Dear Sunday Letter friends,
I worry about what to say when it comes to Thanksgiving, because so many people were unable to see family members this year. But I hope yours was peaceful, satisfying, filled with yummy food, fabulous memories, maybe at least one laugh-session that made you forget whatever troubles you may be experiencing.
Ours was great! We are happy, and as far as we know, healthy. Somehow my sister and I managed to keep all our dishes hot and serve them at the same time. Mostly it was great because we were together.
Well, some of us. Not all of us.
My kids live in Austin and Denver. They decided since six million other people were traveling this Thanksgiving, this wasn’t a good year for them to visit.
Thank goodness for Zoom.
Why didn’t we buy stock in Zoom Video?
Our group Zoom was a highlight, not only for us but probably for families all across the globe.
Really, we are fortunate. I think of our ancestors who immigrated to the New World and settled Westward-ho, sailed off to sea and went to war. They were a hardy, self-sacrificing breed. Imagine being unable to communicate with family for years, beyond maybe a letter or telegram, a message in a bottle. Often they never laid eyes on them again.
Now that would be something to fret about.
On Black Friday, rather than shopping, I put away my Thanksgiving / Fall decor. Pumpkin season is officially over for me. (Well, I wouldn’t turn down a slice of pumpkin bread.)
Remember my succulent pumpkins?
I planted them.
Planting them is the final step in making succulent pumpkins. This step ensures your succulents will continue growing.
The process is probably obvious, but I’ll explain anyway…
- Slice off the top of the pumpkin in much the same way your would remove the top to clean and carve a jack-o-lantern;
- Remove any seeds clinging to the succulent top;
- Plant the succulent top in a pot that provides room for your plants to spread. (I used a combination of potting soil and succulent/cactus soil);
- Mist (they don’t like to swim);
- Move to a spot for over-wintering (unless you live in a warm sunshiny place); and
- Compost the remainder of your pumpkin (or dispose of it via one of these creative ways from Better Homes & Gardens).
- Use a sharp knife.
- Hold knife firmly and cut away from your body.
- Take your time. Accidents happen when you rush.
- The larger the pumpkin, the harder it will be to cut (and some varieties are tougher than others).
Oops. In the photos above, see the bright orange and yellow vine? That’s American Bittersweet. It’s decorative in fall arrangements, but it is super invasive. I’m going to cut that out before it roots in the pot, takes over our entire neighborhood, and I get booted from the Arkansas Master Naturalist group.
I meant to remove it before I planted it…
Fallen Leaf Art
I didn’t think there would be enough fall color for even one more fallen leaf art creation.
Lo and behold…
I suppose this could be a gooey pepperoni pizza, but in the spirit of the holidays, it’s a delicious berry tart. You probably can’t tell, but my crust turned out perfectly—crumbly, not-too-sweet with a teen tiny hint of salt.
A calorie-free berry tart!
Fresh Apple Cake
You know what’s not calorie-free? This Fresh Apple Cake I made for Thanksgiving.
My recipe is coming soon!
Yesterday was our last warm-ish day in the foreseeable future. It was also Small Business Saturday. I took advantage of both by shopping small at Westwood Gardens, by buying and planting Orange Balloon tulips bulbs.
I usually wait until the very last minute to plant bulbs, but what a difference it makes to plant them before the ground freezes when the soil moved easily beneath my spade. Now our bulbs are dozing in the earth, awaiting cold weather to stir the magic inside each.
Things Momma Says:
I lost my broccoli casserole on my plate.
This morning a cold rain falls. I am grateful for our health, our warm, safe home, the food in our pantry. I hope you have the same.
As we enter the last month of the year, remember to support small local businesses. Many are barely hanging on. Donate to local food banks if you can. Drop a few coins in the Salvation Army bell ringer’s bucket when you go in the grocery store. Little things can make a difference.
Grace Grits and Gardening
Farm. Food. Garden. Life.
You’ve probably already watched/listened to this video, but it’s worth a re-listen (or ten) this morning!