Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Quick Soup Update

The Cream of Chicken and Wild Rice soup is even better left-over. It gets all nice and thick in the fridge overnight. Mmmmm. I will be very sad when it's gone.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Typical Tuesday

Daphne didn't take a nap today, so instead of relaxing in my chair with a book or some knitting, or getting some chores done, I got invited to a birthday party for Elephant Gerald (in the green chair). According to Daphne, he is two years old, and he wished for a box of frying pans when he blew out his candles. He plans to make pretend Lemon Soup with these pans.

In the high chair, you may notice a sort of Daphne-looking Cabbage Patch doll, courtesy of Aunt Kimmie and Uncle Marty. Her name, as stated on her birth certificate, is Anna Wanda. I call her Anaconda. Daphne calls her Anda-Wanna, and says her birthday isn't until Saturday.

Time to get back to the party. I am missing the cheese course. I think it's Gouda.

The Winter of Soup Begins

Soup 1
Originally uploaded by Tara H.
Last night I began the Winter of Soup with this Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice. Very good, and very easy. I used this recipe, and added carrots, mushrooms, and a little garlic. Next time I will use more rice, but otherwise I probably won't change anything else.

Big Wheel!

Big Wheel!
Originally uploaded by Tara H.
So, here it is. The Big Wheel. Don't you wish you could ride it?

Kev moved the seat as far forward as possible, but she can still really only go backwards.

Christmas was good. It seems like we spent most of it driving in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania goes on forever. Maryland, on the other hand, takes about 15 minutes to cross. The funny thing is, when you leave Maryland, there is a sign that says "Maryland thanks you for your patience."

Kevin turned 40 in NY the day after Christmas, so we all went sledding. In the snow. It was great. Daphne liked it, but was more interested in eating snow. One time, Kev and I went down together on my nephew's toboggan. It was so much fun...the sled just kept going and going and I thought we might end up in the Hudson River. It was one of the few carefree moments I've had in a long time. (Once I knew we weren't going to wipe out, that is.)

I got lots of nice gifts, so thanks to everyone. Daphne got some great stuff too. And we all pitched so Kev could get a new bike for his birthday, so there are going to be some fun bike-rides in our future.

Now that Christmas is over, it is time to buckle down and get some things done. I have a feeling I am going to know all the people down at the DMV by name before it's all over. There is a lot of stuff you have to do when you move from another state, and much of it requires about 10 forms of ID. Such a hassle, but it's gotta be done.

And the boxes. So many boxes.

And Christmas cards.

So, I better stop blogging and get some things done. I have promised the Peanut a walk today, as well as a game of The Very Hungry Caterpillar. I guess the boxes can wait.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Twas the Night Before Christmas

Aaaaaaaaaaaaah. At last. Christmas is upon us. And I am DONE. Well, except for sending out Christmas cards, which I have had to just let turn into New Years cards.

This has been a difficult year, and a difficult Christmas, for a variety of reasons. But now I am ready to move on and look forward to all the exciting things that are going to be happening in the next several months. Big things, of course, like my parents and brother moving up here to join us, but little things too. Not the least of which is making soup for the Winter of Soup (I got a new Williams Sonoma soup cookbook for Christmas). AND I also FINALLY got my Easybake Oven (thanks, M and D), so there are going to be a lot of teeny tiny cakes in my future. And now that Christmas is almost over, we will be able to concentrate on unpacking and getting more settled. A day is coming when there will be downtime. And knitting.

I had a very nice Christmas Eve, and plan to have a fun day tomorrow. Daphne is all excited, so she'll be fun to watch. She's getting the Big Wheel I bought a couple years ago. Kev put it together the other night and I cannot tell you how badly I wished I could ride it.

I hope all of you have a really great Christmas. Gotta get to sleep now before Santa shows up...

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Winter of Soup

I have officially declared this the "Winter of Soup." This means that I am going to make a whole bunch of different kinds of soups this winter since we now live in a cold climate. I am a little worried because Daphne, who used to eat everything, isn't crazy about soup these days, and I don't want dinnertime to be a stressful event. Anyway, feel free to suggest a soup recipe that you like, and I will tell you if it makes the cut this season.

My favorite soups are:
Lobster Bisque,
Chicken and Dumplings,
Split Pea with Ham,
the delicious Roasted Butternut Squash soup I had in NYC last time I was there,
Cream of Tomato,

Also, I would like to include more goat cheese in my meal plan. Please make suggestions if you have them.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I Have Always Wanted a Banister

So, I decorated it. Perhaps this will satisfy the neighbors...

Speaking of the neighbors, here is a tree that lives next door. It is a ginko tree. Here is a story about that tree:

The day we moved into our new house, we went on the front porch to take a picture. We smelled something bad, and I thought it was dog poop or fertilizer. A few days later, the Verizon man came to install the Fios package. Every time he came near me, I smelled a poop/fertilizer smell. I thought maybe this was a guy with real problems! Then a couple hours into the job, he told me that he had been stepping on fruit from the neighbors tree, and boy, did it stink. Aaaah! Mystery solved! So, as it turns out, every fall, this giant tree sheds the smelliest fruit you ever smelled, and there is nothing you can do but go out there and clean it all up from the yard, but you have to be careful not to get it on your skin because it will give you ginko berry disease which resembles poison ivy and can make you very sick. I suppose we will just have to make do. Poor Kev was outside for two days picking up all that mess.

Finally, here is our Christmas tree. We let Daphne help put the ornaments on. It was stressful, but sorta fun. Nothing got broken, anyway. And the stockings were hung by the (faux) chimney with mantle stocking hanger things from Target, which I have also always wanted.

So, I got my banister and my mantle things. Is it worth the price of the stinky tree? I reckon so. But then, I'm not the one who had to clean up the fruits.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Turkey and Such

So, Thanksgiving was good. My parents were here, and my mom taught me how to make all the food. It really wasn't that hard, just a lot of work for a meal that lasted about 15 minutes. I shouldn't say that, I guess. We actually got four meals out of the deal, so it was all worth it. Plus, there was pie. You can't beat that. Above, I am taking the finished turkey out of the oven. I used a bag, and it was good. Below, is everyone waiting for me and my dad to stop taking pictures so we can eat. The centerpiece was Daphne's hand-turkey surrounded by pinecones from the yard. What would Martha think?

While my parents were here, Kev and I made a quick overnight trip to New York City to see the great Dave Brubeck at the Blue Note. The show was great. So glad we went. Dave Brubeck must be almost 100, but he could still play, and his band was fantastic. We entered the club just as he arrived, so I took a picture with my phone, but I can't get the picture OFF my phone without subscribing to some expensive service, so it doesn't do much good.

We took the bus from DC to NYC, which wasn't bad. On the way home, we got stuck on the New Jersey turnpike, though, and a 4 hour trip turned into about 6 hours, which is a long time to sit on a bus without getting up. Still, it was way better than having to fly.

Tonight was the annual Christmas parade in our town. It went right past our house, which was very convenient. We bundled everyone up and braved the cold, and enjoyed the parade, which featured a camel! I think even LarryFeathers, who is visiting this week, had a good time. Daphne loved it because the people in the parade kept giving her candy. I think she got more candy tonight than she did on Halloween.

For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to decorate my house at Christmas by putting one candle in every window. This year, we made it happen. We also bought a wreath for the door from a local farmer, and we have a groovy retro light-up Santa by the back door. Apparently I am going to have to step it up next year, though. One of my neighbors told me to relax and not worry about trying to decorate this year..."We know you're new," she said.

That being said, she, and all of our other neighbors, could not be more friendly. Everyone has really gone out of their way to make us feel welcome. I am looking forward to getting to know people. I just have to get through the holidays first. I have not even made a dent in my Christmas shopping. The holiday knitting I planned to do is just not going to happen. And it will be a miracle if I get my cards sent out on time this year. Oh well. There are more important things than all that.

So, I hope that you are all doing well and enjoying the holiday season so far. I will try to blog more, and I assure you there will be pictures the minute we get snow. Tomorrow, we're decorating the Christmas tree, and there will likely be Kerbey Lane pancakes. Not much could be better than that. Maybe if there's time, I'll get back on here and tell you about the Stinky Tree.