Saturday, November 30, 2013

A Sri Lankan making tradition around holidays...

Being a Montessori teacher for young children away from where I grew up have immensely change my outlook on embracing and learning about the American culture. I was fond of reading Thanksgiving to children from MN, KS, and VA. When we moved to MA, I was elated to visit the Plymouth plantation like a little kid. I loved the fact  how they survived hardships together. 

A certain, Sri Lankan holiday brings bitter memories to me, and I would make many attempts to steer away from it. I always wanted to create a tradition which will incorporate Sri Lankan tradition into our family. In this way we acknowledge and respect ALL cultures!

Thanksgiving, reflects a deep appreciation towards Native Americans, and we Sri Lankan’s grew up with respect and appreciation towards family. I know the world is changing, family values are changing, and certainly traditions are evolving globally. There is a part of me wants to make our own tradition. I enjoy thanks giving, because it allows me to slow down, appreciate life, and mostly be thankful for simple things we often take as granted.

My teenage sons looks the other way, when I inquire him what he is Thankful most this year. It was bit hard for me to take it in, because I remember the time same boy took time to think and say that he is thankful for his parents! I guess it is the teen phase. 

This year we had begun a tradition, and it might sounds cheesy, but we will plant after our Thanksgiving meal every year, to remember the good time we enjoyed as a family. This will a beginning of our own family tradition. 

Friday, November 29, 2013

We have been raking for the past couple of weekends. I meant big piles of leaves since our yard looks like a huge pile of leaves. I personally do not like the feel of raking wet soggy leaves. My allergies are not very helpful either. Little Nicolette was having a blast, and it was very amusing to watch her gather leaves. We had raked them to be bagged, and Nicolette decided to move to a different spot to make a nest for her to play. 

She was not helping much, and adding more to our job. Leaves in our yard had find its place this fall, and some made to the compost. We might have great compost in the spring of 2014. 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Overkill of the pumpkin...

Lately I have been cooking with pumpkins a lot. We have learned many things about pumpkins during this year. Next year garden might have a different kind of a pumpkin vine or two. The cold weather let us enjoy our oatmeal on a regular basis. 

Tired of eating the same old same old. I decided to add few oomp to my oatmeal.

1 cup steal cut oats 
2 cups water 
a pinch of salt
1/4 cup dried fruits I used cranberries any thing you can find in your pantry 
1/4 cup chocolate chips add this at the end
1/4 chopped nuts 
1/4 milk to serve with brown sugar
1/2 cup pureed pumpkin
Dash of cinnamon powder

To oats add 2 cups of water, pinch of salt, pumpkin puree, and cranberries and cook on slow fire. Once oats are cooked add nuts and cinnamon. Spoon it to two bowls, and add, brown sugar, chocolate chips, cold milk, and serve it warm. 

I had to admit it tastes great! But it was a bit too much pumpkin for us. 

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Thanksgiving Menu making its way...

Maple glazed roast turkey
Sweet potato puree with pecan streusel 
Sautéed brussels sprout with smoked salmon and toasted pecans
Linguçia sausage stuffing with mushroom and caramelized onions
Cranberry comport
Red bell pepper salad with navy beans and arugula

Pumpkin pie
Key lime custard pie 
Honey roasted bosc pears with sticky toffee pudding ice cream

Thanksgiving is special to us, because it is kind of a mini break before the crazy holiday season. I love making the Thanksgiving meal for my family. I am looking forward to make the red bell pepper salad. Hopefully we will get to plant few bulbs under this weather before the snow. 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Last of Green Tomatoes

As we officially close tomato harvesting this year, last bit of tomatoes were neatly wrapped in paper and was placed in a brown paper bag. I hope to use them in my cooking. I am hoping to see them turn color. 

I have tried many recipes with green tomatoes this summer and fall, but our favorite is tomato jam. We have already made two batches. 

It just fly off the shelf, because it is that good. I know for sure we will not be sharing this with friends. I have to admit I still like to add more tomatoes to my garden even though we should venture out for other vegetables. 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

fresh flowers, decor, and moods

As growing up I always enjoyed having fresh flowers around the house. I also grew up having beautiful plants around the house. Now, that I pay more attention to detail, I am kid who enjoyed the wonders of nature in our house. I still do, ironically I get very excited to bring flowers home. I use to tell my friends, that it was my therapy. Fresh flowers cost less, than my co- pay to the therapist depending on the bouquet give or take...

I have planned this year to bring more flowers, because little Nicolette loves creating beautiful spaces just like her Amma. 

Do you bring flowers indoors, How do you add color to the winter dull? Do you buy flowers or do you think it is a waste of money?

Monday, November 11, 2013

Green tomato - chutney

This is last harvest of green tomatoes. I am run out of ideas but decided to make a chutney. I found this recipe from here. It was sweet and tangy, as Nicolette says smells good.

 I did not had golden raisins and decided to add dried cranberries. I would like to try this next time with golden raisins, because I love golden raisins. 

Hopefully, no more tomato canning for us since we have used all this year.

This could be used with many dishes or simply with a cheese and bread. 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

The Remnant Rack...

I am a big fan of the remnant rack at the fabric store. I have bought  rwmnants for .75 cents. I have found that the best way to score is find remnant which is already on sale, because the price get slashed down at the register again.

Recently, I am testing waters, ways to sew with knit fabric. I also bought few prints from fleece to make scarfs. I did made few last year, and planning to make few this year for Nicolette I am sure she will enjoy one or two new scarfs. 

These will be added as christmas gifts to friends and family. I am planning to make a teenage cowl, if you have any ideas please post them and are welcome. I will probably use solid and print, and something to represent cross country.  

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Canning Gifts...

Gifts are already taking shape this year. Green tomato salsa verde was star on our dining table before it made it way to a co- worker's home, and she told me it was great. We are going to keep our gift giving simple this year. 

Teachers and all care givers to our family will be appreciated including friends. I will be giving away some of the preserves we have made during summer and fall. 

I love to create gifts with canning goods at home, but like to add a bit fair to it. I have run into few sites, that shows preserves could be given away with a loaf of french bread, cheese, cutting board, tea towel, herb plant, and tie with ribbon or twine. 

If you know the person you can personalize it a bit more. How is your gift giving taking place this year. I know sometimes this could be very stressful during holiday season. 

Pumpkin waffles for dinner

This was sunday night supper, yes pumpkin waffles. I have made this recipe when my son was young and it did not go well. I do not think his taste buds were not ready to handle it. My second attempt was hesitant. I really did not want to make it, but Nicolette being Nicolette would eat anything with syrup, insist that I should make pumpkin waffles. 

To my surprise she loved it and every one else this time. Our new dinner on week nights when we are running out of time will be waffles not necessarily pumpkin but whatever in season and our mood. This recipe had bit of a kick with spices and a bit of crack black pepper adds edge to this waffle. 

Monday, November 4, 2013

Fall Garden - at its peak

Fall is at its peak and dwindling. As I took these pictures of our yard, I could feel the cold air embracing not too harsh. We have once raked in a batch of leaves. 

This will be the second round if we decided to get this done today. 

I am in the mood to plant some bulbs. Crocuses bring the first sings of spring to any garden. It would be nice to develop a patch of crocus in our yard. I love the un planned patches I might take on this project this fall. 

What do you like to plant in your yard during fall, do you have plants that you look forward to see them in bloom in spring...

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Jack O Lantern

Our Jack O’ lantern took a very strange route this year. I remember those days finding patterns and getting all crazy carving pumpkins. It was easier this year, because we narrowed it down for few patterns. This is what Nicolette decide to take on this year; however, she wanted thatha to carve the pumpkin. Not a big fan of scooping out the guts too. I guess it was princess Bella's duty was not to get too messy.

She was hung over with few choices this year for costumes between a witch and a princess. Finally, the princess took over I know next year she wants be a witch because, amma was a “nice” which this year.

She was happy to bring in the loot, I am glad few neighbors had healthy candy too, but we love the kit-kat bars and the tootsie rolls. At the end we did had a bit over tired halloween between late night Red Sox games, school, and work, but we pull it all together!

Friday, November 1, 2013


Total of eighteen tomatoes plants provided us plenty of tomatoes for this season. which we have enjoyed through out the season. It is been a while I bought some from the grocery store. I wish I kept a neat organizer how many plants I had from each variety. I know for sure I had few heirlooms. 

Few of canning recipes I worked on this season included 
  • Herb tomato sauce 
  • Ripe Tomato Jam
  • Green Tomato pickle
  • Salsa Verde
  • Green tomato chutney

I can assure myself that I have a full stock pantry with our garden bounty for this winter. I am hoping to put them to use. Looking at the jars in the kitchen with many colors reminds me of the wonderful summer I spent with my family. Canning is definitely an Art! 

Have you saved the bounty from your garden. If so How do you save it? and Do you can your crop?