...Growing, Building, Cooking, Preserving, Crafting...

2006 began our urban homestead when I broke ground on a garden, which now includes perennial fruits, flowers, & many vegetable varieties. We dream of solar panels, keeping bees and hens. Until then we'll continue growing and preserving our own fruits and vegetables, building what we can for our home, cooking from scratch, and crafting most days.


But First, Thanksgiving

Every year for Thanksgiving I think I'm going to plan weeks ahead to give you all kinds of recipes for the feast.  The big meal is upon us and here I am behind again.  In keeping with the theme of simplicity for the late fall and winter holidays I've decided just to give you one recipe.  If there's any dish that keeps popping up every year it's this one.  I'm trying a couple of new sides and desserts this year, but I won't share those until I know they're good ones.  But this salad is one I tweaked to taste like something my Aunt Mitzi would make for either Thanksgiving or Easter.  It's a bit decadent what with the bacon, sour cream, and sugar but I've indicated substitutions when possible.

Mitzi's Cauliflower and Broccoli Salad
Serves 6-8

I love the sweet, salty, crunchy, creamy, and chewy components of this salad.  Unfortunately it's best the day it's made so make just enough for Thanksgiving day.  I intend to hit the farmers' market early this week to pick up my brassicas for this dish.

1 head cauliflower, cut into bite-size pieces
1 small head broccoli, cut into bite-size pieces
1/2 lb. bacon, cooked and diced
1 medium sweet (or yellow) onion, chopped
1 c. chopped celery
1 c. sour cream (or plain whole milk yogurt)
1/2 c. mayonnaise
1/2 c. sugar (you can try honey or granulated xylitol or simply cut back on the white sugar)
1/3 c. shredded/grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 c. raisins

Toss together cauliflower, broccoli, bacon, onion, and celery.  Combine sour cream/yogurt, mayonnaise, and sugar.  Add to vegetables and toss gently.  Add Parmesan and raisins and toss gently. Serve chilled or at room temp.

Aside from mentally and physically preparing for Thursday's company and feast, trying to get my head around the December holidays, and otherwise holding things together around the house, I've found small pockets of time to finish some sewing and knitting projects.  I always think I need to have huge blocks of time to move along with my craft projects, but even in fifteen or twenty minutes I can put in a zipper, turn up a hem, set in some sleeves, or decrease and cast-off for a winter cap.

With the cold weather teasing us I thought I'd better get working on the balaclava I planned for V.  I knew that if we wanted to keep walking the few blocks to school all winter that I needed to find a way for V to keep her nose, mouth and head warm all at once.  Of course, a scarf tied around her hood would work, but I thought a balaclava would be easier for her to put on and take off by herself as she likes to do these days.  If I made this again I would tweak the chin part of the front to be a little more snug, but the two or three times she's worn it already it's worked just fine.

I also found a few moments last weekend to finish a pair of pants for V that I'd started months and months ago.  It was one of the few patterns I've tried making from a book--tracing the pattern pieces onto tissue paper.  Fortunately V's only objection to this new garment was that it's not purple enough.  Oy!

Just not purple enough

Back in the summer I was on quite a roll cutting out all kinds of dresses for V, but only finding time to follow through on a couple of them.  Finishing the aforementioned pants got me rolling again and I decided to set a deadline for myself to finish one of the dresses.  Thanksgiving!  Why not have a new dress to wear for the holiday?  My mom gave me this darling woodlands corduroy over the summer so having her here for the holiday was another reason for me to finish soon so she could see it.  The pattern was one I bought on super deep discount a couple of years ago at the fabric store and the buttons were from a stash I've had for several years.  I absolutely love the fuchsia color of the corduroy.
Woodland Thanksgiving dress
Contrasting buttons
A little poof in the sleeve
Hoping to have a low-stress week to prepare for our company and meal on Thursday.  We're trying to keep the colds away in the process.  Elderberry, echinacea, and other various natural preventive remedies are in full effect. 

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