Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Out for a Hike

wait for it
wait for it
woo hoo!
the Virginia forest is bare
and would you look at those cuties?
The End.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Being an Auntie

For those of you who know and love my sister Irene and her husband Robbie, here is some wonderful news!  I am lucky enough to be an aunt eight times over on Ben's side, but there really is something so special about being an aunt to your very own sister and best friend.  Woo hoo!  This is one lucky baby, let me tell you.

Monday, November 26, 2012


Somehow it has suddenly become quite a production to get out the door.  Hats?  Check.  Mittens?  Check.  Jackets?  Check.  Furry fleece bear suit?  Check.  Then-get-out-the-door-absolutely-as-soon-as-possible-or-else-everyone-is-hot-and-grumpy.  I am encouraged by the knowledge that with repetition, everything becomes easier.  And boy are we getting lots of practice with our winter get-out-the-door-routine.  Whether its dropping someone off at school or going out to play, we seem to have revolving doors in this house.  I hear that this winter is supposed to be a cold one and I am secretly a little excited.  I think we're overdue for some snow, and I have at least two people in this house that agree with me.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Out For a Ride

::It was her first "real" bike ride.  Three miles, and she pedaled the whole way.
::Hugo keeps me company on the back of my bike.  Cute, and he only starts pulling my hair at the very end (see that last picture?  That's his expression right after Ben caught him pulling my hair.)
::Ben, who bikes 8 miles every day, takes it easy on us.  He makes sure to go nice and slow, made easier by the fact he is pulling a little curly haired cutie in the trailer.
Family bikerides are my favorite: I love that it's still bike riding season here at the very end of November.  Perhaps another is in order today?

Thursday, November 22, 2012

So I Will Remember the Turkey Recipe

Happy Thanksgiving!  Just in case any of you are standing in your kitchen staring at a large bird and scratching your heads wondering how to exactly to cook this thing (Or more realistically, so I don't have to call my mom next Thanksgiving morning, as I do every year, to ask for her turkey recipe), this is our family's beloved turkey recipe, handed down from my Babcia Zosia to my mother, down to me and hopefully down many more generations.  In Poland, poultry is often served with apples (duck and apples is a regional specialty), and this recipe creates absolutely the most delicious dark, salty, and slightly sweet sauce that will make you rethink turkey entirely.  The result is incredibly juicy and moist and not even a deep fried turkey will come close.  We like to use a brined bird, which we have found is juicier and more flavorful.  And I usually try to choose the smallest turkey that is available (ours is 14 pounds or so), if necessary cooking two turkeys rather than one larger one (but we are fans of dark meat around here).  Okay, so here it is!

For this recipe you will need:
one small to medium sized brined turkey
10 small apples (my favorite for baking are granny smith)
two cups of pitted prunes
ground sea salt (about a tablespoon)
a few teaspoons of soy sauce
1-2 tablespoons dried marjoram
a few pats of butter (about a quarter cup, or half a stick)

That's it!

Once you have the ingredients, assembling the turkey is simple.  Wash your turkey and pat it dry, placing it breast up in the pan, and making sure to remove the giblets and save the liver to fry with some onion for a snack for lunch (there is nothing like liver to keep your iron levels up, especially for women, so eat up!). Slice the apples (unpeeled) and if you like, cut out the seeds (my mom never does this, and it doesn't really matter in the end).  Scatter the apples and prunes around the turkey.  Place the pats of butter around the turkey, sprinkle a few teaspoons of salt and the marjoram all around the bird.  Finally, pour the soy sauce on the bird, and that's it.  Place the bird in an oven heated to 325 and now wait, which, by the way, is exactly what I am doing at the moment.  Your turkey should read a minimum of 165 internally, which should take about 3 and a half hours for a 14 lb bird.   You will probably want to cover the turkey about half way through, and baste every 20 minutes or so!

Once complete, you can either strain the sauce through a sieve making sure to get as much of the cooked fruit as possible, place it in a food processor, or simply serve with whole chunks of fruit, which is usually how we do it.

I am actually making an extra turkey, as we're going to my parents' house for Thanksgiving dinner, but once you make this turkey you will understand why!

Here it is!  I just went back and made a few changes (decreasing the salt slightly due to the fact we used a brined turkey, noting that the turkey should be covered half way through).  I know it is cheating to try the turkey before the actual dinner, but I am never good at waiting, and it is delicious!  Have a wonderful holiday.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A Thanksgiving Hello

::the cherished tradition of painting on some morning window condensation being passed down from one child to another.
::he is happy, active, and mischievous.  Just look at that little smile.
::our weekly meal of roast chicken, ending with Hugo chewing on a bone.  One year olds give a wonderful window into humankind in its most primal form.

And with that, friends, I am off to make some pie crust and cut some green beans.  Thanksgiving food is absolutely the best.  Wishing you safe travels and a wonderful holiday!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Season Change in Photos

I think my instagram photos have spanned the season change: ice cream outside in short sleeved shirts, then Halloween decorations and fall leaves on the grass, and these days we have pulled out the winter coats.  Some favorites from above:

::Lily and Zosia riding a stick horse together
::Lily and Hugo playing peek-a-boo
::Hugo "self feeding," which he insists upon these days (luckily the cuteness outweighs the cleanup)
::the girls out for a bike ride

I have been a bit unplugged these past few weeks due to some exciting work we've been having done to the house, but electricity is coming back to our computer along with a playroom in the basement.  We're so excited!