So, it’s been awhile. The semester has been busy, to say the least. Busy is sort of a lazy word, though. A by word for stressed, or overwhelmed, or guilty about the things you say no to. Or just an excuse to say no. I have felt like I don’t have a choice about being busy, and neither do any of my friends; we are busy because not to be would mean not trying hard enough, or not working hard enough to achieve our goals. In reality, not being terribly overwhelmed and busy might just mean spending more time with each other, feeling like I have room to breath, cooking dinner for myself when I want to. Or you know, writing in a blog about things I like doing.
For the Thanksgiving break, I have decided to do all of these things, and try not to let myself feel guilty about not taking the time to get more work done. Often, that’s what holiday breaks mean for academics – more time to read and write that you don’t normally get during the semester. The pressure comes not just from myself but from others who expect me to work at a certain pace; those who expect me to always be busy.
I will continue the tradition of not posting about work on this blog, and instead continue to think about food and friends, in the spirit of this weird holiday (we’re not getting into politics here today). While I helped make most of the dishes we shared on Thursday evening, there were a few that I specifically contributed.
This pecan pie recipe is from smitten kitchen. I added the leaf embellishment – my mom and I started doing this a few years ago, probably off a tip from Southern Living. smitten, in her greatness, added an option to this recipe to “gild the lily”: aka, add a chocolate ganache bottom. And of course I did that too.
smitten also contributed the recipe for the cocktail that I drank for most of the day (I’m not sure anyone else had any but it was definitely gone by the end of the night).
This apple cider sangria really got me through. Her recipes are always reliably delicious and aesthetically pleasing.
Yeast rolls! These turned out better than I could have hoped. I have made this specific recipe a couple of times (it’s Pioneer Woman). I always have to add much more flour than it calls for, though, and it ends up making at least twice as much as the recipe says. If I can get the texture right, which is hard, they are everything I want in a yeast roll. Of course Pioneer Woman’s rolls are way prettier than mine, but I feel like she would say that’s okay. She likes when things looks rustic.
The last thing Bryn was in charge of (and by in charge of I mean I insisted on making it) was a cheese ball. I was inspired by A Cozy’s Kitchen’s pimento cheese ball, but used my mom’s pimento cheese recipe instead (I won’t have it any other way).
This ball was demolished. Here’s the pimento cheese recipe:
- scant 1 cup mayonnaise (Blue Plate, if you can find it)
- 1 small jar pimentos
- 8 ounces Extra Sharp Cheddar, grated on the small side of a box grater
- 8 ounces Sharp Cheddar, grated on the normal side of a box grater
- 1 tablespoon grated onion
- 1 teaspoon Worchestershire sauce
Combine all ingredients. Place in fridge or freeze for at least 15 minutes, while you chop the nuts. Chop 1 cup of pecans, then roll the cheese in the nuts. Voila! Ball of cheese.
We invited all our favorite people (unfortunately, not all of them could be there). It was a beautiful evening, and we were all thankful to be where we were.
Erin making the place cards (yes those are squids get your mind out of the gutter).
There was lots of apron wearing.
And cats in sweaters.