Thanksgiving yumminess

Well, Thanksgiving came and went, and we had a lovely day. It was great to have a bonus day where Ben had the day off, and we enjoyed getting to know a friend from church a bit better.

One of the highlights of a day filled with thankfulness was of course the food! I enjoyed spending two days creating a feast. I love cooking! I love cooking good food! I love cooking good food for people to enjoy around my table, even if my table can’t be as festive or pretty as I might like in our current setting.

I don’t know if it’s because I had one glass of wine (ha!), or if my camera settings were just all wrong, but it was The Day of the Worst Photos Ever. Which is why there are not detailed photos of every single dish. (Thank goodness, I hear you say?) Oh well! Here’s what we had.

Roast TurkeyTurkey Gravy, Cranberry sauce, Strawberry and Spinach SaladStuffing, (yep, the stuff from the box. Though I did dress it up with onions, celery, carrots and mushrooms.), Challah rolls, Pommes DauphinoiseCurried Sweet Potato SaladWhiskey Glazed Carrots, and Green Bean Casserole with bacon.

Our table doesn’t have the room for salad plates, so our plates were wonderfully full!

And for dessert we had Pumpkin Pie and cream.

as well as an amazing Raspberry and Chocolate Mousse cake that our friend Eddie brought.

Brining the turkey was quite an adventure –something I had never done before. I cooked up some brine on Tuesday and let it cool. It looked cool and smelled pretty potent.

On Wednesday evening, it was time to get this turkey into the brine.

There was a little problem, though. I don’t have a container big enough to fit a turkey. Even my biggest pot here would hold about half the turkey. It’s times like that I try not to get frustrated with the fact that I have a fully functional kitchen sitting in storage in my garage back home. But I digress. I looked around at what I had. Option one was the cleaning bucket, but I couldn’t get myself to put food in there. Then I looked at my plastic drawer set… hmmm, this could work! So the contents of the drawer came out

the drawer set looked bereaved

but the turkey fit!

The only problem was that I didn’t have enough brine, so I made some more. Good.

Oh dear, now it was too heavy for the fridge shelf. Rethink this whole thing. Almost give up on the whole silly brining idea. Oh, a bag! Of course! (I didn’t have the foresight to buy a special brining bag). It worked, sort of!

And she turned out pretty good in the end, even if I say so myself.

Later that evening we had some fun with dressing Esther up in her old (too small) monkey costume and there were giggles all around! And look, how strange!– a photo of me! (Honestly, it’s better that way.)

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

It started snowing on Sunday morning and continued snowing through the night. This morning we woke up to almost 2 feet of snow and a totally transformed neighborhood.

This is what it looked like trying to get out of our metal gate:

Up to the front gate. Check it out: our trash cans have hats on!

Some person’s car in front of our house:

Jeremy’s car:

The steps up to the house next door.

Some steps up the block. They look like mini ski slopes!

On Sunday night we had a bunch of people hanging out at our place. Jeremy, a friend from Philadelphia who lived in Christchurch for a year, is staying for a few days. Lillian is still here, and we had Shannon and Erin from church. Shannon couldn’t go home because of the snow so she stayed the night too and came along to Central Park for some fun playing in the snow.




Ben enjoyed his first snow shovelling experience. I think if he lived somewhere where he had to do this regularly, it would get old fast!

Esther with some fans. Marica isn’t in any of the photos because she was sleeping on the couch most of the day — her and Esther have been really miserable with the flu and they seem to have passed that on to Ben and me now…

I had to get to the grocery store in the morning and had to try and make my way through this to be able to walk on the road that had been plowed earlier.

I stayed home with 2 sick kids and the rest of the crew traipsed off to Central Park. Here’s my handsome husband laxing out with a snow footstool.

Playing under a gazebo:


Shannon and Lillian got their pant legs frozen stiff!

Hey, it’s Narnia!

The taxis are still going.

Can you believe that this is in the middle of a big city?

The lake had a slush layer on top. Not for ice skating! It is rather picturesque though, isn’t it?

I apologise for all the photos to those of you with dial-up. I had a really hard time deciding which ones not to put in!

Tasty Recipe and more

Last night we had some company (a work colleague of Ben’s) and I made a new recipe. I have a very bad habit of trying new recipes when we have people over, but this time it was definitely a winner! It’s called Aussie Chicken and it is a delicious combo of chicken, bacon, mushrooms, cheese and honey mustard sauce. You really can’t lose! Serve with rice and salad to cause some serious happiness.

They brought some cupcakes for dessert (cupcakes are really big here in NYC) and Marica enjoyed the icing.

Other exciting news is that we’re having some more guests. Ten of them, to be exact! The van Wichens (Ben’s oldest sister and her family) are staying with us on Thursday and Friday night and on Friday we’re packing in as much of New York City as is possible with 10 children in tow. It’s going to be interesting here with them camping in the backyard and in various spots throughout the apartment on the floor and totally worth it — can’t wait!

Oh, and I can’t resist adding in this photo of Esther, The Bath Lover, having pulled herself up and standing looking at the bath filling up!

And one last one to make you smile: Tandem Airplane Rides with Pappa!

Our very first dinner guests, and the second lot too

Meeting Rick and Susanna was one of those amazing cases of providence. Both our families happened to be visiting Park Slope Presbyterian Church on the same Sunday, we got talking, we clicked, and a friendship was formed. We feel very privileged to know this couple and their kids. The more we get to know them, the more we like them!

Our kids get along too (most of the time)! They have a little boy, Micah, who will be turning 4 soon, and two little girls, Ellie who is 2, and Amelia, who is almost 3 months.

On the 5th of July we had them over for a barbeque so Ben could try out our new charcoal barbeque. We had a great time, despite the black hamburger patties!

We hope and pray that this new friendship might last a lifetime!

Rick and Susanna and their kids were our very first dinner guests. And then last night, we had the unexpected priviledge of hosting some old friends from New Zealand, Lynton and Anna Baird who were visiting the people we actually invited — Melissa (nee Bryant) and Nathan Ketchen and their family.

It was very strange to hear so many Kiwi accents in one room and great to catch up with Lynton and Anna and get to know Nathan, Melissa and their 2 (soon to be 3) kids. We compared notes about funny things in America, food we get in NZ and not here and vice versa, and much more.

Melissa is from New Zealand and met Nathan at Greenville Seminary where they both were studying. Nathan speaks fluent Spanish and is the pastor of a Spanish mission church through the OPC in Long Island.

I hope to go visit Melissa sometime soon after her baby is born — hopefully the train works out. It’s nice to know another kiwi lives nearby!

Our apartment isn’t really big enough for this size group, but our backyard handles it fine! It was just a bit hot!

Yay for Tacos for dinner!

Mr Lynton and Mrs Anna Baird. :-)

While the adults talked inside, the kids had fun in a mud pit they made outside. :-)

All in all a great time.

We hope to welcome many, many more people to our home and share with them the little space we have, fill their bellies with good food and to be blessed with their fellowship.