I was at the family reunion this weekend, and I'm pooped! The following items really are unconnected, except that they're all going on in my brain at the moment. More structure and sass coming to you soon. But in the meantime,
1. Highlight of the family reunion: The Birthday After-Party. Yesterday was my little sister's 26th birthday, and because it always happens at the cabin amidst the hustle and bustle of Pioneer Day and a bunch of crazy Sego family antics, I wanted to make it special. I give it a 6 out of 10. The cake was great, the color scheme inspired (robin's egg blue and fuchsia), and the company was superb. I brought a small helium tank with me and festooned the porch with blue and pink balloons (which my cousin's husband was good enough to point out that it looked like we were announcing a pregnancy, but still), some nylon netting bunting and mason jar twinkle lights. It's kind of tough making a wrap-around porch at a rustic cabin look girly, and I think we really needed more oomph, but my budget was stretched to the limit (I blame you, greedy folks from PNM!!!). So I'd say I got an A for effort, but I wish it had been a touch more glamorous. Still, Ashley seemed to enjoy herself, and after a million Segos left the cabin, we had a little casual get-together that made everyone's night. Picture it: a hodgepodge of generations, drinking sparkling cider out of plastic wine glasses (if you're not Mormon, you may never understand why such frivolity never gets old-- but non-alcoholic bubbly in cheap glasses makes you feel festive in a frat-party sort of way), and singing a bizarre array of music. We decided we were a cross between the Brady Bunch, the Osmonds and the Von Trapps (the latter because we were in the mountains, not so much because of our collective musical abilities). It started out with me singing Elvis (this time went much better than the embarrassing talent show) and Garret's performance of "There's a Tear in my Beer." Then we tried drinking songs (again, higgledy-piggledy and frou-fraw) as I taught the fam "Wild Irish Rover." We went through a lot of 1960s and 70s country for the older crowd, and my dad lost interest when my cousin Curtis (the generational midpoint-- old enough to be my dad but young enough to be a thousand times cooler) started us in on a Queen medley, but it was MAGICAL. I'm not sure the people in tents down the hill appreciated it, but I have a feeling this will become a standing tradition.
2. Mumsy is creating a cookbook for this year's Boho Babes Boutique-- Boho in the Barn. She needs editorial assistance, so she's been sorting through hundreds of recipes, and I'm transcribing, formatting and binding. The job is completely overwhelming, but you'll be happy to know I managed to recover one of my all-time favorite recipes for cabbage casserole. I've been missing it for years-- apparently mom had cabbaged onto it. HAHAHAHA! Oh, I'm so funny! But here it is for you, loyal readers. If you like golabki, this is a hundred times easier and just as yummy:
Stuffed Cabbage Casserole
1 head cabbage
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 1/2 cups instant brown rice, uncooked
1 quart tomatoes, drained
1 can condensed tomato soup w/ one can of water
Salt and Pepper
Cut cabbage into bite-sized pieces. But half in bottom of 9x13" pan. Crumble raw hamburger over cabbage. Add onion, rice, and tomatoes. Cover with remaining cabbage. Pour soup and water over the top. Salt and pepper to taste. Bake, covered, for 1 1/2 hours at 400 degrees.
Simple, healthy and delicious. Make it tonight. Or tomorrow, if you have to go to the store. But do it this week.
3. Everything is generally happy and good. This week I'm going to focus on gratitude. People do so much for one another, but I think folks get really caught up in everything THEY have to do, and they forget that a lot of other people are working just as hard. Ingratitude is a huge pet peeve of mine, so rather than focus on how annoying it is when you send someone a birthday present and then you get a text that reads, "I got the package" and subsequent messages give you the impression that they didn't really like it and they never even thank you for making the effort to remember their birthday at all because you're pretty sure no one else sent them the rubber duckie and the fortune-telling fish and the book you love (not that I'm speaking from experience-- you can tell this is absolutely hypothetical, right?), I think it would be better to just remember to thank all the people who do so much for me. Here is a start:
* Thank you Patti, for leaving sweet comments on my facebook page
* Thank you, Beverly, for knowing exactly when I need a card in the mail for no apparent reason.
* Thank you, Skye, for helping me do the dishes after the party the other night, and thank you, Ben, for cooking the bacon for the Chicken Caesar Club sandwiches.
* Thank you, Thomas, for riding with me to Cost Plus World Market
* Merci, Sister B, for being excited for my weekly weigh-in updates
More gratitude to come this week, though I doubt much of it will be in a public format. But thanks to Le Chat Lunatique, for playing at the Botanic Gardens this week and giving me a great concert to look forward to.