It's funny to even think about pairing the words "quiet" and "Thanksgiving," but it really was this year. In defiance of all tradition and logic, all three of us slept in past 9 am. We woke up to a happy child--happy and healthy for the first time in too long--trying to climb over us onto the floor, took leisurely showers, and nibbled muffins while making a broccoli-wild rice casserole to bring to dinner at my family's house. Dinner was quieter than usual, with only a small crowd, and we left much earlier than usual to come home for nap time. And the rest of the day was just... quiet. Peaceful. It was nice, but so weird.
Today made up for the quiet. Okay, we slept in again, but Little Bear and I wolfed down muffins and were out the door heading over to pick up two of my sisters 20 minutes after waking up. We had an impressive list of stores we wanted to visit, but after spending more than an hour at Fred Meyers, we decided to skip most of the others! Fred's was crazy, but JoAnn Fabrics... I'm so glad that my sister decided to just pick up some remnants, because the line for the cutting tables wound through half the store! We were in and out of Once Upon a Child quickly, because they only had pink boots in the size Little Bear needs.
I kind of miss the once-a-year craziness of Black Friday shopping with friends when I was in college... Staying up all night, waiting in line out in the cold, getting breakfast at Eat'n'park after a couple hours of being slightly irresponsible with money but having oh so much fun. Today I bought socks, and blanket sleepers, and wrapping paper, and cheese. Practical? Yes. Responsible? Yes. Boring? Oh, yes.
Why do we waste all of those years wishing we were grown up?
Fortunately we wore Little Bear out, so he is taking a good nap today; yesterday, after getting sleepy and angry and making us head home early, he refused to actually nap until nearly 5pm. I felt so badly waking him up a little while later, but we couldn't let him sleep so long that he wouldn't go to bed... Today, after helping to push the shopping cart all over the place and running around at my mom's house, he fell asleep shortly after we got home.
Little Bear is truly his father's son: for supper last night, since it was a holiday, I decided to be "fun mom" and let him have a piece of pumpkin pie... And he refused to have anything to do with it, eagerly sharing his dad's pasta with pesto and Parmesan instead! Not that I'm complaining, because that meant, of course, that I had to eat the little piece of pumpkin pie off his tray in addition to my slice of pecan, because we wouldn't want pie to go to waste...
I'm out of thoughts, so how about some recipes? I'll try to throw some photos up with these if I can find any...
Broccoli Wild Rice Casserole
1 cup uncooked wild rice
1 cup uncooked white rice
7 cups chicken broth
3 crowns broccoli
1 pound white button mushrooms
1/2 cup olive oil
2 stalks celery
4 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
Bring the wild rice (in 2 1/2 cups chicken broth) to a boil over medium heat uncovered; turn to low and cook, covered, 35-40 minutes. Set aside.
Bring the white rice (in 1 1/2 cups chicken broth) to a boil over medium heat uncovered; turn to low and cook, covered, 25 minutes. Set aside.
While cooking the rices, draft your husband into finely dicing the mushrooms, onion, carrots and celery while you cut the broccoli into florets and blanch it in boiling water for 2 minutes. Plunge broccoli into bowl of ice water to stop the cooking.
In a broad saucepan, sauté the mushrooms and onion in olive oil for 4 minutes, stirring often. Add carrots and celery and cook another 4 minutes, until the mixture begins to darken. Thoroughly stir in flour, then add remaining 3 cups of chicken broth. Bring to a boil and allow to thicken, about three minutes. Stir in cream, salt, and pepper and cook until thickened.
Mix everything together in your slow cooker and heat on low until ready to serve. (At least one hour if you carried it out into a -12 F car!)
Butternut Squash Surprise Muffins
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cup cooked butternut squash
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 1/4 cups flour
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon allspice
1 cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350. Beat together wet ingredients. Add dry ingredients. Fold in chocolate chips. Don't let your toddler run off with one muffin pan full of batter while you're filling the other one. Bake 25-30 minutes. Makes too much for 12 muffin cups; I filled a mini loaf pan as well.
Have a wonderful, hopefully restful, Thanksgiving weekend! Don't forget to check out more Thanksgiving takes at Conversion Diary.