountain of old Tupperware and old pots and pans I found a little companion for my window shelf pilgrim.
Yes, a vintage Gurley turkey candle. It was like this candle was just waiting for me, and as one Instagrammer pointed out, it was amazingly intact for 60 plus years and a Bin tossing!
The timing couldn’t be more perfect as I wanted to ready the house for Oliver’s impending arrival.
So lots of fussing about, pulling out perennial holiday favorites
and delighting in some of my favorite vintage seasonal memorabilia.
I love vintage greeting cards so much.
And this came from a 1950’s craft book.
Isn’t that so sweet?
And I’ve got turkeys everywhere.
And who doesn’t love setting the table in the week leading up to a holiday?
I love my Glassy Baby candles so much, and I’ve had such fun customizing my giant terrarium according to whim, changing it up every few weeks.
So Thanksgiving today.
Unlike in years past, David’s not up for travel so we decided to have Oliver come home for the holiday.
In the last few days, I’ve been preparing food. I’ve been marinating my spatch-cocked turkey, making homemade turkey stock for the gravy, and getting the ingredients together for my stuffing– one of my favorite things on the holiday table.
I went to Ken’s Artisan Bread
and bought another of my favorite levain loaves.
My stuffing will be a combination of cubes of this bread plus homemade cornbread (crumbled into big chunks)
plus spicy Andouille sausage, caramelized shallots and homemade stock. This stuffing is so wonderful.
The only thing I was missing to make my holiday complete arrived yesterday afternoon.
I honestly don’t know who’s more excited to have this kid home. His Dad? His sister? Me?
Or maybe his 4-legged brother?
I think it’s a four-way tie.
All I know is that despite the huge setbacks and struggles this year, I’m grateful for so much.
Family. Friends. Healthcare that’s paying for this expensive cancer care. And hope– however small!– that we still have the chance to beat this ugly disease. Wouldn’t that be incredible?!
I’ll leave you with this dear friends: a card I picked up that completely embodies what Thanksgiving should be all about.
May you too be surrounded by deliciousness and beauty all weekend long.
And most of all, may your loved ones be close.