Yesterday I wrapped up a bunch of stuff that allows me to step into the rest of the year with a clear conscience and the happy knowledge that nothing is waiting for me to finish up. That’s right. My instructors allowed me to take the final exams early, and that’s done. I’ve been noodling away on a project for a couple of months that the final stitches, a wash and a press were completed so that’s done. I have a project to work on for The Fella, but it’s the sort that isn’t weighing on my mind, though I’d like to get it done because it’s the sort that’s a lot of fun and can be worked on as Christmas cookies bake. So my mind is clear and all I have to do is pack.
I am feeling very satisfied at the moment, even though it’s 6:15 in the a.m. I’ve been awake since 4:30, and up since 5:07, had 2 cups of coffee thus far, and many plans for the next 2 weeks. SO GOOD.
You see, sometime today The Fella is coming here to pick me up, so I can leave both cars here for the Fine Sons to use while I’m gone. I’m going to spend a few days at Happy Hollow (his place), ignoring my responsibilities (which are few, now that The Fine Sons are grown-ass men and can deal with their own stuffs) and mentally preparing for The Holidays as I soak in a hot tub and occasionally eat a steak cooked on a grill that’s been lit with a flame thrower. Does it get any better than that? NO! I DON’T THINK SO! and also get to spend time with The Fella, which is always a lovely thing.
Come Wednesday morning, we’re driving a few hours South and to the West so as to spend several days with his parents and family, as Thanksgiving is when they all get together, eat oysters and turkeys and hams, and watch The Iron Bowl on Saturday. You see, they are all apparently University of Alabama alumni/alumnae, and as likely the sole representative of Auburn University I will be On My Own except that thus far they have been very gracious and (according to The Fella) his father is going to do something lovely like have my own beer shelf in the fridge or something. (for those of you who don’t know. The Iron Bowl is the annual U of Ala/AU game, biggest rivalry in the SEC and possibly the NCAA.) I am looking forward to it. Having watched a game already with The Fella and witnessed first hand the sort of excitment that is possible, I anticipate a roaring good time, regardless of who wins.
So yeah, settling in and mentally preparing for the time of the year that can either be really wonderful or go horribly wrong. As long as The Fine Sons behave themselves, I think all will be well. I am leaving my cars here so they can get up to Himself’s parents (3 hours north of here) for Thanksgiving, thus relieving my guilt (which is minimal now that they’re grown-ass men) (but it’s still there because I’m still their mother) at not being here with all the food. Though I did leave a pan of dressing made by Himself’s mother and passed to me because she knows it’s my favorite food in the whole world. I consider it extreme generosity to give them permission to eat it. Yes, I know how to make it but you know how that goes. That sort of thing is always better made by the original person.
One of the things The Fella and I are having to figure out are the general preferences. Last night I asked him about Cranberry Sauce. It is a divisive subject in some relationships. “Jellied” he said. “Oh.” I replied. I don’t generally do the canned stuff. My grandmother gave me this recipe and it’s how I like it. He is willing to try it. I’m passing it on to you, because Grandmother didn’t believe in keeping recipes secret. “If you share the recipe, they will think of you every time they make it.” So think of my Grandmother when you make this.
1 bag (1 pound) fresh cranberries
1 cup orange juice
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon orange zest
pinch of salt
Put it all in a pot, turn it on to simmer and put a lid on it. Leave the lid cracked because if it overflows it makes a sticky mess. I know this from experience, because I do it every time I make it. Stir it occasionally and when the cranberries pop open, remove the pot from the stove, put the lid on it, and go about your day. You can make it a day or two ahead of time and refrigerate. Lovely stuff.
I’m absolutely willing to open a can of the jellied stuff if he prefers it. I don’t hate the jellied kind, I’m just a Food Snob (I admit it) about making things from scratch. I won’t be snotty about it, because he cooks me steaks on a grill lit with a flame thrower, piles grilled rock lobsters on a plate with a ramiken of melted butter, and keeps my favorite gin stocked in his liquor cabinet. So…yeah, being snotty about cranberries would be…not very classy.