Sunday, November 26, 2017

Musings - November 2017

The season of family and friends kicks off this month. Thanksgiving is my favorite time of year! I love the gathering. The sharing. The lack of religious overtones. The simple grace of good times and good food.

Books: Just a few this busy month. The House at the Edge of Night (Catherine Banner) which was a good bit less interesting than the title implied. (I picked it up just for the title in September when I was traveling. My bag would only fit two new books  - I wanted three. Child Finder was a good buy. But now I wish I'd gotten the other book rather than this one by Banner.)  And Janet Evanovich delivers  the campy, raucous fun one expects from the 23rd Stephanie Plum novel.If you spot the combo at a Little Library - you may live near me!

Gratitude: The apparently unending bounty of our garden - that's fresh thyme, parsley (pictured) from the garden - as well as mint we harvested the week of Thanksgiving. (We love adding it to our water.) People who understand family is about inclusion and how you are treated showcases your value. The blue skies of November.  Movie dates with this guy.

Listening: The Best of James Bond. Azucar (Spanish guitar). Side Hustle podcast. Bombshell Business podcast.

Perfume: It ranges from super inexpensive to very fancy. Paper Flower. Magazine Street. Majalis. And I've decided that when you wear Majalis, you need to commit! It lingers. I wore it for a week straight as it permeated everything, in a lovely way.

Recipe of the Month: We had some fun in the kitchen this month! We made a "mummy pie", post-Halloween. Ours was a Granny Smith apple/raspberry combo, like Real Simple magazine's Instagram post from which we got our inspiration. But one could do this with most any fruit pie. Just lay the crust pieces overlapping and use a piece of the fruit to create a "nose".

I also invented a new recipe. It started, as many things do, with left-overs and super foods.

"Italian" Quinoa Salad
- Red quinoa,cooked (I used an entire package. Made with veggie broth)
- Celery and onions, diced and sauted
- Fresh spinach
- Butternut squash, roasted, diced
- Italian dressing

I was roasting squash, en mass, and making potato soup (which starts with sauteing celery and onion) when I realized I could make another food option for the week just by cooking some quinoa. So I did. I threw the fresh spinach on the cooked quinoa, added the sauteed celery/onions + roasted squash and tossed, allowing the spinach to wilt a bit. Then I realized it needed a flavor binder, and I had a jar of Italian dressing that I wanted to use up. The rest is history.

Can be served hot, cold, or room temperature. Lasts about 5 days in the fridge. Best if you let the flavors mingle for 2-4 hours before serving.

Self-Care: I'm currently obsessed with 3 things. 
1) Rosewater. Rosewater everything - witchhazel with rose for a morning toner, and Marcus Badescu's rosewater spray to refresh dry skin. 
2) Vanilla+dark fruit scent. (I think this may be left over from the delicious scent of grapes in the air at dusk in early September.) Anything scented with vanilla/black raspberry like my new soap and my grape/blackberry/vanilla lotion. 
3) My new hairbrush. Koh-i-Noor is an Italian brand now available in the USA. I mostly have a "hate" relationship with brushing implements - they make my hair frizzy. I have heard that wire brushes were better - and you can see I have a little collection. I hate all of them. I use a wide-tooth comb when my hair is wet and try to avoid brushing as it mostly just rips out my hair and makes a frizzy mess. But this Koh-i-Noor brush detangles and is perfect for use whether your hair is wet or dry. (It's the gray one in the picture.) Plus it does not frizz my hair out when used dry - it kind of smooths through the waves and takes out any tangles.

Watching:  Wynonna Earp. Harlots. (Many days I feel like Charlotte Wells, so full of promise and yet unable to make it tangible.) The Blacklist. And so many bad Bruce Willis movies. (He must have alimony. That is the only explanation of The Set Up.)

Take-away - Sometimes the pace of life gets hectic. Slow down. Enjoy this moment. It won't happen again.

Original musings posts you may enjoy:

All photos by moi! The hairbrush was a gift from the US importer of the Italian luxury brand. They had no expectation of a blog review.

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