I heard Wells stirring around 8am (his normal waking hour, and yes I know how rare that is). I rolled out of bed, brushed my teeth, pull my hair into a loose topknot, and prepared to go get him. BUT…by the time I had set foot outside his bedroom door, he had lay his little head down and drifted off to sleep again. Whaaaa?
I quickly, and quietly, made my way downstairs. Coffee brewed, dog let out, dog fed, Christmas trees turned on, two phone conversations had. After opening my laptop and cruising through my usual sites (Tribune, Tumblr, Weather Channel), I hopped on Amazon to do some special Christmas shopping for my little boy. Books about trains, trucks, winter, and Santa procured. Quick perusing of beanies to debate whether A) they are warm enough (midwest winters do not give any f***s when it comes to fashion), and B) I can pull it off. Pass on beanie, per usual. Pour second cup of coffee.
Since that kiddo is still sleeping, I consider whipping up a quick batch of Christmas cookies- chewy lemon ones (dude, what is with me doing so much baking lately?! so not my jam). Might be a bit optimistic on my part.
Pause because I am really kind of enjoying this brief moment of silence (though not that brief- apparently it’s been over an hour). It’s as though taking a quick slice of time just for myself is all that is needed to fill up my energy and my mind with enough gusto to face the day in a way that is sort of Mary Poppins-ish but not that saccharine.
Funny how that works. Funny how the brain of a mama functions…in ten different directions with 1,000 different tasks…but give her a few moments of calm and she can take on the world and conquer the day.
***I first learned about Pappy Van Winkle when we traveled to Nashville in September. Fitz was familiar with it and had a lengthy discussion with our server at Husk about it. Even though I am not a bourbon gal, I have lots of respect + intrigue for what this brand has going on. OH, and after a few glasses of wine, when our server told us how much a case would cost, I actually had to restrain Fitz from making a few calls to family/friends to fundraise for a group-purchase, bourbon-filled Christmas. Crazy.
Update: Fitz was all like, “Do you remember when I had a glass of Pappy?” and I was all like, “WUT, NO.” Apparently, he had some when we went to The Aviary two-ish years ago. So there’s that. Whatevs.
Tonight Fitz read Wells ‘The Giving Tree' (part of our Book Advent Calendar). I remember this story from my own childhood but DANG I most definitely did not “remember remember” it.
As Fitz neared the final pages, we both were sniffling a little bit (okay fine, I was full-on crying because I am an emotional beast). We sat in silence for about 15 seconds or so, and after Wells went to bed, we gripped ourselves into a nice long hug (the kind where I bury my face in Fitz’s chest and block out the world). I forgot how beautiful that story was and is. I forgot how such a simple story can break one’s heart so delicately.
And since I hadn’t written all weekend (holiday, laziness), I decided to channel all my teary-eyed basketcase-ness into my work.
Memoir: 56 pages strong Rough drafting: a kiddo book titled “This is the story”
Made these bad boys for our Thanksgiving feast and my family members now actually believe that brussel sprouts are delicious. VICTORY. (Notes: I used pancetta instead of lardons and roasted the sprouts vs. saute)
I am equal parts excited and terrified. I’m adopting the hosting method of Fitz’s Aunt Jinny, who provides turkey and alcohol, and assigns each guest to bring an appetizer, side dish, or dessert. Minimal stress, maximum potluck. This simple plan seems to have pleased our guests, as everyone is excitedly bringing their favorite contribution, which will allow me + Fitz will be able to host, cook, and enjoy the holiday in simultaneous fashion.
After some laborious research, I decided on Tom Colicchio’s Herb-Butter Turkey recipe. I walked into Whole Foods today and selected a 21 lb bird that is actually sitting in brine as we speak. Side note: I had no idea one could even purchase a pre-brined turkey, but it seemed like a good plan because everyone and their mom keeps insisting that a brine is absolutely necessary. I love salt so consider this girl ALL IN.
I’ve found a resource that details all the steps to thawing, prepping, and cooking a turkey. But since I am an absolute control freak, would you mind sharing any and all tips that worked well for you as it pertains to cooking a turkey?