Showing posts from November, 2015

An Island Thanksgiving

Yesterday marked the first time that Cody and I have ever hosted a holiday at our home.  We've spent so much time traveling and moving around over the last few years that we've never hosted anything, and we haven't spent very many holidays even together. Typically, Cody heads down to southern Illinois to visit his family and I head to northern Illinois and/or southern Michigan to see mine.

This year, my mom and her boyfriend, Mark, volunteered to come visit us for a rainy, island Thanksgiving. It was soooo nice to not have to travel and worry about packing, booking flights, or renting cars.  Instead, we worried about planning a meal.

We opted to forgo the turkey this year because they were nearly $40 on the island, and 1/4 of the people attending our meal were vegetarian. The carnivores made a batch of homemade chicken and dumplings. Then, for everyone we made green bean and mushroom casserole, rolls, potatoes, and giant Greek salads.  We wrapped up our wonderful meal with…

Stacking Firewood

This is our first year heating our home with wood, and I've got to tell you, it's quite the adventure. Before this year, I'd always romanticized the idea of heating a home with only wood.  The thought of cutting our own wood and providing our own heat seemed very idyllic and homestead-y, which is sort of my goal in life.

To be fair, I do love snuggling up by the fire and reading a good book, or cuddling with Cody and the dogs. It is romantic and ideal in many ways.  It is also a huge amount of work though.  Aside from cutting the wood, which we did only a minimal amount of this year because of how late we moved in, there are many other chores. We clean the inside of the stove each morning before starting a new fire and this requires venturing out into the brisk morning air to dump the ashes into our designated ash bucket, which never sounds fun at 5 o'clock in the morning. 
The biggest chore that we are focusing on now is stacking the wood.  It took us quite some time…

Feeling Like Fall

I really love the feeling that goes along with fall on the island.  The colors are vibrant and beautiful, making the world seem bright for a time...and then everything quiets.  The tourists who scuttle to the island for our very short summer season have all cleared out for the year, their houses empty and buttoned down tight to survive the winter.  Those of us who brave the island year round begin to settle into our regular routines.

As the colors change, so do many small things on the island.  The one grocery store has cut back to winter hours, which means on Sunday it is only open for two hours. The grocery store has also closed-up some of the shelves.  During the winter, a small fraction of the store disappears under plastic wrap and we won't see it again until May. Winter hours also cause new inconveniences in banking because the bank is only open two days a week for a small handful of hours (all while I am working). There are also adjustments to be made by the boat company, a…

New Home Mishaps

The last two weeks have been full of accidents...natural disasters...acts of God...whatever you want to call them.  They haven't been good.  That I know for certain.

First, a rather large tree came crashing down on our house.  I happened to be alone in a dark bedroom, reading a spooky story when the tree crashed through the roof above my head.  It didn't make a hole in the bedroom ceiling (thankfully), but it did put two decent holes directly into the roof and it knocked off a piece of the siding. Cody and I rushed outside and saw the tree pieces littering the yard and roof.  Yikes.

We thought that we were in the clear.  That is, until a gigantic grouse (kind of like a small turkey) came crashing through the front picture window of our house.  Glass shards spanned three rooms of the house.  The poor dogs were stuck in it for hours before we noticed it.  Cody came home for lunch that day, but it still could have been up to three hours that they were alone in the house with glas…

Apple Pizza

Mondays mean cooking class for all of the early elementary students (kindergarten-3rd grade) at my school.  We are very lucky that a wonderful retired teacher comes into our school once a week to cook with students from 2:00-3:15.  My class always looks forward to cooking and eating delicious treats. Some of the older students even beg to join from time to time, which means it must be a blast.

A couple of weeks ago the class tried a recipe sooooo delicious (yes, I stole a bite) that I had to recreate it at home. The recipe was for apple pizza.

Apple Pizza
1 package biscuit dough
5 small or 3 large apples
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 T cinnamon
2 T flour
3 T butter
Directions: Mix dry ingridients together. Roll biscuits flat on a cookie sheet. Cover with chopped apples. Sprinkle dry ingridients on top of apples. Dot with butter. Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees.

Hello, beautiful dessert! I actually added a little Asiago cheese on top of mine for a little added melt-y goodness. When my studen…