A Stylish Update for the New Year!

A new year, a new bloggy style pour moi! My old WordPress theme was getting rather stale to my eyes, and not in a good-old-crusty-bread kind of way. I’m hoping this new, very clean and crisp theme will encourage me to take and post more photos here. I sold my Nikon D40 last year in a stuff-purge and am now using only my iPhone for photography. There are so many interesting apps out there for modifying phone photos, so I should be able to get creative. Now, whether or not I actually post more photos is an entirely different matter.

But, oh, look! Here’s one now!


My view from the Sterling Room, where I sometimes write. This is my vote for the best view in Portland, Oregon.

Oh, and another!

Rug with a rose print

The carpet in the Sterling Room, also the best in Portland. And do admire my new rain boots while you’re at it.

Bonne Annee to all my friends, family, and total strangers out there!

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SCD Thanksgiving Recipes

Thought I’d do a little roundup of SCD Thanskgiving recipes since I myself have been poking around the interwebs this week scouting for turkey-day yumminess. Here we go, yee-haaa!

  • BTVC-SCD group on Yahoo — Marilyn, an amazing resource on this amazing list for SCDers has some Thanksgiving recipes in the Files section that I’ve always wanted to try. If you don’t know how to make gravy or stuffing ala SCD, her recipes look right up your alley. (You’ll need to join the group to see the recipes.)
  • Mrs. Ed always has great recipes. Here are some of her holiday recipes. That Cranberry Crumb Cake is CALLING ME! I need to Block that Caller, for sure. Wow.
  • ComfyTummy’s bacon and egg muffins might just be this year’s Thanksgiving dinner rolls. Hoooo-wee.
  • And of course there’s my own Pumpkin Pie, Cranberry Sauce (actually a People’s Co-op recipe), and Chicken Pate recipes, all of which I continue to love. Note that for the pate I’ve been subbing with straight-up chicken livers, which I’m able to buy in bulk at my local store, hallelujah.

Hope y’all have a great Thanksgiving! Here’s another pic of the Champoeg Farms chickens and ducks (man, it was dreary that day):

chickens and ducks at Champoeg Farms

Seemed a little torturous that they had to look at their pumpkin treats just outside their pens all day. Poor delicious dinners!

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Thanksgiving Menu 2012

There’s always that moment each November when I finally commit to the Thanksgiving menu. This is often in the middle of NaNoWriMo, quince frenzy, and other such autumnal insanities.

We’re hosting a small crew this year, which is just the way I like it. My preferred approach to Thanksgiving is more like Foodie Holiday All Day where I can just be in the kitchen making stuff I really like. Hence, no mashed potatoes on this menu. If people want mashed potatoes, they can bring that themselves! I’m not completely anti-tradition, but for me, this holiday is about cooking and eating. And if I’m doing the hosting, then I’m only going to prepare what I actually like and can eat. So here it is:

Thanksgiving Menu 2012

As you can see, we’ll have a vegetarian, a diabetic, and someone who doesn’t drink or eat sweets (including honey). Then there’s me, straight-up crazy with the food, so this menu has to be SCD-legal. Seems like the American way these days to have eaters all over the map, which is fine by me. I enjoy accommodating people’s needs, especially for the holidays when food is such A Thing.

A lot of the items on this menu I’ve already made, like the quince liqueur (made with honey. yea!), limoncello (The Man made this, actually, and with honey, double-yea!), membrillo (made with honey, for the win!), and I’m making the bread tonight from Kendall Conrad’s cookbook. She has an excellent cashew bread recipe. It’s great for making stuffing, too. Yum.

And today we went and picked up the turkey from Champoeg Farm. Here’s a pic of their chickens eating pumpkins (the turkeys were, ahem, indisposed already):

chickens eating pumpkins

Looking forward to it!

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Fall Foraging in the Northwest

The only excuse I can offer for not posting in a coon’s age is, in a word, summer. Enough said.

To make up for it, here are a bunch of photos of things the Foodie family foraged from the fields of the Willamette Valley this weekend. Yea! And once again, I wish I were a better photographer.

Mixed walnuts in their shells. Fond memories of walnut gathering as a kid out in Niles Canyon. :-)

Rose hips for jelly and tea. I can’t determine whether these are SCD legal or not. Anyone know?

Hazelnuts. There were so many, people literally had buckets to collect them in. We collected about two of these jars full. Plans for these include a homemade SCD gianduja.

Hazelnuts still in the flower. This is how they look coming off the tree and often on the ground. Over time, they fall out of the flower and just the nut is left. These flowers are dry and crackly, like a corn husk, and prickly on one’s fingers.

Seeds from wildflowers. I think the one on the left is Centaurium erythraea (Common centaury) and the one on the right is Tanacetum vulgare (Common tansy). Shout out to the awesome pnwflowers.com. I’ve gotten into using Latin names lately, the reason for which I hope to blog about soon.

Saving the best for last! These came from a neighbor’s quince tree, about as local as one can get. This is probably 50-70 lbs, which is all we could gather from the tree (some were too high up to reach). I’m hoping to make quince jack this year for a friend’s speakeasy party in early December, among other things.

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Pigs’ Feet

I love me some pigs’ feet, a.k.a. “trotters,” if you are feeling fancy. The problem is that so many recipes call for them as part of something else, instead of the main attraction. And when they are part of something else, it’s often in the form of a stew. Not complaining, but I prefer them fried so that they are crunchy on the outside but soft and gooey on the inside. Here’s one way to do that:

Pigs Feet

2-3 lbs of pigs feet

1/2 c salt

skillet with a nice layer of bacon fat (say, leftover from your breakfast)

2-3 T butter

  1. Rinse the feet in water. Put in a big pot, along with the salt, and cover with water.
  2. Bring to the boil and then down to a gentle simmer.
  3. Simmer for three hours, skimming the gunk off the top as needed.
  4. Remove the feet and let cool until you can handle them. Then remove every teeny bone you can find.
  5. Now the fun part! Pat them dry as best you can with a paper towel (they’re sticky, so this can be tricky) and then fry in bacon fat and butter in a cast iron skillet. You must use a splatter screen or you will burn down your house. They pop and sizzle like nobody’s business. Side note: this is why it’s better to buy the biggest feet you can so that they are not in small little parts. Bigger pieces will cause less giant popping fat bombs. (The small pieces in the pics below? Yes, we are grateful for an electric range.)
  6. Fry on both sides until they look caramel-y.

Seriously good with some kind of cold, crunchy, vinegar-y slaw.

pigs' feet fried in a skillet

Here they are just finished in the skillet

pigs' feet on a plate with red cabbage slaw

And here they are with some paprika and red cabbage slaw

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Filed under Okie foods, pigs feet, pork

NaNoReadMe Reads

The Man and I did the NaNoReadMo challenge this year: 5 books in 4 weeks between December 15 and January 15. I came in just 60 pages shy of my goal, and it was all because of Never Let Me Go, which, indeed, did not want to let me go, despite my desperately wanting to get away from it. I have a hard time enjoying books where every little mood and glance is described in such excruciating detail. And I’m not a sci-fi connoisseur, by any stretch, but, still, that book could have been edited into an amazing fifty-page short story if you ask me. Anyway, I digress.

Here’s what I read:

The book I enjoyed most of all these was Nick Cave’s The Death of Bunny Munro. It truly was joyful and masterful. I enjoyed it both as a reader, because the story and character were so compelling, and as a writer, because the pacing and fascination with language were really well done. Way to go, Nick Cave. I love when a book  goes all out, takes risks, and actually succeeds. Yea!

I also enjoyed Suite Francaise, which is just a mind-blowing document of WWII and the occupation of Paris.

Next, I’m putting together my giant list of everything I want to read in 2012. I set a modest goal of 26 books on Goodreads. We’ll see if I can manage it.

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Yuletide Greetings!

Hope everyone has a fantastic holiday season!

Pickle in Gingerbread Men Lights

Are these edible?

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