Little pops of red woven throughout our Sunday.
Little pops of red woven throughout our Sunday.
I love an open weekend. One that may fill up with a last minute outing or gathering but could also remain quiet and slow. On those not so full weekends, along with a roast chicken on Sunday ,there is usually a snack tray of sorts on Saturday.
As much as I love to sit down to as many meals together as possible there is something so simple and casual yet interactive and open ended about a board of nibblies.
Our snacks may sit front and center by the fire as we gather around to feast and chat. Or maybe side saddle as we play a board game at the dining room table. Or sometimes just simply set up on the kitchen counter to be grazed upon throughout the day by those passing by.
Some Saturdays are simple with fruit, cheese and some nuts. Or when we’re feeling a bit fancy we might step it up a notch with some smoked salmon.
When I recently saw the cover of the February Martha I knew our next snack board had to consist of homemade soft pretzels. I’ve been making this recipe for years now. I love how quick and easy it is. I do have plans of trying Lina Kulchinsky’s recipe very soon though.
Along with the pretzels, I served up a seedy mustard, homemade sauerkraut, rosemary cheese, olives, seaweed and cherry tomatoes. We also popped a bottle of homemade kombucha (stay tuned for a post on that soon!).
Today, just as I had set the snacks down in front of the fire, aunt Izzy stopped by and then not long after my dad. There was plenty for everyone and our impromptu snack tray party was a huge hit.
We all decided sauerkraut atop a soft pretzel is a pretty perfect combo!
I try to knit the girls something for Christmas every year. Hats, socks, mittens and dolls clothes have all made their way under the tree. I think it may have been Humpty Dumpty who motivated me to knit outside of the box and make each of them a special friend this year.
I love to peruse the many beautiful projects over at Purl Soho and fell in love with these two patterns as soon as I saw them.
Both were a lot of fun to knit and I am now a master at bobble making. There must be over 200 bobbles on Mr. Sheep!
Just like their owners, I think they make quite the couple and may be the best of friends.
On Saturday (my birthday) we woke up to a foot of snow. By day’s end we had almost 2 feet!
It was the perfect birthday gift.
Maybe even good luck.
43 is going to be a good one.
P.s Check out our recipe for a snow day.
I love Sunday. It is definitely my favorite day of the week. I try to keep Sunday sacred by leaving it completely open and most of the time I strive to never get into a car or even leave the house (except for my morning walk or maybe to walk to the market).
Our Sundays shift and change with the seasons but Sundays in the winter and autumn are definitely my favorite. There’s always a late, sit down breakfast. There’s always a fire. And there’s always a chicken in the oven by late afternoon.
There is something so slow and intentional about making a meal on Sunday. And there is something so special about ending the week with your favorite people eating that meal.
I use this recipe every time but use different roots from week to week and usually serve it up with garlicky sauteed greens such as kale, collards, swiss chard or mustard greens.
After the chicken has been carved and picked over, the bones and carcass are thrown into a pot and covered with water. I simmer the broth over night for 12 or more hours and wake to find a golden elixir!
Monday night is chicken soup night. I make several variations but always fall back on a few simple tricks. This week I made a curried vegetable, chicken soup. There is always a salad and if time allows, homemade biscuits or corn bread with a hunk of cheese.
If there are left overs, lunches on Tuesday consist of thermoses of hot soup. Although I admit to eating it for breakfast too.
Curried Chicken Soup
2 tablespoons butter
3 cloves of garlic chopped
1 onion chopped
3 stalks of celery chopped
4 carrots sliced
2 tablespoons curry powder (I am a curry-aholic. Feel free to half this)
1-16 ounce can of fire roasted tomatoes
6-8 cups of homemade chicken broth
1 cup frozen riced cauliflower (my new favorite TJs find!)
1 bunch fresh spinach or kale, leaves finely chopped
3 cups of cubed cooked chicken
Salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
Heat butter in bottom of soup pot. Sautee garlic and onion. Once translucent, add celery and then carrots. Add 1/2 the curry powder and a pinch of salt. Once the veggies are soft, add the tomatoes and then broth. Let simmer on low heat for 30 minutes. Add cauliflower, greens and chicken and rest of curry powder. Simmer for 30 more minutes. Turn off heat. Season with salt and pepper.
This soups improves with age.
1. The tree is down along with much of the Christmas decor. Our home feels a bit bigger and lighter.
2. I finally found an antique vanity plateau mirror for my dining room table. I am always admiring the one that my mom has on her table. I like how it dresses things up a bit and reflects the candle light.
3. My mom had two leaf prints (made by Chris) framed and wrapped up under the tree for me.
4. Chris made fun of my most recent re-purposing of an antique cruet set which I filled with bath oil, Epsom salts and dried lavender. He asked if he should carve some salad tongs for my next bath.
5. Nothing like a new succulent and some ranunculus to freshen up the bathroom.
6. Paperwhites and amaryllis bulbs are a January must!
7. The sweetest handmade mobile gifted to Norah from a crafty neighbor home from college.
8. Starting to frame more photographs to be hung in this little hallway space.
9. A vintage quilt rack to hold our collection of quilts and wool blankets.
I don’t know about you but I adore wintertime. I am that person who nods their head, but secretly disagrees with others who complain about how early the dark comes. I don’t mind one bit when I need to turn on a lamp at 4:30 pm. Nope, I say embrace the darkness!
But really, I do love each season. I always seem to be ready for the next one as it approaches. I’ll welcome spring with open arms in a few months for sure. But for now, I greet the darkness with gratitude and I appreciate it’s many gifts…..
::The busyness of a day ends a bit sooner as the light lessens. A calmness sets in. We all tend to slow down.
::We hunker down as nighttime rituals happen earlier.
::I cherish the time spent around the cozy glow of the fireplace in the evenings keeping warm, playing games, making music.
::Earlier bedtimes are always a plus. More sleep equals healthier immune systems to fight off winter colds and flus.
::Cheery twinkle lights stay up even after the holidays to brighten things up a bit.
::Candles and more candles! I even light candles outside to greet guests.
These shots were taken last Tuesday during Dinner with Izzy.
Did you watch Downton last night? We have all been counting down the days. Norah made a chocolate cake with cream cheese icing just for the occasion.
Christmas is still lingering on a bit here. The tree is still up and the holiday music remains on shuffle. As my mom would say “Christmas is not over until the Epiphany!”
But I do love the start of a new year. A fresh, crisp new calendar. A list of goals and aspirations. Re-organizing and re-arranging. And a sense of calm as the holiday hustle comes to a close.
Yes I know I haven’t been here in almost two whole months!
All I can say is I have been trying to live in the moment.
No documenting, no blogging, no social media, very little screen time at all and to tell you the truth it’s been rather nice.
But after some time to ponder I have realized that I do miss this space.
Thanks to all of you for your gentle nudges and inquiries. It’s heartwarming to know that so many of you enjoy it here.
I do too.
We had the most lovely holiday. In between baking, gift making and decking the halls, we hosted a caroling party, a new years eve party, several dinner guests and tonight we end our vacation with a little Downton Abbey party. There’s a chocolate cake in the oven right now!
I look forward to sharing more of our home, garden, projects, traditions, recipes and every day life here with you in the new year.
Happy new year my friends!