Thanksgiving was yesterday, but Calin and I celebrated with his family, which this year meant that I didn’t cook anything. I showed up in my apron and looked busy staying out of the kitchen while everyone else did the hard work. We did bring cream cheese and some of my pepper jelly as appetizers for the chefs and onlookers, which I suppose counts for something…
Don’t worry – we are doing my family’s Thanksgiving on Sunday, so I’ll have loads of things for you next week. But since I didn’t do any of my own chefing, I don’t have a real Thanksgiving post for you today. But I don’t want to leave you with nothing to read on this beautiful no-work Friday, with your full tummies and relaxing souls, so here’s another episode of Pumpkin Love.
Continuing my fall obsession with pumpkin, I found this fantastic recipe for pumpkin chili. This is perfect because 1) chili is the easiest, tastiest soup I know, and I make lots of it in cold weather, and 2) it has pumpkin in it, which makes it feel even more seasonal. I wasn’t 100% sure how the flavors would work out, since I don’t usually combine pumpkin with savory things (other than ravioli, which I haven’t made but I really want to), but love of pumpkin and love of chili combined to make this something I just had to try.
Unfortunately, the weekend didn’t quite go as planned, and I didn’t have an evening where we would actually be home to eat chili! So I decided to make it as an all-day crockpot extravaganza and have a week night dinner instead. This, of course, meant that I had to modify the original recipe, because it was designed for real cooking rather than slow cooking. (more…)
In less than two months, I’ll be a wife.
This isn’t a defining change for me – I’m already in a stable, happy, permanent relationship with a man I love, living in a house we chose together, building a life that equally matches both our hopes and needs. So marriage? It’s symbolic. It makes things easier. It’s another gesture we can make to each other that says “We’re in this together because this is what we want.” I love the idea, but I don’t expect it to make any tangible difference in my daily life.
Apparently, my hormones have a different plan. In the past week or so, I’ve found myself cleaning. Relentlessly. Bedtime? Why don’t we finish the dishes and wipe down the counters one more time first? (That concept will have the biggest impact on those of you who are familiar with my nightly routine of turning solidly into a pumpkin at approximately 9:30, no holds barred.) I have tiny fits when things around the house are out of place for more than a day. I find myself straightening, putting shoes in closets, dusting. Dusting!
And as if that weren’t bad enough, my firmly established tradition of letting Calin make dinner is suddenly giving way to strong desires to cook. I want to provide! To feed! To lay a nice table! I have made dinner three nights in the past week. (That’s two nights more than I’ve cooked dinner in the last two months combined.) And I’m not just throwing something on the stove. I’m making a main dish and a side dish; I’m setting the table; I’m arranging napkins and pouring drinks. We’re talking all out here.
Now, I’m a little worried about all this. But the up side is, I am finally forcing myself to actually make all the spectacular recipes I’ve been collecting from all the cooking blogs I’m obsessed with. I’ve collected a few of my favorites as my mini-cookbook for the next few weeks, starting with last night’s choice: Mini Meatloaves with Apricot Glaze. I made a few changes, but this one is taken lovingly from Not Eating Out In New York.
Not my best documentation effort, because obviously it was dinner time and I couldn’t just leave dinner sitting there on the table getting cold while I took pictures… like I have every other time. But we’re working on that.
Okay, so maybe that’s a sparse plate for some of you actual cooks out there, but I’m making an effort here! I’m hopeful that I’ll get back up to about one of these a week, assuming the hormonal domesticity and cooking instinct sticks around, so I’ll keep you updated on future favorites. For now, this one is an instant classic. Recipe after the jump. Enjoy!