Christmas run-up seems to be unfolding at pleasant pace. The IKEA $20 mystery-tree is tied up in the backyard. Their trees are far less expensive than anywhere else (and support charity) - but you have no idea what they look like until you take the Q-tipping off, which you are not permitted to do at the tree lot. My method of selection is to pick the one with the largest trunk that appears to be husky of build, as straight as possible and then just hope that a giant squirrels nest wasn't cut out of the middle of it leaving a large hole.
Have greens for pots - have not done them, hopefully soil in urns will not be frozen when I get to it later today. Although as my good friend Susan says, "You just have to boil a bunch of water to thaw them out."
Cookies baked. In freezer. So weird not being able to eat them - developed intolerance to dairy, eggs, soy and corn. And, I've got a message for Dr. Oz and any woman out there who thinks that if she only stopped eating the odd sweet, all cakes, cookies, ice cream, yogurt, baked goods, that the pounds will drop away, falling to the ground with such a clatter that you won't be able to hear the applause of those congratulating you on your weight loss. I can tell you for a fact, it's all a fiction. It's now been 10 months - I appear to be missing 4 lbs. However, migraines much better - no sore joints, and absolutely no reason to go out to buy new clothes, because the old ones fit about the same as they did last February.
So, I'm on the hunt for lard and suet in search of new fat delivery systems for the holidays. Find that Tenderflake tastes a bit metallic - and sadly shortening is often soy based. Have coconut oil in fridge and will experiment at some point. If all else fails will get a container of frozen coconut ice-cream and have found a fun recipe where you coat 1 lb of grapes with 4 oz of melted chocolate (Bernard Callebaut dark) and then coat them with cocoa powder....and to those who are thinking maybe she's been eating too many grapes covered in chocolate, I can say, probably more than I should, but no more than 4 times in the last 6 weeks - and not alone - I did share.
Will be off to the butcher shortly to book the turkey - I cook a "relaxed turkey" a la Bonnie Stern. I have the butcher butterfly it and partially bone it out - removing breast bone and thigh bones. It bakes on top of the stuffing (in other years a wonderful spicy cornbread stuffing). A 15 lb bird takes about 1hr45 minutes to cook. Makes it soooo easy to carve as well. The only downside is that if someone were to come into the kitchen to check out the bird, it would appear that you're serving roadkill, but other than that it tastes fantastic.
So enough about inside, let's see what's happening in the garden....we've gone from this earlier in the week:
One of the reasons I don't remove all the hosta - other than laziness in the fall - I love the way the leaves decay.
To this today:
Very dark - shooting at 1/30 second....really need the tripod, but don't want to go back in to fetch it.
Wee flakes on the Rhodo.
Autumn fern - Dryopteris erythrosora
Bergenia are often grown for winter interest.... I don't find this interesting.
Part of our dinner tonight.
Lots of leaves tucking in the garden.
Sweet little geranium leaves.
And finally, Epimedium - the much better choice for around here for winter interest.