The New Home Economics


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Let’s call it a year

A week ago, we made our final harvest of 2012:

blanched leeks

We did great on the blanching part of growing leeks, but they stayed very skinny. I think I may change my method somewhat next year, and make the holes that I drop them into a bit wider. They still tasted great in a potato-leek soup, however.

gingerbread house

Last weekend, we made a gingerbread house from scratch. (Recipe here, though we used considerably less frosting.) I had no idea how much work was involved, and with the rest time between steps, it ended up taking 3 days. We busted it up and ate part of it while watching Rudolph on Tuesday night, and froze the rest. It was delicious. New family tradition, perhaps?

The effort with the gingerbread house satisfied my Christmas sweets-making needs, so this year we’re skipping our sea salt caramels and coconut haystacks. We did make karova cookies, though—I’ve had several requests from co-workers.

Blake the fairy dogWe had a great Thanksgiving “up north” in central Minnesota. It snowed all day, so we stayed in, and eventually libations came out. I found this picture of our poor dog Blake on my camera a few days later. Not sure where I was when this happened!

hipsterholdsters

The Christmas crafting continues unabated. I was going to post a detailed how-to for these little homemade “holdsters” that Adam’s been making for many people on our list, but he’s run into some snags. Leather is a bit fickle to work with—two pieces can seem to be the same thickness but after being treated with the stain, some will shrink down. So Adam didn’t really feel comfortable posting specific measurements. But if you have a basic leather toolkit, 5 rivets (or 3 if you leave off the handle), a tape measure and a sample wide-mouth pint jar you should be able to figure this out.

DIY skinny jeansJeans that fit well are so hard to find. I was lamenting this to a friend who admitted that she simply converted all her well-fitting flared jeans to “skinny” with a sewing machine. Why did I never think of that?! It was a super easy project that even I, of few sewing skills, handled pretty easily. The key is to try on the jeans inside out, pin them, sew a loose line, try on again to check, then sew a double seam and cut. And it should be easy to rip out the seams and sew in some filler material when flares come back in, which I assume is only a year or two away, right?

Christmas time is hereWe got 11 inches of heavy, wet snow in the Twin Cities yesterday, so winter has really and truly arrived. We kept a fire going all day to ensure that our chimney would not get plugged. We felt the devastating consequences of that very problem in 2010, when Santa had to come in the front door. The kids were very concerned about it.

I will most likely not be back here until my post-Christmas wrap-up and budgeting stuff—we are on track to hold expenses to the line this year, for the first time in a long time. More on that later. In the meantime, I wish you a warm and happy holiday season!

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