Ditched by the Middle Child

Michael aloofThis is the first Christmas that all three of my momma’s children have not been home for the holidays. Michael ditched us. Yes, it was for something important to him and his work, but there was a “6 ft hole” as my mother said.

Michael is doing Americorp at Camphill in Copake, NY. Christmas is a special time in the Village filled with many traditions. The coworkers and residents all come together to take a break and take the time to enjoy the company of the people around them. We spoke to Michael on Christmas Eve and Christmas and he sounded like he was having a fabulous time. We put him on speaker phone and it really was like he was here. We were all talking at once, Michael was just far way. According to Michael’s holiday schedule, he had candle lightings, wreath somethings, paper rose making, cooking, and sledding to accomplish. It seems as though we take a little bit of a lazier approach to the holiday. Emily and I did do holiday crafts, so we should get credit for that. I also baked a pie, which was my contribution to all of my mother’s hard work in the kitchen. (It should be noted that my father has all of a sudden become a food critic and has started with my pie baking skills. It should also be noted that he was the only one who did not compliment my fine work!)

Michael is an important part of us. He lets us know that we are all nuts. He is probably my parents favorite child, but they probably wouldn’t confess if confronted. We love you Michael; and we missed you wrapped in an entire bed spread complaining that it is too early to function.

The Pioneer Woman Comes to Town

Pioneer Woman Shirt

This past weekend I had the opportunity to go the Pioneer Woman‘s book signing. It was originally going to be at a tiny bookshop (Blue Willow Bookshop) but the they weren’t going to have space in their 1200 sq ft store for all the ladies that came out to see the Pioneer Woman. It was moved to Georgia’s Farm to Market. It was an adorable local grocers that had dining room tables all over the place and teas, coffees, snacks, and foods to consume.

We got there a little after 11:00 and got our cookbooks and found our seats. The PW answered questions at 1:00 and then the cattle call began. The 500 or so women were broken into color groups and we were called by color. Mrs. Oswalt and I were part of the “PETAL” group.

Barbara and Meg

While we waited our turn, we drank coffee and looked around at all the interesting teas, coffees, herbs and foods to see. We also talked to these ladies. They were in the “LIME” group.

Sandra and Monica at the PW Signing

Sandra and Monica were on hand to converse with us. We talked about which recipes we thought we might try. Monica brought sticky notes and tabs so we could mark recipes.

Barbara, PW, and Meg

Then (several enjoyable hours later) Mrs. Oswalt and I met the Pioneer Woman. I told her about the dark chocolate cranberries we ate and she seemed genuinely interested. She truly was friendly and sweet and made an effort to speak to every single person who came. She also gave everyone who came to see her a T-shirt.

We got our cookbooks signed and then he seemed strange to leave after being there for so many hours. The cookbook has pictures of every step of the way, which makes me want to give some of the recipes a chance. The food looks delicious and the photos in the entire book are of her ranch and family. You should probably buy it.

P.S. Sandra and I made the enchiladas and guacamole in the book. It was hard work and my fingers burned from all the cutting. They were tasty!.