It’s 2020, Happy New Year!
Outside The Sewing Room:
We woke up long before the sun this morning. Because we want to bed very early last night. Because, champagne. And because we had such a rip roaring time during the holidays this year. On the one hand, I’m secretly glad the holidays are over, I could use the rest and a little less pie. We have a new thing, starting this year, with all the sweet goodies from family and neighbors…we donated them to homeless shelters and the such. Shelters will accept them as long as they are commercially packaged. Outside of RD’s holiday pies, we have completely quit on the sweets. On the other hand, we had such a good time I’m sorry it’s over. Raymond was home for 8 days. (E-I-G-H-T wonderful, holiday fun filled days!!)
RD got a brand new Traeger grill for Christmas this year, completely by accident. Right after Thanksgiving, we went into Costco for one thing, accidentally left with a new Traeger grill. Coinkydinkly, that is exactly the same way Raymond ended up with his Traeger grill several years ago. Beginning to suspect these happy accidents are a straight up marketing strategy created by Traeger Brother & Associates, Inc. RD had been talking up replacing our Webber charcoal grill with a gas one for the convenience of just pushing a button to turn it on, but we both so love the taste of something grilled over charcoal. The Traeger is the perfect solution. Since Raymond has been Traegering for a while now, he & RD spent quite a bit of time smoking and grilling meat…talking about smoking and grilling meat…going to local meat packing businesses around here to buy locally grown meats…to smoke and grill…they didn’t just hang out together, they bonded over the ChristmasTraeger this year. Already great friends, now they are Traeger Buds, which as far as I can tell, involves more beer and BBQ stories. Like fishing buds do. They both have a love of good food and cooking in common and both are fantastic Home Gourmet chefs. They share cooking videos. And recipes. And tips and secrets and new dishes. And I end up with a plate of delicious food every evening. It’s hard to eat out or at someone else’s house as I’m pretty spoiled for really good food. We have a brother-in-law that went to Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in NYC. He’s the only person we know of that RD & Raymond will step aside and turn the kitchen over to. I knew this was more than a passing fancy for my son when he started “plating” his meals some years ago. I knew then, he has a passion for cooking same as RD. The Traeger grills have turned things up to eleven. All in all, the Traeger was the best gift this year. More than the end product of food, every meal is an event now and a Traeger will bring people together. Our neighbor on the other side of that fence came over to talk Traeger with RD & Raymond as he has one, too. Raymond said that when he first moved into his apartment in Soda Pop, he had the one and only Traeger grill. Now, there are 3 other Traegers in the complex. It’s only a matter of time before this turns into an organized competition. It’ll start like this:
One of the four Traeger Guys will make something over the top fantastic. Then, he will lurk by the window, peeking out to catch one of the other Traeger Guys to starting up their smokers. When there’s no need to lurk. You can smell the smoker when it starts up and just the smell of the pellets is delicious!! Why Yankee Candle hasn’t made up a candle in this scent is beyond me! Then, ever so casually, he’ll just happen to slowly stroll by and remark “Oh! Hey! A Traeger! Yeah, I’ve got one of these babies. Smoked up a pork butt the other day with <list ingredients here for the rub here>…” and then it will be on. Probably by July 4th weekend. In the complex parking lot. RD & I will have to clear our calendars.
It was a great Christmas this year. Feasted every night. Raymond asked to do Christmas dinner this year, soup to nuts and of course we let him. He did up a prime rib on the Traeger. RD was his sous chef. And the pies chef. I don’t know the name of the brand, but RD uses pre-made pie crusts from Trader Joe’s and it makes the pie. That’s all I’m sayin’. The crust is where it’s at.
We went out to the movies to see Ford V Ferrari GREAT FLICK!!~I’ll buy that once it comes out of theaters. We watched Adam Carolla’s 24 Hour War and I worried a little that the movie wouldn’t live up to that documentary but, happy to say that the entire cast of Ford V Ferrari treated the story with the respect the story deserves. Knives Out~meh. Could have waited for it to come out on Amazon Prime. It was ok, but just ok. Not overly special. We wanted to see Jewell and I’m really sorry it hasn’t done so well at the box office. For us it was timing. I’m hoping it does better after its out of the theaters but I was happy this Christmas season. We really had a wonderful time and I wasn’t in the mood to go see a movie and come out angry. RD & Raymond agreed. It’s just not where our heads were at. This year, all thru the holiday, both sides of our families, siblings, in-laws and cousins, old dear friends, you name it….everyone was reaching out. We lost people from the previous generation this year on both sides. I heard from distant relatives I hadn’t heard from in years. We’re at that certain age where we’re losing our elders and it’s a marker in one’s life. So we all sent texts and pictures and holiday wishes to one another. Being angry right now just didn’t fit in. Maybe we’ll go see it this week. Or not. I’m happy to wait till its on a streaming service.
The only thing Raymond wanted this year for Christmas was a vintage black cast iron skillet. You can only find the really good ones with the smooth finish in antique shops. I found a Wagner 8” at an Estate Consignment store for $20, marked down from $80 because it had been in inventory for a long time. It was waiting for me to come along and buy it for Raymond. It was old and had a really good season on it, so clearly the previous owner was a cook who knew what they were doing. It’s fitting that the next person to own it is someone who takes his cooking as seriously as Raymond does. Then I ended up letting him go home with mine, a 40 year old Wagner 10” skillet I bought the year his dad & I got together. Don’t think I didn’t notice he’d been eyeing it for years now. We bought him Traeger rubs and BBQ sauces, some new liners for both his grill and his drippings bucket. An electric throw for his couch. RD went out and bought him a Ninja Food Processor. RD uses ours all the time and thought the lad should have one, too. He also talked me out of my Kitchen Aid stand mixer! (Ok, the truth is that Raymond mentioned he’d like to get one and I said “Here! Take mine! I insist!” I bought it in silver and as soon as I unpacked it, I regretted not getting the bright red one. Now, I can get the bright red one.) I also ordered 2 copies of “Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat” cookbook for him and RD. So, he had a great Christmas and made out like a bandit.
RD got the Traeger grill and a new car. Yup. A Hoor Red 2-door Honda Accord Sport Coupe. Not brand new, it’s a 2017 lease return with only 23,000 miles on it. RD loves it, he’s pretty happy and that is all that matters to me! He says it’s great for zipping around in, great on gas unlike the Jeep, which was retuned back to me, thank God. We were doing ok with one vehicle but I’ll probably go to Soda Pop to spend more time with Raymond during the winter months. They get a lot of snow in that region and there’s not a lot to do there this time of year except go to work. I’ll go spend time with him and let him cook for me. I’m going to try to talk him into finishing his degree. He only has a couple of classes and it’s a great thing to do during the time he can’t get out to the mountains to fish and camp.
I have not been sewing. Now that the holidays are over, I’m going to get after that and turn this back into a sewing diary. I keep up with the journaling just to keep the habit going. But with Raymond here, I didn’t want to spend my time locked away in the sewing room. I did, however, sign up for knitting classes at a local yarn shop and guess what…I dearly love it! I love all things textile, it seems. Visible mending, embroidery, sewing, and now knitting. It is meditative and creative and keeps my hands busy. Keeps me from staring at the iPad screen. It’s been just under a month but I am finally able to make it about 3 inches before something goes wrong and I skip/add stitches and the pattern goes off. I don’t know how to go back and correct a mistake yet. Not able to make anything yet but practice stitches, but should be closing in on scarf territory within the next 3 or 4 months I reckon. And after watching a YouTube video, was successfully able to add in a second color. It was quite easy, to be honest. Here, I have 2 completely different yarn types and I don’t think they’re playing nice with one another. I’ll have to remember that. I’m signed up for Knitting 102 classes at Knitting Ewe this month, I’ll ask about it. I should come out with a hat with this second class. This little shop has knitting get-togethers on Tuesday nights for stitch ’n bitch sessions. I may try to go but probably won’t. Usually in the evenings, I like to be home and in my jammies. Although I have to say, I really like the classes. They’re small and I liked the other two gals in the class. One was quite funny!
I have to get into the sewing room
today tomorrow, ~today is already gone. But today is technically still part of the holiday so legally speaking, I’ve got a little leeway here. There’s a pair of jeans already cut out, just need to stitch them together and bought new fabric, a nice blue/gray/white plaid flannel, for a new top. In my head I see it with a deep ruby red piping and red buttons in the back. I’m looking forward to getting in there and drafting that blouse. We’ve got tickets to go see Big Head Todd and the Monsters on the 12th and I need a new outfit for it. The Winter Sewing Season has officially begun. I also have this pattern traced out but highly doubt I’ll get the muslin made up, corrections made and then the pattern sewn up in fashion fabric by the 12th.
So that’s it, all caught up. Woke up way too early then went down for a nap. RD woke up with me and went for coffee. Now he’s dozing again. It’s raining good and hard outside, such a nice sound! Good sleeping weather. Both pups are sleeping, Ollie down by my feet and Possum is curled up in his little bed on the floor. Don’t know why, but he’s taken to sleeping there now. The house is quiet. The neighborhood is quiet. Guess everyone is sleeping in this morning! Economy going great guns. Our IRAs and the TSP makes the future look secure. Very pleasant start to 2020.
I am content.