dressing the bird

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Yeah, the blog has taken a backseat to life’s happenings, and I miss it. Writing here is honestly a bit of a creative exercise, and exercise is always better when it’s a regular thing, wink wink.  

With Thanksgiving Day a week from tomorrow, thought it might be a good time for reentry by sharing my first published piece, Dressing the Bird. Never mind it’s a neighborhood publication, it feels good to have something I wrote actually in hard copy print, thank you Megan. We’re all about trying new things, putting yourself out there a little, and taking small risks. So, here we go, sharing with you my submission for Delaware Park Living magazine:

Dressing the Bird

First Thanksgiving dinner thirty-one November’s ago we brought to the table a partially frozen bird. Who knew you couldn’t make the Wednesday night bar rounds, sleep a few hours, wake up early, run the oldest foot race in America and do Thanksgiving dinner soup to nuts all in a few hours?
That was our first married holiday meal, and we invited guests. Mom showed up early afternoon and wondered why the turkey wasn’t in the oven and I really didn’t know why either. Simply jumped in with no experience and went to town. Can’t remember how I ever got dinner on the table and fed my people, yet it did happen, and it was memorable.
Now, three decades later, six kids, a new son-in-law, and we’ve got it down. There’s got to be two turkeys, (and now we cook them just fine), good old-fashioned bread stuffing, cooked cranberry sauce with cinnamon and orange, green beans, double amounts of mashed potatoes, candied yams with of course marshmallows on top, roasted Brussels sprouts, soft, buttery dinner rolls, triple amounts of scratch gravy, pumpkin, blueberry, and apple pies. When the kids were little I used to make them pick the berries, and froze them for our November and December holiday pies. Now I call the farm, order a flat or two, and freeze them in 6 to 8 cup zip-lock bags for pie on the ready. Crust has got be scratch, and only with butter, no white shortening in this kitchen, and that can be done early, and frozen before rolling out as well.
One turkey to carve and one to look at until dinner is done. The second bird is so we can send hearty leftovers home with family and friends and for sandwiches the next day. In the early years when Gourmet magazine was still a thing we jumped around with the stuffing, adding chestnuts, or weird things, always with complaints if there wasn’t old fashioned bread stuffing as well. Now we just go with the tried and true, cutting the crusts off of two or three loaves of Pepperidge Farm white and letting the bread dry on the countertop for a few days. In a pinch we’ve been known to throw it in the oven for the speedier version.
The only Thanksgiving dinner I didn’t cook in the last three plus decades was the year I was pregnant with our fourth child, it was her real due date on the big turkey day, and husband and I with our eldest son and our twins were invited for dinner at mom’s house. Walked the Turkey Trot that day, (no drinks the night before), me pushing a double stroller and husband pushing a single, and went for dinner. Second son Maxwell who was two then pushed back from the table after it was all over and declared, ‘I’m loaded’: we still laugh about that today. Helped with dishes that night, told husband it was time to go, left the three wee ones with the grandmom, went and birthed Sarah. Sarah is now turning twenty-six this Thanksgiving season, and we are forever grateful, and still serving basically the same meal.
This family of ours now depends on tradition, and the food that goes with it. They can come home and know the bird will be dressed with old-fashioned bread stuffing, and that there will be gravy and pie, and all the fixings. It’s a secure feeling, and we are thankful for the bounty of this beautiful land, and for the soulful and good feeling of coming to table and breaking bread with those we love.
Wishing you all a holiday season of honest food, and a full heart.
Every day dress, and dressing the bird. xoxo

everything takes longer

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tomato and roasted red pepper soup

Okay, so we’re desperately working on finishing professional plant-based cooking curriculum at Rouxbe, and it’s as expected in our world taking longer than what’s expected. We even paid extra for extra time to finish, a 30 day extension for $129.99 to be precise. As we have only 9 days left to finish, upload and send 28 graded activities, we’re most likely definitely looking at another extension for another chunk of cash. We’ve got life to tend to, the fall garden, the small business, and the family.

We’ve always been a non-traditional student. Night school non-matriculated courses at State University of New York at Buffalo served as our college introduction, and that entire process evolved over seven years, with an eighteen month old and twin newborns in the arms of my husband on graduation day.

This Professional Plant-Based Certification Course is intense. Designed as a six month foundational instruction in plant-based culinary arts, it focuses on the core techniques found in a plant-based kitchen. The course forces me to explore and practice a variety of recipes and flavors from around the world that I might never experience without having to leave my home. It’s all online, love that, and you receive ongoing chef instruction and support. I am consistently challenged to master technique, and those skills will now stay with me forever.

You might recall I was enrolled in the Rouxbe Professional Cook Certification, and that course took me longer to complete than the expected six-months as well. For us, everything seems to take longer, and that’s okay. A few of the lessons are repeated in the Plant-Based curriculum, such as knife skills and dicing practice, and I could upload my earlier work to move the process along. Thought about it, and then thought not. I’m here to learn, and get better, and by doing it again I’ll only get better. Doing things again and over and over to make a more pleasing, satisfying outcome, is the basic tenet of our every day dress lifestyle. It takes work, and it can take a long time, and like I said before we don’t always get it right.

simple cabbage soup with heat from cayenne

confetti quinoa salad – big hit with twenty-six year old daughter

While prepping plant-based soup and salad a few days ago I’m sure I swore and eye rolled a few times as plant things seem to take way longer to bring to table than throwing a tenderloin of any kind into a hot oven. Simple Cabbage Soup with scratch vegetable stock and Confetti Quinoa Salad with garlic fried quinoa will take every flat surface and probably every bowl and several pots and pans in your kitchen.

It’s a journey, and we’re definitely learning new things, and that’s kind of what life is all about anyways.

 

As for the what to wear where, we’re about adding some color to the rotation. If we’re doing new things in the kitchen why not add some new dimension to the wardrobe.

Every day dress all the time and why does everything always take longer than what we expect?

kitchen escapades

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Recently I threw salt and flour on a fruit pie. While it looked okay, it was a kosher salt granulated sugar mix-up, and a bad salt peach pie. Kind of like when you’ve got good stuff in your closet and you simply can’t put it together for the life of you to get yourself out the door, and you’ve just got to go. Cooking and baking have similar qualities to dressing, you assemble good ingredients, read and study if that’s your thing, and continually try to make it better.

We did manage to put together a pretty sweet carrot cake, nasturtiums are from the fall country garden and edible, and a nice little charcuterie thing.

 

Stretch home garden goal is to always have simple, fresh-cut flowers.

Love that you usually get three times a day plus to feed yourself and those you love, and oftentimes just as many times to wear different stuff if you do different things during the course of your day. As simple as that may be, we here love food, think about it when we’re not with it, and are constantly trying to get the what to wear where thing right for ourselves and those in our mix.

We’re constantly cooking and dressing, and it’s not always good. Here’s to the every new brand new day.

Happy Monday all.

xoxo

 

out for a while

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To cap off summer shenanigans, thank goodness as it’s been a long one, husband and I did a two-day getaway at The Red Horse Inn before hitting Greenville SC for Furman University family weekend.

we stopped at a small Amish store and bought ham off the bone, hot pepper cheese, a jar of mustard and mayonnaise and a loaf of bread

Hiking the foothills of the Blue Ride Mountains and making grilled ham and cheese sandwiches in the petite cabin kitchen were the activities, perfect. The new terrace of the main house was a great spot for a glass of wine or two.

denim shirt with wide legged navy pant

new season square toe lace up boot, a season or so ago bag

Yeah, we’ve been out for a while, and looking to get back in. Two life changes, a marriage and somewhat of an empty nest after sending youngest of six off to Providence College this fall and just gotta say the tank feels low. Things that got us going like writing, and cooking, and even dressing haven’t had the same pull. That’s a problem, as we named this site every day dress, not only to talk about clothes, but more about the idea of getting up, showing up, taking risks and putting yourself out there, and to perhaps help inspire a few women to do maybe a little of the same.

Simply putting this post up on this first day of October feels awkward, as we’ve fallen off the habit, kind of like the first day of school or the first day back at the gym after a too long hiatus. We know we like it, and that it’s good for us, it’s just that we’re out of the routine.

In talking with a client today she reminded me that research suggests it takes thirty days of regularly doing ‘a thing’ to make ‘a habit’. So here we are, with an awkward feeling post, hoping to get back to regularly writing, cooking, dressing.

All I can say is every day dress. xoxo

 

where we’re at

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late summer quick chicken with tomato garlic compote | all vegetables from farm share

2000 miles via auto and air and 8 states in 7 days and now we’re back in the studio and making dinner at home, woot woot.

today in the studio trying on plaid, these are size 6

love this look 

leopard and plaid denim and red pumps, yes please

I’ll be in the studio until the morning of September 11th, and for the record kind of all about these plaid denim pants.

Hoping everyone out there is hitting their stride with all new season stuff: back to school, back to work; and the world spins on….

molasses cookies with vanilla and sea salt caramel ice cream, why not, still summer, still living, this was desert for 3

kitchen goods | me

clothing items | Worth New York 

xoxo

cooking at home

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Four of us are on the road, one Providence College move in and drop off, circle home quick then out and a Furman University drop.

Road food has been great, been thinking about that lobster roll all summer long. Girls and I love and enjoy food, and any shared meal is often our favorite part of the day.

We’ve been cooking at home for as long as we can remember, and honestly feel it’s a kind of super glue. Cooking at home brings us together and creates unbreakable bonds, the kind that make college drop offs unbelievably bittersweet.

get back to it

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No better way to break the ice than to simply get back to it and sink in. We’ve been out, and loving every minute. Not every day that a child gets married, and we put our all into it to make it happen. Happen it did, it was amazing, in so many out of the world ways. Wedding post coming, need to gather resources, stay tuned.

What we really do most days is aim to wear good clothes, cook and eat good food, and try our best to think good thoughts. With that, we did a kind of Sunday dinner on a Tuesday, and broke bread with those we love. Every day things.

Every day dress, after an epic wedding push, trying to get back to it. xoxo

put it together

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basic little black cardigan what’s for dinner post

Days move so fast sometimes you’ve just got to put it together: the clothes on your body and the food to eat for dinner.

Essentials to keep on hand might include black denim and a cropped cardigan, a pound of bacon, frozen peas, a fresh bunch of kale, imported dried pasta, a good black bag, and maybe some Boursin cheese and a handful of asparagus.

looks weird yet wildly delicious, everyone loved this ad hoc what’s for dinner put it together

We love a good outfit and adore a good meal, keeping at the ready some strong basics makes it easier to put it together.

Every day dress everyone. TGIF, xoxo.

 

joined a farm share, and had a plant party

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farm box, and Amish potholders 

all the goods

farm fresh egg, cheese, greens

Never mind book club, we’ve joined a farm share for the season and couldn’t be happier. Picked up our box last week Thursday, and have cooked and baked from it since.

We’re all about eating fresh, and working on adding in more plant-based items to the daily rotation. Work it is, as I find plant-based a bit challenging, and honestly kind of time-consuming. Maybe it’s just getting in the swing of it, not sure, simply seems to take forever to chop so many ingredients to arrive at great flavor. I have to say though that once the prep is done, the results and the taste and the variety of meals you can create is worth the effort, so go figure. Daughters in the house love when I cook this way, they are all over the Cucumber Rounds w/Cashew Cheese Tapenade.

soaking heirloom tomatoes for consomme and cashews for ‘cream cheese’

recently bought 3 bistro tables from Amazon for entertaining activities 

Friday night committee meeting

we like odd numbers

tomato consomme shooters with avocado garnish

roasted pepper pesto crostini with fresh horseradish garnish

cucumber rounds with cashew cheese tapenade and garnished with balsamic figs 

prepping Beefless Southeast-Asain satays

serving Beefless Southeast-Asian Satays with Peanut Sauce

(don’t think I’ll ever do this one again, would rather use grass-fed, organic beef)

On Friday I was in kitchen heaven as entire family was out and about. Simply settled in with a counter full of plant ingredients and did what I could for a little patio and lawn committee party we had that evening to kick off WNY Women’s Foundation Fall in Fashion 18. Lovely evening, lovely women.

Sunday night halibut and asparagus

Monday morning halibut on toast with fresh squeezed OJ

As for creating, this morning we started with last night’s halibut garnished with olive and sun-dried tomato tapenade, protein at breakfast in our every day dress world is always a good idea.

strawberry rhubarb pie

A few disclaimers:

  • Started here as a ‘style’ site and feel like we’ve evolved more into maybe a ‘food’ site? Whatever, we’re passionate about both, even if involves most of our time spent in denim. We can still clean up nice when needed. 🙂
  • If you read my posts on Facebook, here is my apology: I am freaking terrible at Facebook, and one of my young admins linked my blog to Facebook seasons ago and I still haven’t figured it out, oh, well, always learning and figuring things out. Sorry if I’m not good at replying to comments.

living in denim, and sneakers, and a puffer, still in June

black cotton dress, Dior bag, guitar strap, waiting for Uber 

Saturday office look, new shoes, and loving Diet Coke in a glass bottle

Joined a farm share, and had a plant party. xoxo, Rebecca

food and stuff

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Getting ready to hit the road again with 4 daughters and second sons girlfriend for fun wedding activities, second of three bridal showers on deck. Here we come New Hampshire.

We’ve been up to all kinds of prep: spreadsheets, construction projects, and major weeding, all for the upcoming big day.

We’re also in the kitchen, baking things like three berry cobble, coconut cupcakes, and beef tenderloin with bernaise sauce. Scratch chicken stock is a weekly routine and keeps all things food related humming. Vegetable stock goes on too as we’re kind of leaning into more plant-based eating although these photos indicate otherwise, haha, we have no wagon here. 🙂

Every day dress, food and stuff. Have a great and safe weekend! Xoxo

Footnote: okay you guys trying to fit this posting stuff in and did this while having mani/pedi, overjoyed.

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