Thursday, September 22, 2011

T minus one day. But...

My favourite season of all officially begins tomorrow.  It's no secret that I adore Autumn and look forward to it every year.  But I have a confession to make... 

I've been celebrating it for a couple of weeks now.  How could I not, with the amazingly wonderful cool weather we've been having?  September has behaved exactly as I like it to.  A last hurrah of heat at the beginning of Labour Day weekend, and then cool temps straight through.  Long pants, even long sleeves (and even jackets on occasion).  Covers on the bed, nights where even I've had to acquiesce and close the window, comfort foods, Autumn decor scattered about... *insert big, contented sigh here*

I've got our capon ordered for Thanksgiving, which is coming up more quickly than I'd care to admit.  We don't do a big thing for the day, but I like a rather traditional meal.  A whole turkey is just too big for us, even with our love of leftover bird.  So I've ordered a capon from a local farm, which I'm looking forward to.  Actually I ordered two, in case we want one for Christmas as well.  Capon is what chicken used to taste like when I was a kid.  I love it.

We skipped the local farm show/exhibition this year.  We'd talked about going, but it's really been pretty crappy lately.  We opted instead to hit up a local pumpkin farm that was having it's seasonal grand opening and charity event ($2 per person, instead of the usual $16, and the money went to a local cancer charity).  The kids had a fabulous morning.  We would have stayed longer, since we were told when we entered that the owner is super-conscious of nut allergies at the concession.  But when I went to order food, there were signs saying that they made no guarantees and that the food may not be safe.  So we had to cut our fun short and leave.  It was very disappointing.

The rest of the day made up for it though.  My sister came over to watch the kids, hubby loaded the van up with audio gear and we headed to our pastor's place (a wonderful little house on 13 acres of gorgeousness) for a pig and corn roast.  A couple of guys set up with their guitars to entertain the group (hence the audio gear) and we all tucked in to a potluck buffet, with a fantastic spit smoked pig being the star of the show (I'll spare my vegetarian readers a pic).  There were salads and buns and more salads and corn (and corn, and corn, and corn...) and then there were desserts.  So many desserts (we are Mennonite, after all).  We all ate well, enjoyed some wonderful music, (including a far too brief appearance by our pastor's crazy talented daughter) and good conversation and then sat around a bonfire, staring at the flames in a satiated stupor.  One by one the stars popped out above us and time slowed to a crawl.  It was a wonderful way to celebrate an early Autumn day and night.

There is only a little time left in this month.  I hope that it continues to behave well.  I am enjoying the prolonged sense of Autumn.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Party time

It's Labour Day weekend.  Typically fun, but usually a bit low key around here.  For most of my life I've either worked at (in my teen years) or gone to the local community carnival.  Before kids we kind of stopped going, but now that the Littles are older it's fun to take them.  Plus there's a parade and fireworks to look forward to.

I've been wanting to entertain on our new patio for a bit now, and since my first opportunity got rained out (in spectacular fashion - what a storm!), I decided to invite 4 couples around for a taco party.  I smoked a large pork "butt" last month, and then shredded it up and froze it.  I'll take it out (today, must remember) and fry it in batches to crisp the shreds up a bit.  Then I'll pile the meat into the crock pot and serve it all with flour and corn tortillas, my lacto-fermented salsa, some guacamole that a friend is bringing, cheese, sour cream and pickled jalapenos.  We'll probably have a bonfire and s'mores afterwards. Though I doubt I'll make the marshmallows myself.  Then again, you never know.

The other day I made two chocolate cakes.  Oh, did I mention that somehow my baby girl is turning 4 this weekend too?  I don't know who told her she could get so big, but she has.  So we're having a party for her on Sunday.  At her request there will be pizza, chocolate cake (possible filled with Nutella) and... sushi.  Yep, my soon to be 4 year old who has never had sushi or seen us eat it (we don't) wants to try it at her birthday party.  Going with recommendations from my sister, a friend and a random stranger, I contacted a local restaurant about making a platter of miniature sushi and they are more than happy to accommodate my request.  We will have 16 small bites and 16 regular sized pieces, with an assortment of fruit, veggie and cooked fish fillings.  This should be interesting.  Must remember the camera.

Then there's church snack.  Without thinking, I volunteered to make snack for this Sunday when the call went out last week.  Okay, no problem.  Chocolate chip cookies are easy.  But boring.  So of course I had to play.  The resulting Butterscotch Coffee Drops are on my Church Snacks Blog.

On Monday the inlaws have agreed to either make dinner, or take us all out.  LOL