Conor Turned 8!

My boy is getting big! He wanted a sports party again (no surprise there!) The YMCA delivered. We were delighted and everyone had a blast.

They played hockey

And baseball

I had learned from my buttercream fiasco and went with my favorite texas sheet cake with Perler bead toppings

I realize now why I like knitting, cross stitch and perler beads so much. I am not a freehand crafter… It figures – I’ve always been terrible at drawing.


Bag of Crusts

I made a bag of previously-frozen crusts into a bread and butter pudding. I used too much bread and was a bit haphazard with the sugar (had to change vessels I had so much bread!) so it wasn’t sweet enough. I make a lot of Nutella sandwiches for the boys so I’ve been adding the crusts to the freezer as I go. This was probably two weeks worth (remember, we were at home in a storm.)

From zero to hero (but I will weigh my bread next time…)

Christmas Sewing (and Baking)

I did a fair amount of sewing to get ready for Christmas this year.
I fixed a lovely tree skirt that my aunt-in-law Susanna gave us. It needed a slit so we could fit it around our tree stand. As you will see in this post, I got a lot of before pictures of things, but not so many “after”s…

Before cutting the tree skirt (I did a simple lining of the edges with bias tape)

Before making candy cane cookies

Before making shortbread

Before making four more stockings for the fireplace

Oh look! I actually managed an after picture!

What Month Is It?

Oh yes, October! Time for some spooky pyjamas, socks, treats, shirts…

Grandpa David’s annual Halloween package came on Thursday! Conor had a playdate over, so there was tons of excitement. Things came tumbling out of the package and we immediately had to make cookies because there were two spooky baking mixes. Conor’s friend is allergic to tree nuts however, so I made my shortbread recipe. The awesome sprinkles wouldn’t stick in to those while hot, so I made some quick icing too. It was hectic! I was convinced I was going to get a sugar crash any moment since they wouldn’t dream of touching any after-school snacks!

Some of the sprinkles may not have made it all the way to the cookie surface…

Fall Fruits

My friend Judy and I resolved to get some bulk Concord grapes from my farm coop this fall. She lent me her steam juicer so I could get a head start for making jelly. I LOVED it!

Getting through a large batch, with banana bread also accomplished

I also asked a local neighbor if they were using the quince on their bush. They didn’t even know it was edible

Frankly, after all the work it took to prepare it all, with little to show except very sour mush, I’m inclined to agree with them!

Rhubarb Renditions

My neighbor gave me about 12 pounds of rhubarb! He has a knack to making it grow like a forest. I made a rhubarb juice that I tried out in two different cocktails. And I made two crumbles.

My favorite drink was one shot Cachaca, two shots rhubarb juice, juice of one lime, over ice


Papa has encouraged me to always stop and look at the fish counter when I am shopping. I am notoriously bad at buying fish (I had a fish bone phobia after a bone caught in my throat as a child), but he scored some cod on super sale recently which I enjoyed cooking, so I am trying harder. I saw some monkfish at an incredible price. I rarely even see it on sale here, let alone at a 40% discount. Darina Allen had a recipe I wanted to try, so I forged ahead.

It was involved (roasted red pepper sauce)

Papa was appreciative, but also eager to impart his knowledge. As a child his family simply dipped the monkfish in melted butter.

It was divine. There is no going back. It was like lobster, without getting itchy shell juice on my hands!

That same weekend we tried to see if the fish had woken up at Spot Pond.

All we caught was plastic debris that we gathered for the trash can

Conor held out for a bite but it wasn’t to be

Doro Wat

I spied some berbere spice at Whole Foods one knit night. I LOVE Ethiopian Food and have not been able to find anything that compares with our favorite Ethiopian restaurant in Tucson. So I determined to try some Doro Wat (chicken stew). It definitely needed some extra flavor, and some more time to develop (tasted better the next day) and I didn’t have any injera (bread for eating with) but it was a commendable first try, for sure.

I didn’t add a ton of berbere because my spice tolerance is way lower than my Arizona days!

I also decided to make some extra boiled eggs because I had been craving an egg salad sandwich for weeks. I pulled out all the stops and added everything my nana used to add to hers.

Just needs bread