We had a fun- filled weekend starting with Hannah’s first winter formal dance. It was a 1920’s theme and I think she pulled off lady Hannah rather beautifully. And Chris was quite the dapper chaperone!
While Hannah and Chris were off dancing the night away, Norah and I went out for Indian food.
Saturday was spent cooking, cleaning and sprucing up our home for dinner guests that evening.
On Sunday we hosted an afternoon Valentine tea party. There was lots of chocolate, whipped cream, heart shaped sugar cookies and of course conversation hearts. But my favorite were the pickled radish hearts. We have an over abundance of watermelon radishes from our winter CSA share and last week I packed a huge mason jar full and covered them with a salty, spicy brine. I was pleasantly surprised to find that within a few days they had turned a beautiful shade of pink. Cut into hearts, they were perfect paired with cheese and nuts.
We ended the evening with Downton and all was right with the world:)
Today Norah cashed in on one of her Christmas gifts and attended a 4 hour long cooking class. She came back even more inspired to cook new things (if that was even possible).
It is now snowing and we are getting ready to cozy up and watch this.
How was your weekend my friends?
I come from a hardworking, talented and extremely creative family. Stubborn, tough, persistent and strong-willed also come to mind when I think of the Bostons. We are made up of musicians, chefs, quilters, farmers, knitters, gardeners, teachers, nurses, interior designers, carpenters and artists to name a few.
My uncle, Rodman Boston, AKA Roddy, (Pop’s namesake) is an extremely talented artist, not to mention stubborn and strong-willed, and I am lucky enough to have several of his pieces throughout my home. I especially love his landscapes, so calm and serene. I took that photo of him painting a Cape May beach scene in his studio this past fall . Believe it or not, he was going through chemo as he was painting. I told you us Bostons were tough!
Unfortunately Roddy was diagnosed with brain cancer in September. The tumor is responding well to the chemo and has been shrinking dramatically and he has regained most of his vision . However, the latest round of chemo left his immune system very weak. In January, Rod picked up an infection and ended up in the ICU in septic shock. After 6 days on life support, he started a road to recovery and is now working hard to get out of the hospital and back home with my aunt Isabel and his two beloved dogs. Roddy is off of oxygen and talking, drinking and eating, although he has quite a ways to go to regain his strength and mobility.
Over the last few months, unable to sleep at 3 am because of steroids, he’s been sketching in his hospital room, or in his studio painting, or downstairs in his basement constructing frames. These past 4 months have been some of the most prolific in his life. It’s a beautiful thing how he has turned the most challenging time of his life into the most creative one, doing what he loves most!
I am sharing this story because it is all consuming right now in my life, but also to allow you a chance to win one of Roddy’s beautiful paintings through a donation.
This raffle allows anyone the chance to win one of his paintings for a fraction of their value. It also gives Rod the chance to share some of the beauty he has created.
You can click here to read more about my uncle Roddy and how he is a BOSS at life and fighting cancer.
As Pop would say, “Keep the faith, boy.”
You’ve got this BOSS-ton!
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.