Tag Archives: holidays

Hipster Thanksgiving

Man, you know what’s gotten way too mainstream?

Thanksgiving in November

So overplayed.

Dude, you know what people don’t celebrate as often in Portland?

Canadian Thanksgiving.

Oh yeah, it exists. It’s ok if you haven’t heard of it. Not many people have. But it’s huge in Canada.

And so much less commercialized. I hate overplayed Thanksgiving has gotten. It used to be cool you know?

I can’t believe people still wait till November for it. You realize celebrating in October also helps subvert Columbus day too? Don’t even get me started on Columbus. Friggin’ colonialism.

Know what else is overdone? Roses.

Dahlias are way better. Plus I got mine from a small farm. You’ve probably never heard of it.

I debated between PBR and a barrel aged sour to go with dinner, but the co-op was closed so we were stuck with wine.

Symphony is kind of a rare varietal. It’s ok if you haven’t hear of it.

(if you look closely there’s a chip in the wine glass. Cause it’s vintage)

For desert we had pie that I baked while my husband watched football. But I baked it in a totally subversive way, I swear.

(pumpkin pie is so overdone. Apple pie is where it’s at)

And then we watched Win a Date with Tad Hamilton on HBO.

Ironically of course.

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!



Hi Friends!

Remember when I used to post about food? Instead of running and my bike and Sarah Palin?

Me neither.

Honestly, I’ve been lazy, and haven’t been cooking much. Unless making sad faces at one’s husband until he takes you out for dinner counts as cooking. Then I’m Julia Child.

But I have an hour to spare before we go to a BBQ, and I actually made some food today, so I’m going to share!

Tomorrow is our half (yikes!) and I’m a little paranoid about having food I wanna eat at this BBQ, so here’s what I spent an hour doing this afternoon:

I got some hummus made

plated up with veggies (I blanched the broccoli. Raw broccoli isn’t my fav. Blanch it? Suddenly I wanna eat a pound)

Then I made pesto
(If you adore fresh basil Trader Joe’s has fantastic potted basil plants for like $3. I buy them every summer, and then revel in my ability to eat the most pesto ever for months on end)

Mixed up the pesto with bowties and tomatoes
And because clearly that isn’t nearly enough to bring, I chopped up some watermelon
Watermelon is delicious. My husband hates it. I’ve tried, I can’t eat an entire watermelon myself. Well, I can, but it’s a poor choice. So I was excited for an excuse to buy one.

And because I love America, themed foods, and sugar, I made these strawberries.

Have a fantastic 4th! When you wake up late enjoying your Monday off tomorrow, think of my 6:45 am start time!

One a Penny, Two a Penny

My Easter memories aren’t all beer and Jesus.

I’ve been a fan of the times when I’ve done things like get an extra Easter basket with Baby Brother

But mostly, Easter is Hot Cross Buns

My grandpa Frank was a baker
(He watches over me in my kitchen these days)

He was my maternal grandpa, but my mother never learned to bake with yeast. It makes her nervous. But she loved her dad’s baking, especially his hot cross buns.

We have his recipe, calling for things like 25 cups of flour, with notations on the side to bring it down to proportions where we’re not eating hot cross buns until Canada Day.

Every year, my daddy would spend hours in the kitchen, making hot cross bun after hot cross bun
Anyone who’s baked with yeast knows it’s a long process. And if you want them deliciously fresh, you can’t make them very far ahead of time.  So every year my daddy spends the bulk of Good Friday baking.

It’s a labor of love.

(and when things happen like towels being set on fire-which happen more often than you’d think-you hear a lot of God’s name being yelled. So I think it’s a spiritual experience too)

I’m not home for Easter this year. I’ll be spending it here in Portland, with my husband and in-laws. But I’m sharing my family’s labor of love with my own hot cross buns
Grandpa Frank’s recipe, with whole wheat flour. And part of the batch raisin-free for my husband.

I’m pretty sure Grandpa would approve.
Happy Easter! Enjoy your weekend

Beer and Jesus

Today is Holy Thursday. A few years ago, one of the klassier points in my life happened on this day.

After college, I was part of a young adults bible study at my church. We met on Thursdays to read and discuss the bible. After bible study, we went out for drinks. I called it Jesus and beer night.

(It was a Catholic bible study, so the Jesus and beer combo wasn’t weird.)

Since Holy Thursday was, you know, on a Thursday it got in the way of our meeting. We decided instead to go to mass and then out for drinks.

So Holy Thursday comes, and I go out for dinner after work with a friend. And we meet some guys in town on business. With an expense account.

This leads to our dinner and drinks being free. Which is awesome. And leads to more free drinks.

Except I’m now bombed. At Applebees.

(fun fact: there are pictures of me on the walls of my hometown Applebees. I’m kinda a big deal)

And I’m supposed to be at church in 10 minutes.

Now, a normal person may have thought “I’m drunk. Perhaps mass isn’t a good choice”. But drunk Kalin thought “I’m a problem solver! I’ll call a friend from bible study to get me!”

So I dialed up the 35 year old engineer who wanted to get in my pants. Because if someone’s trying to get on you they can’t judge.

He came and got me and church was PACKED. It turns out church is super overstimulating when you’re drunk. Stand up, sit down, incense, sing, kneel, it was too much.

And then.

It was time to wash feet.

See, on Holy Thursday they reenact Jesus washing his disciples feet. At churches I’ve attended it’s always a dozen pre-selected people.

But I was drunk. And thought they were going to wash my feet.

And the several hundred other congregants feet.

Which meant that 1. I was going to have to act sober in front of the priest (Who knew me. We’re facebook friends) and 2. Mass was going to last FOREVER.

This was all bad. I tried to leave. My shoes were flats I never wore socks with. Everyone would know my feet smell.

I had to have it explained to me it was ok. Several times.

Someone might have pointed out I smelled like booze in there too.

Finally, mass was over, and me and my unwashed feet went out to dinner with everyone. I had water to drink.

So life lessons friends:

1. Church when you’re bombed only seems like a good choice

2. Your feet are safe on Holy Thursday

and most importantly

3. Jesus doesn’t judge.

Happy Holy Week friends!

That Darn Leprechaun!

You won’t believe what happened in my classroom!

I’ve been teaching kindergarten this week (a BLAST. Kids are hilarious. Did you know God has a girlfriend? Learned that this week. Also, with a hundred dollars you could by a lot of cars. And strawberry yogurt mixed with chocolate milk “tastes like vanilla!”. These kids teach me a lot.) and it seems that every year on St Patrick’s day a leprechaun comes and visits the classroom!

That darn leprechaun!  He made a mess!
Chairs overturned, crayons spilled, books everywhere.

He even left paper towels all over the bathroom. “Mrs L he’s killing the trees!”

That darn leprechaun!

He left footprints all over too!
Even on the windows! “Mrs L! How did he DO THAT?!”

That darn leprechaun! He’s tricky I tell you.

My day was spent hearing “Mrs L! Mrs L! Guess what else the leprechaun did!!!”

I emerged from kindergarten with a slitting headache, a bag full of crayon pictures, a kiss on the cheek from a 5 year old boy and green paint all over my arms.

Then I made the mistake of mentioning soda bread to my husband. Because what you should do after leprechaun wrangling all day is bake.

Labor of love my friends
It was insanely good. Worth it.

Classic St Patrick’s day dinner
Corned beef, colcannon, carrots, and soda bread.

And for dessert?

Our leprechaun friend lost his gold while he was in the room, and the leftovers came home with Mrs L.
That darn leprechaun knew I’d need it.

Stay Klassie

I’m really sad I already used “Stay Classy” as the tile for my last post.  But then I realized that the sort of class I’m about to tell you about is best spelled with a K.  (And an ie.  It’s that good).

See, on New Years, we (me, husby, sis-in-law, her boyfriend Matt, cousin-in-law, and his girlfriend) put on neck tattoos

(Yeah, that’s a unicorn with a heart on my neck.  It has glitter too.)

And hit up Sunshine Company again.  Cause it was there, and had beer.
Here’s where it gets really klassie.

While we were there, know what we saw someone order?


Friggin’ Jello shots.

I’m a bit of a bad decision dinosaur, so I managed to convince Matt to buy some.

Matt runs a fancy whisky bar in San Francisco.

He was ordering orange Jello shots.
I realize now how I got blamed as being the instigator of all this.  At the time I tried to blame Matt.  There’s no way you can shift this off me.

First drink of the New Year!
Then we found an abandoned beer.  Wounded soldiers make me sad.  So we raised some money
And paid my husband to drink it
I wasn’t kidding that this was Klassie with a K.

My husband then made a few belated resolutions
and Matt summed up all of this with “Man, 2011 is going to SUCK!”

I’d like to think instead that it’s all uphill from here.  Cause you can’t really downgrade from jello shots can you?*

But things I can’t top?  New Years day the husband and I laced up our shoes
And ran next to this
(for serious.  that’s a cell phone pic from the run).

Um.  It’s like 26 degrees here in Portland right now.  We tend to run in the dark.  Around a neighborhood.  Not sunshine, mid-50s, and the ocean to stare at.

I think the lesson from all of this is that I should focus on what I can improve and have a good drink.  And leave running till I’m next to an ocean again.

How was your New Years?


*it turns out you can, btw.  That post to come.

Red and Green

My friend Callie always tells me that Chanukah wins over Christmas because red and green are ugly together, but blue with silver or gold is pretty.

And she might be right.  But Chanukah is over, so it’s red and green time.

The beauty of Christmas colors is that you can add them to anything and then it’s a CHRISTMAS thing.

It’s so simple.

Using that logic, this weekend I transformed normal snickerdoodles into Christmas snickerdoodles.

All you have to do is take the normal cinnamon and sugar you roll them in
And add some sugar sprinkles
Not a ton.  I learned the hard way one year, if you just use colored sugar and no white you get ugggly cookies

But just a little?
(Callie was here this weekend.  Since I was out of blue sprinkles Chanukah was over I made her pink ones.  Equally pretty)

I like lazy Christmas cookies
We had some normal sugar cookies too

(I may have made one of the gingerbread men wearing a yarmulke for Callie.  She loved it.)

There are few things more amusing than watching my husband decorate cookies.
He’s really really good.  Do you see the gingerbread man made with THRRE different sprinkles?  It’s art.

What Christmas baking have you been doing?

Do you agree with Callie’s assessment of red and green being ugly?