Category: Friends & Family

A slow-food vegan Thanksgiving


I love Thanksgiving. It’s one of the few holidays without baggage. It’s a low-commitment gathering that says, let’s just break bread together and enjoy each other’s company.

One of the things I would change about the meal though, if I were hosting it, would be the way it’s served. Instead of having every dish available at once and piling food on your plate until it is grotesquely full, I would serve the meal in courses. Small plates brought out one at a time. It would be a meal to linger over and enjoy.

Herbaltinis or champagne
Toasted marcona almonds

First course
Mixed greens with carrots, apples, & pickled beets

Second course
Roasted Brussels sprouts with pistachios and capers

Third course
Sweet Potato Gnocchi with sautéed leeks and mushrooms drizzled with sage brown butter
Kale with cranberries, fennel, and walnuts

Fourth course
Raw apple crumble
Sweet potato apple pie ice cream
Espresso and mulled wine

Four courses sounds like a lot of work for a hostess, but I think it can be done pretty easily:

It would be simple enough to make the gnocchi days or weeks in advance. They can be frozen, uncooked, until you are ready to drop into boiling water. The desserts and sage brown butter can also be made several days in advance. The morning of, I’d make the two salads, prep the sprouts for baking, and sauté some leeks and mushrooms.

Cocktails and toasted almonds would be available for everyone as they arrived. When we were ready for dinner, I’d pop the sprouts in the oven and serve the pre-plated salads. After a 30 minutes, we’d be done with salads and ready for the sprouts. Mmmm… The gnocchi cooks in about 2 minutes, while you heat the pre-cooked leeks and mushrooms and sage butter in the microwave. Serve that with the alongside the kale salad. Finally, dessert comes out of the fridge and freezer for a nice finish to the meal. Mulled wine or espresso would be nice with this dessert, to contrast the cold crumble and ice cream.

What do you think? Could you pull this off? What else would you serve?

And in case you missed last year’s menu, it’s a bit more traditional.

Grant turns one!


We had the pleasure of celebrating our youngest nephew’s first birthday on Sunday. These kids sure are cute!

Plum picking


Our annual harvest of plums was good this year. We had enough to share with friends, family, colleagues, and wildlife, and we still had enough to make plum leather, plum jam and other tasty treats.

Looking back at the pictures, Reece was clearly the star of the afternoon. (The camera loves her face!) Ronan also bonded with my dad which was a joy to watch.

The face of patience


It was all giggle and wiggles while we waited to get our seats to see Pippi Longstocking today.

I think Kurt Vonnegut was actually talking about my mom

“Enjoy the little things in life, for one day you’ll look back and realize they were big things.” – Kurt Vonnegut

I read this quote yesterday and thought about my mom rocking me to sleep at 2 a.m. when I was a little kid and suffered from another puke-inducing migraine. I thought about my mom forgoing work opportunities when I was in high school so that she could be there when I got home from school. I thought about my mom coming over to my house late one evening a few years ago. I sat at her feet, my head resting on her knee. She gently stroked my hair and told me everything was going to be all right, even though I’d accidentally cut my hand really badly the day before and was buried in unending graduate school work.

Thanks mom for all the little things that are actually pretty big things. I love you.