I'm a little behind in sharing this. But, hey, better late than never?
I'm really proud of living in a place where eating local is possible. I can't claim to be a true-all-the-time-locavore -- but, I try as much as possible to eat things that are grown, raised or processed/packaged here in Maine. I like knowing where our food is coming from -- and, moreover, I like knowing that I'm supporting local folks and not buying food that is trucked (or flown) all over the world. All that said, I'm guilty of periodically buying strawberries in January (and, around here you don't see strawberries until late June).
At Thanksgiving I try really hard to have a totally local thanksgiving. I get a little nuts about it -- tracking down locally milled flour and all -- but when you sit down in front of a table of local food it feels totally worth it. And, man, was it all delicious.
The menu from our meal is posted in the photo above. But, thought you might enjoy a list of sources.
Turkey with Sage (from our garden) from Maine-ly Poultry
My Mother-in-law's Stuffing Made with Local Breads from Borealis Bread
Brussel Sprouts from Squire Tarbox Farm; Sauteed with Local Bacon from Cornerstone Farm
Delicata Squash and Mashed Kennebec Potatoes from Goransan's Farm
Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce Made from Cranberries from Ricker Hill Orchards
Butter and Cream from Smiling Hill Farm
Pumpkin Rolls Made from One Pie Pumpkin (I know it seems odd that I wouldn't use an actual pumpkin - since I even had one...but, well, I didn't have time.)
Celery, Onions, Carrots (for stuffing, crudite and to serve as our roasting rack) from Goransan's Farm.
Pies made by local family :)
My sister is neither crafty nor a blog reader. Just ask her. In fact, I'm not sure she's ever read my blog. (Can you imagine?) But, she sent me a dozen pictures of her recent holiday decor demanding I share it with Mainelyhome readers. Inspired by a costly wire lit Christmas tree at a nearby gardening shop, my sister took a wire tomato tower and draped lights over and topped with a bow. And, I must say, it looks darn cute, don't you think?
I haven't unwrapped a single stick of butter (and I bought pounds in anticipation of the usual one zillion holiday cookies we usually bake and share with friends) to make a single holiday cookie.
I haven't addressed a single holiday card.
I haven't wrapped a gift. After all, how could I? I don't have them yet.
I haven't made a single gift and usually I pride myself on making at least some of the gifts we give.
I/we haven't decorated our house one bit.
I haven't organized a single social event for the season.
I've actually been rather sad about this. It's not that I get caught up in the commercial side of Christmas, but it's that I love the traditions I've helped our family create. Decorating our pretty old house - inside and out. Baking up a storm to share with others. Sharing love through photos and news in the mail. Handmade wonderfulness. Pretty packages with surprises.
But, there's a whole lot working against me this year. I'm going to try to blame it on the advent calendar incident. Truth is, we just are exhausted. And busy. A new job. Work travel. A play with a heavy rehearsal and performance schedule. And a ridiculous amount of sickness in our little family.
Given all of this (and an attempt to not beat myself up), I'm trying really hard to focus on what's really important this season. And, it turns out that my 7 year old is helping me keep focused.
The other day amidst a fever and strep throat and packing for a business trip, I told her that I was feeling sad that we hadn't done our usual things...our usual baking, crafting and decorating, etc. She listened really carefully to me and then looked at me and said, "Mom, really all we need is a tree, and we have one."
What do I want for Christmas? I already got it. She is a gift.
Every year I give great thought to advent "calendars" for my family. (I blame it on my mother. She always gave us advent calendars of some sort.)
One year it was a small tree with little ornaments to open and hang each day (my Nana assembled one like this for me when I was little).
One year it was 25 mini galvanized buckets each with a treasure, treat or note.
One year it was a candle that you burn down a little every day until Christmas.
This year my seven year old asked if we could do something different--"like one of those paper ones other people get, sometimes with chocolate in them" (I think she recalled the one her Dad gave her a recent year after returning from Germany--and it was filled with delicious German chocolate.).
I was a little sad. A little disappointed. And, well, frankly a lot relieved. You see, this is an exceptionally busy holiday season given the fact that I've started a new job that involves more hours and travel. One of those pre-made paper ones -- sure!
I left the calendars for the girls to open on the 1st after school. They were waiting for them with their sitter.
When I got home, my 7 year old said with a bit of nastiness in her voice, "Mom, I opened up all the doors."
I stood in shock.
I expected that of the 2 year old, but was shocked that my older, more mature, more patient daughter would do that. I tried really hard to just let it go. Or, maybe I should say I'm still trying (after all I've just written about it on the 15th day of December...), to let it go.
I think this will, however, be the last year of paper advent calendars -- it clearly didn't work for us.
My mom told me I should feel terrible. (That's not the first time she's said that to me, but that's another story.) I have left people hanging about Nana's Chair. I argued that no one is even paying attention. And, I've been really, really busy with a new job and lots of associated transitions.
But, then the other day a Maine-ly Home follower actually asked me if I'd gotten it back. (You can read all about it here.)
So, IF you having been waiting -- or even worrying -- I am sincerely sorry. But, I'm happy to report that the newly fashioned Nana chair is back home -- and, although it got the cold shoulder for a day or two, it is being much loved, new fabric and all.
I'm a Maine-r. Or, at least I like to think I am. True locals will argue differently simply because I wasn't born in Maine -- I'm "from away" they say. Whatever. It is crystal clear to me that I was born to live in Maine. Here's the catch. I fell in love with someone who really is "from away". So, I spend big chunks of time in a place very far from where I call home. But, I'm trying to bloom where planted, as they say. I'm trying to foster a simple (or at least a little simpler than some), reasonably wholesome and creative life for my family whether we're here or there. And, well, since you stopped here at my blog, you get to explore this craziness with me.