I’ve been doing a combination of bookish and domestic type things this week. When I get a chance to divide time pretty evenly between books and home, that’s the best kind of week there is. First, I worked on a project for the upcoming book fairs in San Francisco and Pasadena in February. (More on that at another time.) Next, I went to the annual Holiday Party and Quarterly Meeting of the Northern California Chapter of the ABAA (Antiquarian Booksellers Association). When I entered the party, I was the newest member of the Northern California Chapter, having joined the organization a few months ago, in July. When I left the party, I had somehow agreed to be Chapter Secretary! I was a little nervous about what this might require, but I’ve been told this mostly involves taking and distributing minutes at quarterly meetings, so it seems to be a good opportunity to learn more about our Northern California Chapter.
And on the domestic front, I’m trying to get prepared for Christmas. One of my brothers and his family are visiting us the week before Christmas and on Christmas Eve, and my other brother and his family are visiting us after Christmas and during New Year’s. We’re also hosting a group at our home on Christmas Eve. In anticipation of a full schedule, I have been busy cooking ahead and freezing a few things for the next week. I cooked four lasagnas (if you’re going to go to the trouble to make one, you may as well quadruple the recipe and have a few extra dinners ready to go during the busy basketball season in January). I also prepared and froze our traditional Christmas morning breakfast casserole. It’s made of eggs, cheese, bread, sausage, onions, mushrooms, and butter — so bad for you it is delicious and definitely indulgent enough for holiday dining. That way I can enjoy Christmas morning. I just have to defrost the casserole the night before and then pop it in the oven when we are enjoying the morning. I then made a couple loaves of Applesauce Cinnamon Bread and froze those for quick snacks for the boys, their visiting cousins, or anyone else who drops by.
As a busy mom who is trying to run her own book business, I find great comfort in having a few extra meals in the freezer for busy times. Each week, I am trying to find a recipe that I know will freeze well, that is, that I know will still taste good when I finally decide to defrost and cook it. I then double the recipe for at least one dinner. We eat one dinner that night and put the extra dinner in the freezer for future busy nights or other emergencies. It’s my goal to get up to 11 meals in my freezer so that I have a variety of things from which to choose. This seemed like a chore at first, but if I make a fresh pot of tea and play music I like while I do it, it’s actually not so bad. I almost enjoy it. And then there’s the feeling I get a few weeks later, when I have a homemade, ready-made meal in the freezer to defrost and cook on a busy evening — I am always so relieved and glad I took the time to do it. If we are going to survive four evenings per week basketball practice (between Tom and Huck, who are on separate teams, each team practices twice a week), then I will be doing myself a favor to have dinner already planned once in a while.
On the agenda for this weekend is to bake some fudge, candied walnuts, and my grandmother’s Christmas cookies.
I don’t mean to bore you bookish types with all of my kitchen goings-on. It’s just that some of my friends who also work and have children and I are always discussing ways to streamline things we need to do around the home — like making dinner every night. This part of the post is for them.
Meet Watson! He’s our friend’s dog and we’re taking care of him while she’s away for a few days. He’s a sweet, three month old Bernese (or is it Burmese?) Mountain Dog. He has become fast friends with Huck:
Our little spaniel, Molly, however, isn’t quite sure what to make of this new arrival:
All for now! Tom and Huck just finished up school for the next couple of weeks, so we’re looking forward to having the leisure to get in the Christmas spirit!
See you in the stacks!