Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A perfect day

Monday was awesome. At 7:15 am I got on my

and went to the gym where I had a kick-ass session with my trainer. Today was lower body: quads and hamstrings. Lots of dead lifts and presses.  We wrapped it up with 125 jackknife abs. It was killer but really got the endorphins racing around.

Breakfast was a protein shake with fresh mango. Scrumdiddly-umptious! Before I showered Bill and I spread Suwanee River pine bark mulch in the back garden. I was not a pretty sight, but the garden is.

Just because it was such a beautiful morning, I took a few more garden pictures. Enjoy.

And here's a cute little lizard friend peeking out at me. (He must have thought he was invisible)

I was a little tired after lunch (I did get up at 3:30 am because, well, for no reason at all) so I took a catnap and awoke to hear a story on NPR about a family-owned furniture manufacturer in Lincolnton, NC  that is reopening before Christmas. They had sold out to a larger company when competition with Chinese manufacturers became too fierce and the new owner shut down the factory. My big takeaway from the story was a quote from the re-hired HR manager. She remembered the former owner saying that when you treat people well, everything eventually ends up OK. (I may have horribly misquoted her - Go have a listen yourself. It's wonderful)   It's a concept that all companies, particularly one with which I'm very familiar, would do well to incorporate.

After my brief rest, I got started on Thanksgiving meal prep because for the first time in over 10 years, I actually have the luxury of doing this.  

Pumpkin Pie

OK, I am physically incapable of making a decent pie crust (but my friend Andrea says she has a foolproof recipe from her grandmother, and I'm going to give that a try.) For today, I proudly declare my crust is courtesy of Marie Callender. I promise my next crust will be from scratch. But the pumpkin custard filling recipe was quite good, thanks to allrecipes.com, and I think I made it even better by adding freshly grated nutmeg. If you don't have a nutmeg grater, by all means consider one. The difference in quality and intensity of flavor is huge. Mine, pictured below, wasa gift from a friend 25 years ago in Minnesota, and it's still doing it's grindy-gratey thing.

It's called Nut Twister which I really appreciate.
(Great stocking stuffer!)

Pumpkin pie before baking (Thank you, Marie)

Cranberry Fruit Compote

This was so easy but the ingredients are all wonderful (except for the mountains of sugar, but I'm not sure how you can serve cranberries otherwise)

I love cranberries in their raw crimson beauty:

Here's a link to the recipe, from the November Good Housekeeping.  It combines cranberries, sugar, apple, walnuts, raisins and lemon and orange zest (plus the juice).

Orange and Lemon Zest

When it was all done, it looked like this.

I had to taste it (several times), and it's a lovely amalgam of sweet and tart, with the walnuts for crunch. The citrus adds a nice zing.

Monday ended when I met my friend Andrea (of pastry recipe fame) for drinks and nibbles at Rumba Island Bar & Grill. I had a margarita or two and the oysters bienville, which were pretty good, for being so far from New Orleans. I left my phone at home, so unfortunately, no enticing food pics.

All in all, a perfect day.

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