RRRR: Mistletoe Methup?

Guess I'll do it.

I don't have any cohesive theme I can think of right now, so has anyone talked about the fact that it's the holidays yet? As usual, that means folks traveling to and from home to visit relatives, but more importantly going out drinking with friends who have spread themselves across the country. So, who is going to be traveling in and who wants to try a holiday methup? Unfortunately, it seems I'm going to be one of the ones leaving the Chicagoland area, but certainly don't let that stop anyone.

I think I'm out from the 22nd-28th. Gonna be a fun trip. The wife and I will hitch a ride to DC with the parent in-laws to be with the sister in-law and her clan. Then we are going to take the amtrak back, all 17hrs of it. Okay, so maybe not so fun as "I only have to travel for her family every other year, so just deal with it." It's not that her family is all that difficult to deal with. The parents are downright lovely, actually- I mean, this is what they brought me as a gift package when they came for Thanksgiving-


Not bad at all. Speaking of Thanksgiving, as I had mentioned last time we RRRR'd, I hosted for the first time, since we've got a real actual kitchen nowadays. Despite the fact that I've never done a whole bird before, it turned out great. I cant say enough about this- How to cook a spatchcocked turkey. Turned out exactly as advertised. No getting up at the crack of dawn to start a bird, no basting every fifteen minutes, no real hassle. Just a great bird in around 80-90 minutes. What I'm looking forward to now is doing something with the turkey stock I've now got sitting in the freezer that I made afterwards. At least part of it is gonna become Turkey Gumbo, for sure.

The thing about having an actual kitchen is that I have been really digging on going old school with making stuff from scratch. I've always enjoyed cooking, but until our new place, I just couldn't go all out without a HUGE hassle due to lack of space. Now though? I don't have a whole lot of work in the months of December-February, so I've been trying to plan things to do with the extra time, and going full blown Martha Stewart is part of it. I've got some baking/bread recipes I want to give a shot, pasta to make from scratch, and all manners of sauces and soups to whip up. Today, since it was so nice out and I was able to have the windows open, I decided to make some cucumber pickles (boiling the brine stinks up the place a bit.)


I'm going to call this batch "Paulie Pickles" cause of the dilemma Konerko has given Hahn with the roster.

Probably also gonna start up another woodworking project. Hosting Thanksgiving made me get off my butt and finally finish the built in shelving thing that had been languishing in the living room, and I've got enough wood leftover for a shoe bench, so that's somewhere on the agenda for the upcoming cold spells.

So, hows about you folks? Anything on the horizon for Winter you are looking forward to? Anything you aren't? Any foods you love to make/eat? Traditions to keep or start, travel to drive you nuts? Most importantly- who is gonna come out to drink with each other.

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