Hibernation 

Normally, I’m all about winter. Fall is my favorite, but I’m down with the -uary months. Hot chocolate, my winter clothes (nicer than my summer ones), soups, stews, gingerbread, toasty batches of granola, snuggling under flannel sheets, snow.


But we’ve barely had any snow this year and have been living in moving chaos and well. Winter is just dragging this year.

For once I’m looking forward to warmer weather, starting my extensive list of plants from seed, getting the yard in order. We try to eat seasonally and are hardcore missing fresh tomatoes right now. Those anemic-looking hydroponic things don’t really cut it.

At least we have citrus season, and I found this recipe for Lemon-Rosemary cookies to try. I wouldn’t have thought of that combo, honestly, but a writer friend made them for dessert after a lunch at her (super awesome Victorian) house a while back, and they were off the charts. 

Now hopefully I can also figure out ways to shake off the winter doldrums that don’t involve eating massive amounts of cookies. The Flyer has started doing those seven-minute interval workouts to cure his, and they look excruciating. Toddler hefting and nursing will probably just remain my cardio.

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Feisty’s Big Day

Today, we celebrated the one-year anniversary of Feisty’s baptism. Which I can’t believe was actually a year ago. I didnFullSizeRender.jpg‘t make a cake for her baptism party on account of getting ready for a house full of people and having a six-week-old! So I figured today I might as well try out the King Arthur Flour Recipe of the Year, the Lemon Bliss Cake. (I think I linked to this in the previous post, too. I swear I’m not a flour shill, I just really like their recipes and finally had time to make it today.)

The cake turned out really well, nice and moist, with a perfect crumb. I added lavender flowers to the icing, which was a tasty addition. It’s looking a little dented in the photo, but was otherwise lovely!

We lit Feisty’s baptismal candle at lunch. She crumbled her cake into little bits and ignored it, aside from the pieces she threw onto the hardwood. It was nice for The Flyer and me to reflect, though. Here’s a flashback to a year ago, teeny Feisty “enjoying” her big moment with her godparents:

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We had her baptized in the traditional Roman Rite at our FSSP parish, and it was a beautiful ceremony. It was interesting to share the Traditional Latin Mass with family who had mostly forgotten it and friends who had never experienced it. (Also, not going to lie, I kinda got a kick out of seeing my mother-in-law don a veil.)

I hope Feisty is able to appreciate why we chose that for her and that this day becomes more meaningful to her as she grows up. She’s already doing better than last year – she was okay until the priest sprinkled salt in her mouth, and then she was filled with rage for the remaining portion.

In other news, I singlehandedly unclogged our basement floor drain, and we are finally getting somewhere on winterizing the spa. We also have gotten mostly unpacked, thanks to my aunt, who took Feisty for part of a day last week. Being able to do laundry and move freely from room to room has taken an amazing amount of stress off all of us.

Lazy Sunday

So we didn’t end up winterizing the spa, as it poured down rain during The Flyer’s lunch hour (well, during the part of his lunch hour where I convinced him to stop obsessing over weatherstripping the front door). The drain was also a no-go (thanks, Feisty).

But that’s okay, we’ll get to it this week. For today, I stuck a huge pork shoulder in my slow cooker, and the house is just stating to smell like delicious braised pork. It was supposed to be beef stew, but the local market where we buy our meat has been consistently out of stew beef. I’m pretty excited about eating this pork shoulder, though. I’ve been wanting to make one and freeze leftovers for ages. If it tastes as good as it smells, this will be a damn good evening. I’m also kinda tempted to throw this cake together, maybe dotted with lavender flowers, and make a batch of granola because food>unpacking boxes.

Braised Pork Shoulder

1 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped
Half a bag of baby carrots
Small package of fresh mini portobello mushrooms, quartered
4 cloves crushed garlic or generous measure of garlic powder
3 lb. bone-in pork shoulder
Salt and pepper, to taste
Fennel and coriander seeds, to taste
1 c. chicken stock
1/4 c. dry sherry
3 T. olive oil, divided

Season meat on both sides generously with salt and pepper. Let it rest at room temperature while you prepare the vegetables.

In a heavy skillet over medium-high heat, warm 2 T of the olive oil, then add carrots and onions, sauté until just translucent, then add garlic, cooking for about 2 mins before adding mushrooms. Lower heat slightly and cook about 5 mins more, then transfer everything to a plate.

Heat remaining 1 T of oil in skillet, then add meat, searing on each side until a golden crust begins to form. Add seared meat to slow cooker, followed by vegetables.

Toast fennel and coriander in hot skillet, add to slow cooker.

Pour chicken stock and sherry over spices, meat and vegetables. Cook on high for 5-6 hours. Shred pork with two forks. Serve over thick noodles, polenta or boiled potatoes.* Invite me over.

*Update: I ended up serving this over white beans simmered with a drizzle of blood orange-infused olive oil, some smashed garlic and cracked black pepper. It was amazing – we all loved it, although Feisty ended up flinging it all over the hardwood floor.

Hi there

I’ve been meaning to start this blog project for over a week, but the still-packed boxes in the living room, my work schedule, and my child have had other plans. For now, I’m ignoring the couple remaining boxes, have hit a slow spot in the work day, and my child is currently being entertained by her “skellies.” Dancing lifesavers, those skellies.

A little less than a month ago, we closed on our first home, which has been surreal and terrifying. As we settle in here, though, the house has taken hold and made me want to do strange things. Garden, for example, although I’ve killed every house plant I’ve ever owned, and my mom literally couldn’t pay me to weed her flowerbeds growing up. Decorate, but I’ve always been into that. Learn about tools. Unclog drains. Winterize the spa. The last two items are on the agenda for today, so this should be interesting.

Life starts to seem tantalizing-the backyard for Feisty, the gas oven and range for me, the endless DIY learning opportunities for The Flyer, who has been watching This Old House since 1989. I picture every detail of every room during the (many hours of) time it takes Feisty to fall asleep, plan out what I will start from seed, what needs fixing, how to do it.

It’s all kinds of exciting, and I hope to keep chronicling it here.