December 5, 2011

Weekend Basics

1: I lit up the first fire of the season! We always look forward to what we call our "season for fires in the fireplace" and the upper 20 lower 30 degree temperatures here in VA as of late gave us the perfect excuse to get things going. We used wood still good from last year's haul and it lit right up — crackling and glowing.

2: Two words: Hungarian Goulash.

3: Isn't it funny how well you can read your own dog? Not sure if you can tell by the photo above, but poor Basil just isn't feeling very well. Neither Mary or I knew that dogs could catch colds (but why not?) so were surprised to see our usually peppy puppy with a runny nose, sneezing, red eyes and nose, breathing heavy and just generally needing extra sleep. While he's doing a little better today, we're monitoring the situation, adding extra fluids and food — he didn't mind that warm fire we lit either!

4: Must be the holidays — we're catching up on packaging orders from our Etsy shops and this time of year the post basket (formerly a gym locker basket) reminds us of the holiday rush when it starts to overflow.

5: The avocado pits we're trying to sprout have been hanging out (literally) in their water just chillin. Nothing has really happened so far other than some cracking of the outer layer on the pits where the toothpicks were inserted. We're optimistically hoping this means the pit is preparing to sprout roots and stems, but who knows! Keep up with our full avocado growing experiment here.

6: We had my yearly "holiday lunch" at the office today and I prepared my butternut squash gratin recipe to take in. What I was excited about was the fact I was able to incorporate the butternut squash we grew in the summer garden, the black walnuts I cracked myself, and apple cider vinegar we made into this dish. It felt like everything was just coming together!

P.S. Speaking of the apple cider vinegar, we first opened it 6 weeks later on Thanksgiving day to use during dinner. It was AMAZING. We were stunned at how well this simple recipe turned out and think it's one of the best preservation methods we've tried thus far — as far as outcome is concerned. Definitely worth a try if you find yourself with leftover apple scraps.


  1. Poor pup! He does look a bit mopey in the photo. Hope he's all better soon.

    Glad the vinegar worked out so well. That is something I'd love to try one day.

  2. Thanks Monica,

    We'd never made the vinegar before so were a little skeptical while doing it, but I cannot say how thrilled and surprised with the results we were. We're stocked up on vinegar now so I'm sure we'll continue to just use from here on out over buying it in the store.


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