Friday, November 28, 2014

Thanksgiving 2014

Wednesday before Thanksgiving...a sunny bright day, a bit warmer than usual and the fall colors were still glowing around the grocery store parking garage.
Bernie came home from work early; I was watching Cal for the day so we three headed to the store to shop for the Thanksgiving dinner.
Cal gave all the shoppers his gummy baby grin; Bernie and I enjoyed breezing through the shopping with our little grandson.
We did laugh at one point when an Asian woman checker was chatting Calvin up and was clearly falling in love with the little guy.
She finally looked up and looked at me then floored us by declaring Calvin looks exactly like me.
(I have heard white folks all look alike to Asian folks but really...I think this was a stretch!)

(Rachel table before the meal crowded out the center piece. She used my mom's ultra mid century modern looking china, a Franciscan pattern called Merry-go-round. I am so glad that Rachel likes retro china patterns and was thrilled when my mom offered the set to her.)
Our son and daughter-in-law love to cook and try new thing, so Thanksgiving dinner rarely has a "traditional" feel about it any more.
That is fine with me...
They pour over recipes, and then offer a few to me to select from.
Plus I am always to make the one traditional dish that is served each year:
Pumpkin pie.
With Cool  Whip.
This year it was to be just the Salt Lake family; four adults, one two year old and one five month old.
Bernie worked on a Andouille sausage corn bread stuffing (Cajun style) while I put together a sweet potato whip with a pecan/brown sugar/butter/ corn flake topping.
I wasn't too sure if I was going to regret not having the typical sweet potato dish with marshmallows on top.  I like the sour cream zing of that recipe, but the new one has totally won me over!
Bernie and I cooked Wednesday afternoon.
We also planted about 150 tulip bulbs in the garden.
(I thought I had lost my window for planting when our temperatures dipped in to the low teens a week ago.  Whew...thank goodness it was almost 60 degrees and the soil was workable again.)
We do have an auger that attaches to our drill to dig the holes other wise I suppose I would be hospitalized after trying to dig in that many tulips by hand.
We finished the job the next day. spring we are going to have a LOT of tulips and it will be fun to remember that we planted them on Thanksgiving!

We arrived with our dishes to Jeff and Rachel's around 2.
Rachel and Jeff were still pulling their dishes together.
Their kitchen has a huge granite top breakfast bar area that allowed for a lot of prepping to be happening all at once.

Jeff and Rachel are a great team in the kitchen.
(Jeff is sporting a mustache as part of the November mustache thing that I really don't is to bring awareness to something...oops...)

Cal kicked back on the floor.

Luke had some trains that needed shuttling...

Taking a break before serving up.

Jeff tried a new turkey recipe: It was stuffed with apple and lemon, had herbs under the skin and sat in apple cider to cook.
It was very juice and tasty; I have to admit I still rather like the sage/onion/butter flavor of a more traditional roasting recipe.

Carving up the bird...

The menfolk in the kitchen.

Waaaaayyyy too much food for our little family but boy howdy do we have some yummy left overs!
The blue cheese pomegranate spinach salad was the only dish that was completely devoured.
You might note the cute little bowl with the green flowers with the yellow grits in the center front.

 That is vintage Pyrex from 1967,
It is a pattern named Square Flowers/Verde.
Pyrex released a new pattern almost every year and then discontinued the pattern after awhile.
 Rachel got me into the Pyrex hunting group (The Pyrex Pirates they are called) here in SLC (who knew there even was such a thing?) and I found that bowl in the thrift shop. 
Later she acquired the same dish in two other sizes from fellow Pyrex hunters.
Along with glass lids for each bowl size.

The same day I found Rachel's Square Flowers/Verde at a Goodwill thrift shop, (the very first time I had ever gone out looking for Pyrex "in the wild" as it is called when one finds Pyrex in thrift shops or garage sales) I  also found a pattern called Old Orchard, from 1974 in a different thrift shop.  
The bowl cost me $2. 
I also found the smallest Butterfly Gold "Cindie" mixing bowl, the 1972 version.
(That later kicked off a search to acquire the entire Butterfly Gold Cinderella mixing bowl set.)
Neither Rachel or I had originally identified any pattern that we were interested in collecting but just like that...we both fell in love with a pattern that day.  
I knew the Old Orchard would look super cute on my counter top holding fruit, and would look just grand at Thanksgiving with the harvest gold and brown pattern.
I have since collected a larger oval casserole and a round one too.
Some day I will have to do a full blog post on the Utah Pyrex Pirates. 
 I never would have guessed I would enjoy the thrill of the chase for vintage Pyrex! 
Just for fun  HERE is link to a page that has all the Pyrex patterns by name and photo. 
 Most folks around my age recognize Butterfly Gold, but there are lots more patterns, some very rare and some very common, out there. 
It is so funny how "the Pirates" hunt, acquire, trade, sell, party with and ohh and ahh over how they have displayed Pyrex in their homes.
Mostly women in the late twenties, early thirties.
With a few middle age folks like me who remember getting some Pyrex patterns as a wedding present back when the patterns were new. you have a Pyrex pattern?
Do tell!
And I hope you and your family had a WONDERFUL day of Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 24, 2014

October Memories part 2

Would I like to go for a ride on an old train in the back country on a beautiful autumn day?
Yes please!

Old trains have a way of making me smile in a way that modern trains just can't manage to do.

The Heber Valley, a place about a 45 minute drive from our house has a wonderful old train called the Heber Creeper.
I have taken a ride on the Creeper in Summer a few years back with my in-laws.
Once I realized my grandson was over the moon about trains I had been wanting to take him on a ride too.
The grandsons maternal grandparents were in town for a few day and we caught wind of a special Creeper ride designed for Halloween.
It would be a shorter ride than the typical hour long chug along the Provo river; this would be a twenty minute run out and back.
Just about the right amount of time to hold a two year old's interest.

Luke waited patiently for the train to arrive, wearing (as usual) one of  his Thomas and Friends train tee shirts.

Three month old baby Cal wore a hat knitted by his uncle's girlfriend.
The train motif made it his perfect topper for the ride.
(Each ticket holder was allowed to select a pumpkin after the ride...there were huge boxes and piles of pumpkins everywhere!)

Train's a' comin'!

Pick a window seat...

Seems like outside is moving somehow.

Once the train picked up speed, so did Luke and his little girl friend!
(Notice that he holds his favorite Thomas train in his hand.)

Cal got a super seat of his own with his girlfriend/grandmother Gigi.

Mouth fallen open in awe...

Calvin got handed off to his Granddad while Luke and Gigi watched the scenes pass by their window.
Little finger pointing in wonder...

(Both of them were mesmerized...)

And why not?
Yellow aspen groves glowed from the mountain tops.


and farms nestled against autumn leaf confetti like dappled hillsides.

(Bernie and I really love the rural scenic  Heber Valley and sometimes talk about moving there.)

The farms/ranches seem almost a tad too perfect.

(I suspect some California yuppies have decided they want to play rancher and build a ranch more for looks than actual ranching.)

Two horses...didn't see any other kinds of animals on the grounds.

The Provo river is a huge attraction there.
When notable fishing rivers of America are listed, the Provo is always near the top of the list.
Even if one doesn't catch a fish, one is sure to see a lot of beauty anyway.

Train ride...ten minutes in.
Snack time.
Pumpkin muffins baked by Gigi.

Then there was music and the kids were encouraged to get up and DANCE!

 And dance they did!
They did The Monster Mash.

 And the Chicken Dance..

 They let it go to "Let It Go"

Luke's paternal great grandparents were professional dancers.
I think this little apple has not fallen far from the tree!
The boy could bust some fly dance moves.

 After all that the train conductor gave everyone a pumpkin cookie.

 TWO snacks in twenty minutes!

 This is just amazing!

No snacks for baby Cal.
He looks a tad worried doesn't he? 
Well, there was a lot of singing and dancing and bouncing about with all the big kids around him.
MaMa Rachel held him close.

I promise you Calvin...I will make sure you get to take a ride on the train again when you are older.

What did he see now?

Views...horses...rivers...other trains...fall colors...

As our train pulled into the station Luke and his friend leaned out the window to watch.

Look at those happy faces!

When Luke is older we will come again and explore some of the other trains parked in the museum area.
They are all so photogenic.

 A fun location to take a family photo...

 Or two...

Or three...

My co-grandmother:
We will see her, and our co-grandfather again at Christmas.

And maybe we will even take the train ride again.
The Polar Express...through a snowy night, with Santa along for the journey?
It is an option.
Sounds kind of fun and kinda of crazy too doesn't it?