Thanksgiving planning (yes in July)

Due to an unexpected convergence of events (including some very happy news for family 😘) we, yes the hus-creature and myself, are hosting a thanksgiving meal this year for family.

For a mere 8 people (which includes our kidlets) therefore I’m fairly sure this counts as small by normal standards here.

Nevertheless, it’s the most we’ve ever catered for in one single sitting.

So, being more than a little nervous, but also excited, and determined to be a decent hostess, I am already into planning overdrive.

We have had gracious offers of food and supplies, which we will gratefully accept, but I do not intend that guests do all of the cooking.


Apart from anything else, I fear that Lady Deirdre Wagon would most certainly not approve!


Also, it’s rude!

So I am making lists of lists of lists and am beginning to plan.

The first thing we need is at least one more crock pot/slow cooker (as we are still using our old one from the U.K. and it requires a small transformer to run) and ideally also a pressure cooker.


I am willing to settle for just the pressure cooker, as a number of models also double as crock pots. But I would very much like two.


I want to practice some of the wonderful side dishes that I have seen in various slow cooker books which we now own.

I’m also planning on getting my bake on.


I blame my newly discovered Nailed It addiction for this particular bout of insanity!


However, I also do not intend to make dessert for this many people if I don’t have to.

To this end I have already reached out to the local bakery that is in close proximity to my knitting group to ask if they do pies.

Within 4 hours they sent me the list of 2017’s seasonal pies:

Sadly, they cannot guarantee all of the same flavours this year, but for example I cannot see them refusing to stock pecan or pumpkin pie.

I’m personally vetoing banana cream pie; as banana and I do not get on well in this sort of medium (one of the hus-creature’s favourite desserts is banoffee pie – we have respectfully agreed to disagree), and apparently I am in an extreme minority with my blueberry preference 🤭😕


Still, I was lucky enough to get to try their B.B. Pie last year at knitting and it was delicious and tides me over


So we will wait and see nearer the time – apparently they take orders about a month in advance, so nearer the time I will take soundings from my guests and order a few pies.

I’m also planning on adding either cupcakes or one of the gourmet cakes they do to the order so that the kidlets have an option that they won’t immediately refuse – last year neither of them ate a lot of pie (even the fabulous chocolate peanut butter one 🙀)

So beware those of you who follow me on Instagram and/or Pinterest – there will be a lot of activity in the coming months. I don’t want to serve something that I’ve only just tried.

Gives me an excuse to try baking biscuits (they are more like savoury scones to us Brits) and cornbread, which I have a weakness for.

I also have a recipe for chocolate gravy (USA style) that I’m itching to try which apparently goes very well with biscuits…

And because a picture-less blog post feels wrong somehow, cute kids are cute 💕

Domestic Goddessery

I truly feel that in this last week I have levelled up!

Those of you who follow the Facebook page as well as subscribe to the blog will have already seen these so I apologise to you happy few!

However, on Tuesday I once again ventured into the land of “making fresh soup from scratch for my beloved offspring”.

Ho ho ho *hysterical laughter commences*

So a slightly different selection of vegetables, including shallots for, you know, actual seasoning!


I did mention I didn’t know how to cook right?!?!?!


Which ended as this:

And yes, the significantly less chunky one was for #1 Son.

No, he didn’t eat it. But he did try it at least.


I have instituted a new rule of three separate mouthfuls before I call time. If he manages that (and we are only talking about three individual pieces of pasta – and please note the shape of them) then the bowl of pre-prepared plain pasta (yes I weep internally at this) that I also prepare is produced. I also offer grated cheese. If no try? No extra pasta. Cruel perhaps? But I’m officially at the end of my rope.


TT was marginally more impressed, but generally speaking, once her big brother gives up on something, so does she.

So I was left with a fairly voluminous pot of soup, with no idea what to do about it. But then with a sudden brain wave I decided I would blend the lot down and freeze it.

Behold the wonder and joy of ice baths and ziplock bags! There is a large bag that will serve as an emergency meal for us, and two smaller portions that the hus-creature can take to work alongside some microwaveable portions of ready to eat rice.

Behold the awesomeness of my wifely skill and care!!!!


STOP SNIGGERING AT THE BACK THERE


And that is not all dear audience, oh by no means.

I also did this:

Why yes, that would be a pan of homemade vegetable stock using the leftovers.

Now, I will freely admit that it seems that I apparently made the grievous error of including eggplant aubergine peelings in it – because they are bitter they shouldn’t be used. But there was a whopping amount of butternut squash unused from the soup:

And so I think it balanced out, as it didn’t taste bitter at all. And so now I have about 1.3 litres of homemade stock to use in my next attempt and providing the beasts with actual nutrition.

I’m actually itching to get my hands on a chicken carcass or lamb bones now 😂🤣

And this, this is not all. Today, I did this:

I actually ironed and sorted all of my son’s t-shirts.

Look, I appreciate that this does not sound impressive. And that I probably should not be as proud of this as I actually am, but as ironing could definitely be consider as my own personal Goliath/Achilles Heel/insert Greek metaphor of choice here I’m bloody pleased with myself!

All in all, I feel confident in stating that this week I have definitely levelled up in overall domestic goddessery.

Food decisions

Since mom has been staying we have been trying to expand the food repertoire of both children. On Monday we made home made pizza.

Yes on these pizzas were:

  • Tomato paste
  • Taco cheese
  • Ham
  • Pepperoni
  • Peas
  • And on TT’s only – mushrooms

He tried everything before putting it on the pizza. Everything got the thumbs up.

Then once cooked? Nope. Nothing. Nada. Outright refusal. We then had to persuade him to eat 3/4 of it based on the fact that he had made it himself.

I’ve reached the end of my tether with #1 Son now. Since before he turned two he’s been beyond ridiculously picky about food. It’s been four years.

His sister (who is two) was, I thought, just as picky. But no. She’s just been copying him. I cannot deal anymore.

So we’ve decided that we cannot simply cater to the lowest common denominator anymore, as she is suffering for it.

I’ve had a rule in place for at least the last year, that if you just try the thing on your plate, and you cannot eat it, I will make toast to replace it BUT YOU HAVE TO TRY.

So last night he went to bed both early AND hungry, because he refused to try potage. It was basically just highly blended down slow cooked beef stew with pasta. We had made it into a sauce dammit.

He just had to TRY IT. And he refused. While his sister wolfed it down. Followed by a dessert of oven baked banana, with a topping of natural yoghurt and a shall amount of melted (Hershey) chocolate. No, he didn’t get any.

I’m at the end of my rope. It’s not purely sensory as he eats things of various consistencies.

I also feel guilt because he’s been recently complaining that meals are “boring” but what am I supposed to do?

This morning we had a breakfast treat of chocolate cherry pie. He REFUSED. Then when finally argued into it claimed it made his tongue “minty”. It wasn’t a sour cherry pie, he’s eaten frosted cherry pop tarts and loved them.

He has particularly been grumping about breakfast being boring. But when I actually try and get him out of his rut? Meltdown.

He did have cereal first, so it’s not like he has gone to school hungry – that would be academic suicide – but lord.

I’m just exhausted from the daily battles. If it’s not food, it’s school, if it’s not school it’s some other perceived unfairness.

Can I have booze yet?