Thanksgiving was last week, and I have a few things to say about it, primarily, that my brother Dan cooked an amazingly delicious turkey. There was butter, and herbs (herb butter?), and that thing was pretty darn perfect.
I made the mashed potatoes, and with Dan's permission, used half & half, which I had just recently heard about on some cooking show (Ina Garten, I'm looking at you). I was a little disappointed. As much as I love me some mashies, these were not up to the quality I am used to, either made by me, or by my dad (who makes the best potato items, ever, including hash browns). They weren't horrible, but they weren't as good as they could've been. I think the half & half was a mistake. Sure, maybe I added too much, or too little, but whatever. Oh, and I also melted the butter ahead of time, which is also a different technique (which I'm also sure I heard of from some Food Network star). I should've stuck to doing it the way I've always done it.
I also made the cranberries, the night before. This is a classic Ina Garten recipe that I've been making for years, and they're always a hit. I was out with my sister-in-law the night before, and she said she too was making cranberries this year, using a Paula Deen receipe. I asked her what was in it, and she named all the same ingredients as Ina's recipe. I was all, "That's not Paula Deen's recipe!" and then she said, "... and Grand Marnier." Well, alrighty, then. My cranberries don't contain bourbon! (Is that what Grand Marnier is? I'm not even sure.) I'm sure both were good, just different.
Oh, and Dan led me through making the sweet potatoes, which I'd never made before. He roasted them, and I removed their skins (hot hot hot), and added buttermilk, butter, and milk, and then I mashed them for a while, and then we got out the hand-mixer I used in high school to make chocolate chip cookies. Even with the mixer, it was tough to get out all the lumps (next time we'll either get out the big mixer or maybe try using a food processor). After doing the best I could, I put them in a casserole with an arrangement of big marshmallows across the top, and Dan stuck 'em under the broiler. I have to admit, after the turkey, the sweet potatoes were my favorite item this year. They were perfect (though there were a couple of lumps!). Even when I was taking the skins off, before we added the fat, they were delicious. Sweet potatoes might be the perfect food.
Anyway, Thanksgiving was fun. Jules had fun, too - he was great all day.
After that, our weekend was really mellow. I didn't have to go to the theater on Friday, and it was nice to stay home with the boys. I don't remember what we did but I'm sure it was sweet. I also don't remember what we did on Saturday, but I'm sure it was also sweet. Sunday I went to the theater to be in the booth for the final performance of Orestes 3.0 by Charles Mee. We had a great audience, and the performances were really good. I really liked this show, even though the subject matter (matricide! incest! war!) is pretty grim. There were always things to look at and think about. On the other hand, this concludes my committment to be at the theatre on Sundays. They're running "The Bald Soprano" through the end of December, and I'll be in the booth for that on Fridays only, but it's a huge relief to be done with Sundays.
You can check out The Bald Soprano here.
I love being at the theatre, and being involved in the beautiful work they do, and doing my job there, but I'm finally starting to realize that making a commitment like this was possibly a bad idea, or made too soon. I miss being at home with Jules. And, I can't do everything: being there means I didn't play my flute with my friends in flute choir this quarter. Honestly, I've decided that I should be putting my time, what little free time I have, into my flute playing. That's the thing that I love, the thing that I'm really good at, the thing that kind of helps makes me who I am. Being in the booth has been challenging and mostly fun, but in the end, I do it for somebody else. I'm glad I've done it, proud of myself for sticking it out, but time is short, you know? Time to get back to where I was on my flute, and work some more.
So at some point on this blog, I'm sure I mentioned that the boy was sick on Halloween? He had a stomach bug - throwing up and diarrhea, the whole 9 yards. It was not fun. All in all, I think it lasted about 4 days, but, his appetite is still not quite what it should be. As such, he's been nursing up a storm. There are good and bad things associated with this. The good? I haven't gained any (more) weight, and I've pretty much been eating anything that's not nailed down. The bad - He's been nursing up a storm. Dude: I'm tired. Before he got sick, we'd had about a whole week of him only waking up once at night. Wasn't that awesome! And short-lived. Now he's back to three times a night. The last two weeks were short weeks for me at work, so I think my being home those extra days were great for him, but tiring for me. I had a rough time with this last week. Whoever says that breastfeeding is natural and easy - well, good for you. It's natural, and sure, it's easy, but it's also a huge drain sometimes. That bond that I have with him is precious and beautiful, and also a little overwhelming at times. Okay, those times would between 1:30 a.m. and 5 a.m. I was just worn out. However, I talked to my La Leche League lady last week, and she straightened me out. It wasn't like I was wanting to wean: I just wanted a shoulder to (literally) cry on. I'm going to try to make it to a meeting this week, too. He's almost 22 months old, I think he's hitting a lot of milestones.
Boy, what else? This morning was a huge challenge at work but I'm not going to write about it other to say, I should never let incompetence surprise me. It's sad but true.