Monday, November 26, 2007

Early to bed

We stopped at the grocery store tonight on the way home to pick up the fixin's for Turkey Pot Pie. I had visions of making and freezing it tonight for reheating tomorrow, but after I finished my 'leftover thanksgiving,' all I wanted to do was sleep. Tomorrow. I'll eat half for dinner and freeze the other half.

It's not quite as pretty as it was yesterday, but you get the idea.


Sunday, November 25, 2007


We ordered our turkey a few months ago from the butcher. When I picked it up yesterday it seemed a bit heavy. And expensive. When I got it home, I realized that we'd bought a 9 KILO turkey rather than a 9 POUND turkey. That's an 18 lb turkey for those of you not doing the math. Oh, and there were 6 grown-ups and one kid at our table.

John and I got up at 6 this morning to put the bird in the oven, and accidentally left the oven on 190C instead of 160C. The turkey was a little dry, but otherwise very tasty. Oh, and it was done an hour early. John made the mashed potatoes, and we had butternut squash with shallots and sage, sauteed broccoli with garlic, creamed onions, and stuffing. Freda made some gorgeous cranberry sauce, and the best apple pie I've ever had for dessert. Elia brought a really tasty pumpkin pie with pecans on the top, which we completely devoured in addition to the apple pie. It all looked really festive and Thanksgiving-y on the plate - and I completely forgot to take a picture.

Happy eaters:

We have SO much leftover turkey - I've filled a huge tupperware container, and that was after I'd extracted the dry meat. This picture? AFTER everyone had eaten.

We only got through the meat from one side. I sent a huge chunk home with F & T, and it's going to be turkey sandwiches for the rest of the week. Any turkey recipes would be gladly taken. I thought about making soup, but couldn't bear to extend the turkeyness - so I threw away the bones. I felt SO guilty doing it, but I just knew I wasn't going to use them. Maybe I should have frozen them - I don't know.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Post/Pre Thanksgiving

On American Thanksgiving (Thursday), I called the family and they played pass-the-phone with me. It was good to talk to everyone, if only for 3 minutes each.

Then John and I had veggie chili leftovers and walked to the Stowmarket Regal cinema. It's a 1930s-ish art deco cinema that has just been restored - we love it! We saw Stardust (based on the Neil Gaiman book that I loved) and it was fantastic. The perfect blend of LoTR adventure and Princess Bride camp. I've seen reviews that said that the pacing was bad and Clare Danes was annoying - and I completely disagree. The movie romped along at a v. satisfying clip and Clare was perfectly acceptible. A.O. Scott suggested that it would have been much better with the original choice - Gwyneth Paltrow. Meh...not so much.

Tomorrow is Stowmarket Thanksgiving - here's some of the prep that went on tonight. I had a minor meltdown when I couldn't find my mom's NYT stuffing recipe - I have NO idea where it is and the interweb wasn't yielding anything. I've ended up with this recipe - it sounds similar but I think Mom's might have carrots in it. Not sure. It should be yummy, though.

Oh, and our monster fridge that we thought we'd never fill? FULL.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Starting in

I cut out the place mats that I'm going to make from this fabric that I got in New York at Purl:

I have some orange fabric that matches their faces that I'm going to make napkins out of. The grand plan is to have them finished for Thanksgiving - we'll see if I make it.

The Bury Bach Choir concert went pretty well last night - we kind of fell apart on the Mozart, but completely made up for it with a pretty darn good rendition of Britten's "The Company Of Heaven." It's not performed very often, but it should be - it's genius.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

It Sucks To Be Me (no, really!)

And I have the mug to prove it! Our friend Mark went to London to see Avenue Q last weekend. I gave him a copy of the CD back when we were living in the flat - I can't even remember what it was that sparked the conversation. So tonight he turns up with this mug, as a present for me from London:

I LOVE it...and it totally goes with my 'Everything in life is only for now' button that's on my monitor at work.

I was talking to one of my choir buddies at rehearsal tonight and she said that both she and her husband have been sick with a lingering cold-y sore-throat-y thing over the last few weeks. The more she described it, the more I think it's what I've got. I've had crazy headaches (not stress ones - those are different), a nasty taste in my mouth, and a sore throat. Oh, and no attention span. Seriously, none at all. I can't hold a thought in my head for more than about 10 seconds before I flip to something else. It's driving me bonkers at work - I can't seem to finish ANYTHING. Today at one point I had 3 open emails that I was composing, two things on my desk that I was working on, and a spreadsheet. It's not that I'm super busy (I am, but it's not new) - it's that I truly can't stick with any task for more than about 2 minutes before I suddenly think of something else that I need to do right then. I don't usually have this problem...and I need it to go away NOW. Maybe sleep will help...

Oh, and if you're in the Suffolk area this weekend, check out the Bury Bach Choir Concert on Saturday evening.

Monday, November 12, 2007


We made pizza last night - I still can't get it to taste like NYC pizza. It was still really yummy, though, just not New Yorky.

I'm desperately trying not to come down with something - I've been feeling really achey all day. Oh, and if I DO come down with something, I'll have to wait on the Matzoh ball soup - the places in the UK that I found charge OBSCENE amounts for delivery - I'll just have to wait 'til I can get to London next.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Windswept and interesting

With my eternal optimism about English weather, we went for a walk today. We drove up to Debenham and went on a modified version of a 6-mile walk in our walking book. James got a little tired towards the end, so we cut back early and only did about 4 miles.

We've had a fair amount of rain over the last few days, so there were plenty of puddles for us to splash in. I bought a pair of wellies yesterday - my old ones are still in NY - they're just too cumbersome to bring across the ocean. The new ones are v. green and comfy, and James and I did extensive puddle testing.

Here we are at the beginning of the walk:

And here we are being 'dead trees,' along with the dead tree in the background. We didn't break into song (Three Cross-eyed Buzzards), but we thought about it.

The aforementioned puddle-experimentation:

A very fall-y and English-looking bridleway:

And then a rainbow. What, dear readers, does a rainbow mean? Especially when it's upwind of you? That the camera rapidly got put away because it started to POUR. Sideways. With intermittent hail. Man, were we wet. Rainbow was pretty, though.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

New Curtains!

We've put up our new curtains in the kitchen - they make the whole room seem much cozier. They are about 4 inches too long - I need to hem them and put them back up.

I'm also reading Bury The Chains, about the British fight to abolish slavery. It's a history, but written with a definite 'story' arc - so far, so good.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Fire and Rain

Besides being one of my all-time favorite James Taylor songs, it seemed like a good title for this post.

I drove to the farm shop yesterday and stopped to take this picture over the fields - the light was incredible. I haven't quite gotten my head around the new camera yet, and it's not always doing what I expect it to do. I guess I'll just have to keep taking pictures!

I finished reading Water For Elephants, recommended by Kristen, on Thursday night. It was really well-written and had a compelling story. It's about a college senior who joins a circus, and how he reacts to finding himself in a completely alien subculture. It's told in flashbacks, as the protagonist is in a nursing home in his 90s. Completely absorbing.

We had some friends over last night for the Stowmarket bonfire and fireworks, and we went out for a curry after. Here's a pic of Elia and me at the bonfire:

And the bonfire itself. It was drizzling but the heat from the bonfire was so intense that we were all pretty dry. And with the amount of gasoline that they'd poured on the fire, we would have had to have a monsoon to put it out.

Here we are after a few too many glasses of ouzo.

We were all feeling a little worse for wear this morning, so I made pancakes for everyone and we felt lots better.

The in-laws came over today and I made Veggie Shepherd's Pie. Ours looked pretty much like the picture from the website and it tasted amazing. I used regular green lentils rather than canned lentils and added a bit more water and simmered for longer - it was very lentil-y and glorious. The sweet potato mash on the top was fab, too. It's a keeper. We chased it up with some brownies and were all very happy campers.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Halloween Roundup

We had a record-breaking (for Stowmarket, anyway) 45 trick-or-treaters last night. Lots of little kids in cute costumes (with their parents) and a clump of teenage boys. I made sure people knew we had candy - we had the front light on and both pumpkins lit. John was a little traumatized by the whole thing - he kept locking the door in between trick-or-treaters.

I had an interesting run-in with another American - as some kids were leaving, I heard their dad talking to them with an American accent.

"Hey!", I said. "Another American!"

No response- just a blank look.

"Oh, sorry, are you Canadian?"

"No, I'm American." (He talks!)

"Wow, neat! I thought I was the only one in Stowmarket."

To which he responded in the coldest voice, "You're not. There are lots of us." Then he turned on his heel and walked away.

Um, Mister? I just gave your kids candy. Don't be such an asshole. Oh, and when I got back from choir, someone had stolen one of our pumpkins. Bah.