Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. It’s because I absolutely love turkey, stuffing, root vegetables, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie and staying home with family. And I have been captivated for years by the book Cranberry Thanksgiving.

Written in early seventies it dishes out plenty of vintage charm. While there is a main plot to the story, I was always more interested in the imagery and coziness of the book. Set in New England (I would assume in Cape Cod) Maggie and her grandmother live in an idyllic cedar shingled house at the edge of the sand dune. They invite two odd ball guests to their thanksgiving dinner and the beautifully sketched images that follow continue to capture my imagination: Maggie presenting the cooked turkey to the guests, Mr. Whisker’s half eaten turkey bone, and the black silhouettes of grandmother, Mr. Whisker’s and Maggie set against a roaring fire with the white whipped cream visible on top of the their pumpkin pie.

Images of a peach colored November sky with black trees, the ocean, turkey, pumpkin pie and home. Can’t you just smell Thanksgiving now? This book is the equivalent of The Night Before Christmas for Thanksgiving for me.

We borrowed our copy from the library. On Amazon it says that a used copy is $44! I guess the book it out of print right now. But it's still worth it to keep your eyes open.

Monday, November 16, 2009

double use and butternut squash

I do think I’m quite smart with my mashed butternut squash trick. Well, it’s not really mine. I read about it somewhere… Owen informed me that he does like squash. Once I roasted butternut squash and I told him that it was a pumpkin and he happily ate a little. Well, it IS from the same vegetable family.

But the best, sneakiest way is adding mashed butternut squash to macaroni and cheese. It creates a beautiful orange color, subtle sweetness and a nutritional boost.

Since we are currently living in the apartment, I can't locate my ice cube tray to freeze the left over butternut squash. So, I took a plastic egg carton (I use these for Owen’s paints—they are the perfect easel) and froze the squash in there. I actually liked it better than an ice cube tray because it created smaller cubes of frozen squash.

Anyway, it got me to thinking about reusing the egg carton. I now have two great uses—first the paint easel and now for freezing purees. and I'm sure there are others...