Friday, 16 November 2012 | 25 comments

November, so far

Around here there’s been a lot of cooking but not much posting; funny how that happens. I want to talk Thanksgiving with you all, but it’ll have to wait until tomorrow or Monday. Until then, I thought I’d check in with a few photos of what my November’s been like. There have been an unusual amount of turkey encounters to report. 1) Wild: I woke up one damp morning to this enormous flock (21! 21 wild turkeys!) making orp-orp noises in our front yard. 2) Domesticated: I cooked a bird for a project I’m working on; I’ll tell you about it soon.Detritus after Sandy power outages: burnt down candles, oil lamps, dead laptop, abandoned banjo. A praying mantis that we watched grow up through the spring and summer clung to our window screen for a week, her swan song before the first hard frost. I cooked a giant pot of soup (this one) over a fire (unfortunately out of necessity rather than romance; our stove/oven broke AGAIN, I don’t want to talk about it). We had good people over to eat it. We took a whirlwind Midwest roadtrip where the only photos I took were blurry self-timer portraits in a Michigan vineyard. And I baked this cake, except with vanilla sour cream frosting, on an afternoon with exceptionally pretty light.

Can you believe we’re heading into the holidays? Things have been a little distracting for me—I’m starting a new job in December—but I want to be here more often. So, see you soon.

§ 25 responses to November, so far

  • jenna

    love that blurry vineyard photo! looking forward to seeing you back here more – i always like reading your posts.

  • alyssa

    Wonderful to hear from you again. I love posts like this.

  • beautiful photos! looking forward to seeing what you’ve been cooking :)

  • Lovely photo montage. And I’m from Michigan — which vineyard is that? Wine tasting in northern Michigan in autumn is one of the more wonderful things a person can do. Hope you enjoyed it! (:

  • Jef

    I love your simplicity. Your images are so peaceful. I like hear from you.

  • Such lovely picture, your posts are always such a treat.

  • I think you need to share your recipe for vanilla sour cream frosting!

  • I’m with Sarah Too – vanilla sour cream frosting, please! And I love the shots of your life and times, and all that pretty light. The cat is mesmerized! Happy fall —

  • Arielle

    Ditto, I need that recipe for frosting! Sounds amazing.

  • These posts of yours make me miss Virginia – in particular those wet, chilly early mornings. Beautiful.

  • Great pics! I especially like the turkeys, the soup pot over an open fire, and that sweet little cake. Time is going by so fast. I can’t believe next week is Thanksgiving!

  • Colleen

    Your blog is seriously awesome. Just started reading it a few months ago. My roommates and I try to make one of your recipes every Sunday for a family-style dinner. It’s really encouraged me to slow down, take a break from school, and start cooking :) Love your writing and photographs, too! Just wondering, what kind of camera do you have?

    • Hi Colleen—thanks for this sweet comment. My camera is an older Nikon, sort of a lower-end DSLR. (They don’t even make the model anymore, it’s a D60.) I have a fixed lens that I use with it. I’m not a photographer, and you can take great photos with a point and shoot—my best tips are 1) natural light and 2) no flash.
      Love hearing about your Sunday dinners. Hope you’re well. —S

  • Mary Ann


    Good luck on your new job. I hope it is really good for you.

    I did not post at the proper time but we have been eating your capellini with eggplant and peppers since you posted the recipe. Also your fried egg over toast with greens and vinegar/butter “sauce”. I Just wanted to tell you how much we like them.. Simple and very good.


    • Thanks, Mary Ann (I hope my new job is good for me, too)! I’m so glad you’re cooking and eating and liking the capellini and the egg. Sounds like you enjoy vinegar as much as me—both those recipes have it :) Cheers—S

  • Jamie

    Oh my gosh! I am from Berrien Springs, Michigan and I grew up around the corner from Domaine (although it wasn’t there until I was an adult)! We always visit Domaine and the several others when we are back in the area!

    • Very cool, Jamie. We were interested to see some Michigan wineries as Ben is in the industry here in VA. Berrien was interesting for the amount of vinifera they had going on, compared to a lot of other MI wineries that have hybrids. Fun that I got to see your stomping grounds—it’s pretty out there!

  • I’m late in piping up, but was so happy to see that cake up there. Love your choice of frosting. It takes courage, swathing chocolate cake all in white.. But I see nary a crumb on your finished cake! Well done, you. Good luck with the new job.

    • The cake was badass, Jess. I bet it would be good super-chocolatey, but our birthday boy friend requested a vanilla-chocolate combo. As for crumbs in the white frosting…nothing a good crumb coat can’t prevent. Thanks for the recommendation, that cake recipe is getting saved.

  • Katie C.

    The cat at the door/window is just so typical. I put bird seed out on purpose for what I call kitty television. When I ask my older cat, Lucy, if she has seen the peep-peeps, she runs to the sliding glass door to check out the birds!

    I also would like to see the recipe for the frosting.

    • So many requests for the vanilla sour cream frosting! It was super easy, all—sort of adapted from the chocolate sour cream frosting on Jess’s site:
      3/4 cup butter, softened
      1 cup sour cream
      1 1/2 tsp. vanilla (or bourbon, or some combination of both that adds up to about 1 1/2 teaspoons)
      8 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted

      Beat the butter, sour cream, and vanilla. Then beat in the sugar, slowly. Yields: A lot of frosting.
      The sour cream—like in a cream cheese frosting—really cuts that overwhelming powdered-sugar-y feeling that you get in a normal buttercream. It’s gooood.

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