As is somewhat typical when you are married to someone who has a non-traditional schedule, the Firefighter and I are spending the holiday apart. His schedule does take some getting used to, but we’ve gotten pretty good at celebrating our holidays when we can – so we spent this past Sunday celebrating Thanksgiving together.
The original plan for Thanksgiving this year was for the Firefighter and I to celebrate, just the two of us in our apartment. I had the meal planned, the grocery list written and was trying to calculate how many bottles of wine I could get away with drinking without it affecting my cooking.
It was during that somewhat complex equation that the Firefighter told me we were invited to spend Thanksgiving with his second family. Our only instructions were to bring ourselves and a traditional dish that we loved. Since the Firefighter and I haven’t been able to come up with what “our” traditional dishes are yet, we decided to bring a couple of our personal favorites to share.
Cheese Grit Casserole (His) This dish was invented by the Firefighter’s grandma and is one that he has enjoyed at family holiday feasts for as long as he can remember. Luckily for me, I was able to get the recipe from a family cookbook that his mom put together for me so that I can make it any time:
Cook 2 cups grits as directed, but omit salt
Add 1 stick butter
2 tsp salt
2 tsp savory salt
1 pound sharp cheddar (shredded)
Tabasco to taste (about 10 drops…or more, if you like spicy :))
Caramel Apple Pie (Mine) As I’ve mentioned, the fall is all about the apple for me. Don’t pass me the pumpkin or pecan pies, but good luck getting a slice of apple pie from me. It’s a weakness that I only let myself indulge in during Thanksgiving. This year I decided to get super decadent and add caramel to this recipe.
Apple Ciderosa God bless Pinterest and the delicious recipes it inspires. I’ve been enjoying this particular cocktail all month:
There really is no wrong way to make this beverage, but I personally go with a 2 parts Moscato to 1 part apple cider ratio.
This year throughout the aisles of Michael’s, Target and kiosks in the mall, Christmas was making itself apparent even as early as August. Christmas is my absolute favorite holiday and time of year, but I believe that Thanksgiving should get its time in the spotlight.
My family has always had the tradition that we go around the table before digging into our Thanksgiving feast and say something that we are grateful for. One of my New Years Resolutions for this year was to keep a gratitude journal and write down each day things that I’m grateful for so that even on the worst day I can remember the small things I am blessed with.
On Pinterest I stumbled upon this blog post that took the traditional ‘say what you’re thankful for’ to a whole new level; an opportunity to remember all we have to be thankful for. Although we probably won’t do a six-foot list this year, our goal is to have at least one full sheet of paper each. I’m looking forward to seeing what the Firefighter and I come up with for our first solo Thanksgiving together.
One of my favorite things about the holiday’s is taking part in traditions. I don’t think I’ve carved a pumpkin since high school. I wasn’t able to carve one last year due to a ton of traveling in October/November, so it was very high on my list to do this year now that I have a job that keeps me local.
Since the Royals made the World Series playoffs, my pumpkin carving date with the Firefighter turned into a watch the Royals and carve our pumpkins date. For not having carved a pumpkin in close to 10 years (a mind blowing statement right there), I think I did a pretty damn good job.
And yes, I’m pretty sure the wine helped with my carving abilities :).
For most people ‘Fall’ seems synonymous with ‘pumpkin’. Pumpkin seeds. Pumpkin bread. Pumpkin muffins. Pumpkin pie. And of course there is the (in)famous Pumpkin Spice Latte.
Not for me, though. During the Fall, I am all about the apple.
Last weekend I went to an apple orchard with the Firefighter, one of our good friends and her chunky monkey of a toddler aged son. The cold snap in the air last weekend made it feel like the perfect fall morning: cool enough to need long sleeves and a light jacket but warm enough in the sun not to be too cold. Perfect.
While we were at the cider mill, I immediately got some of the ever-so-addicting cinnamon donuts and apple cider slushes (why places in the Midwest during the fall don’t offer WARM apple cider is beyond me, but I’m rolling with it).
And of course while I was there, I picked up some apple cider and apple butter so that I can continue to enjoy the apple deliciousness at home.
We are at the beginning of September! School is back in session. College football is back. Pumpkin Spice Lattes are back in coffee shops in abundance (not my thing, personally, but just about everyone else seems to be happy about it). Soon the weather will start cooling down, the leaves will change colors and the nights will get just a little bit longer.
I love the fall.
Even though this is going to be my second fall living in KC, last year I traveled for 17 days in September and then was gone again for 6 weeks from mid-October through the end of November. I didn’t get to do anything really fall related, except dash to a Cider Mill quickly one weekend. I want to change that this year and have come up with a mini bucket list of things I want to do this fall season.