Pilgrims Going To Church, George H. Boughton, American 1833-1905
This painting hung in school rooms across the country when I was growing up, I attended six different schools in Florida, North Dakota, California, and Texas and it was a staple in all.
My husbands’ mom grew up in Boston and gave the painting to us, obviously it figured in fairly large in her life living so close to Plymouth. Each year we rotate it into the dining room during the holidays to remind us of the challenges our ancestors faced.
We are lucky, our biggest challenge at this time of the year is hosting family gatherings. If you are hosting your first holiday dinner the mere idea of being the host can make you want to crawl back into bed and stay there.
Here is an easy checklist for hosting your first holiday dinner:
Figure out what you want to make and ask for help. The host generally prepares the main dish, so for Thanksgiving we agree to do the turkey and the gravy, a few pies, and make-ahead mashed potatoes. I always do the gravy prep work then turn it over to my husband to put it together because he just has a way with gravy, what can I say? Find that person in your group and delegate, delegate, delegate!
make ahead mashed potatoes
For side dishes, desserts, and beverages ask that they all be prepared in advance and only need rewarming for 30-40 minutes. Think about your oven and microwave space, keep lots of aluminum foil on hand to cover the dishes once they come out of the oven to keep warm until serving time so the oven can be used to warm other items. read more…
Mad Men style glassware from Culver
Estate sale shopping is the best way to find a dining room table and everything you need to cook the meal and set the table. If you start this weekend you might even find a few things you need for this holiday season.
Every photo in this post shows items purchased at estate sales.
Silver, cool Mad Men glassware from Culver, pots and pans, —all purchased at 1/3 of retail or better and all in excellent condition. Dining room tables, chairs, sideboards, linens, you name it there is an estate sale every weekend in your area with high quality discounted items.
Top 10 Estate Sale Shopping Tips
There are a few tricks to finding the best estate sales and negotiating a deal: read more…
I have delayed having our knives sharpened for months….no years…..and for a family that cooks as much as we do this is crazy. I finally did it and wonder why did I wait so long?
As you prepare for the coming holidays, sharpening your knives may be the best thing you can do to save time and be more efficient. Our knives now cut through everything like butter, they have never looked or performed this good—even when they were brand new. read more…
our farmers market pie crust
I had a friends’ mom over the other day to bake pie and this is what we made. It has become a new favorite.
I am preparing to share my farmers market pie crust later this week so we have been baking and photographing and eating…..
Chipotle Chili with Cilantro Lime Cream
I made a big pot of this Monday night and every last morsel …….gone. read more…
Our daughter graduated from college this year and despite all the odds, landed a job in her chosen field– she had 3 days of summer vacation before starting her career. In September she moved out with roommates and is officially on her own! read more…
the latest recipe for our new book
I am pretty excited about a new discovery recipe for our upcoming book. Last year we had a neighbor friend introduce us to popovers. After recent testing I discovered it can be used for both mini popovers or the large standard size. This is a big deal because the old recipe I used for the large popovers was ALOT of work which means I never made them.
I read Jane Brody’s column in the New York Times pretty regularly– this article on Celiac Disease (link) it is a quick snapshot with some good information. read more…
Just before the recent International Food Bloggers Conference I took a food photography class….just to check it out….see what I could learn….did I need a new camera?…..and as I look at the detail of the cookies above…. the answer is yes ……all the nooks and crannies pop out with visible grains of sugar, you can get so close with a macro lens. Now I want to take pictures of everything! read more…