25 Weeks: Our First Kalispell Thanksgiving

He lit the first fire of the season. The light danced across our new rug that we lay out for the occasion, topped with new additions to our little sitting area that is close to complete as it will. We celebrated with new friends and their babies. It’s different out here–so many transplants making a new life, the traditions of the past being replaced with new experiences each season.

I spent the days before preparing; making more food than anyone needed and that fed us for days. I jetted around town, trying to find my footing when it comes to where to source my ingredients. It’s this time of year that I miss Philly most– the bustle of the Italian Market the days leading up to the big day(s), my distributors bursting with all of the essentials. But never mind that, I’m being overly nostalgic. Here we are. Considering the short growing season, I was so happy to include so much in the way of storage crops from my favorite farms.

Our Menu:
To Start:
Olives with Za’taar
Vegetable Platter
Turkish Hummus Oh my, this. Hummus with butter instead of tahini. From Zahav
Small Cheese Platter

Main Dishes:
Spatchcocked Turkey (basic method found here–done in 90 minutes!)
Roast Huckleberry Gold Potatoes in Goose Fat with Rosemary
Port Cranberry Sauce  Amazing. So easy and just the right amount fancy.
Green Beans with Shallots
Yotam’s Roast Butternut Squash with Nigella Seeds Our favorite. And brings back fond memories of our Philly kitchen where Luke first started making this dish.
Butternut Squash and Apple Muffins Really, really good! A little on the drier side, but I’ll definitely try again. They tasted just like stuffing! Found in Small Plates and Sweet Treats by Aran Goyoga.
Fall Salad with Candied Pepitas Another winner (made by Luke) I can’t wait to repeat. This would be fabulous with soup for a lunch date.

Gluten-Free Madeleine Cookies These were a hit! So decadent. The batter makes enough for several batches over a few days. Also from Small Plates and Sweet Treats
Apple Tart with Orange Blossom This is an all-time favorite I’ve made dozens of times. The orange blossom water really makes it shine. From A Kitchen in France

Our guests departed after a delicious afternoon in every regard, and I rested for the first time in quite a while. The hosting thing always exhausts me, especially now. But before the day could be over we had to go on a stroll. So we bundled up and walked the neighborhood, no one else in sight. Christmas lights were already strung upon the grand homes on the street around. Him and me walking together, no destination in mind, has to be my favorite thing.

Days later we celebrated Thanksgiving for a second time with our dear friends Lisa and Mike with a little gathering at their home. The ambiance was so lovely, low lights, good food and such kind company, as always.

Oh, Baby (25 Weeks)

Baby has an opinion on things and will be heard. That’s how I envision him or her, anyway. Baby kicks and jabs and all around moves up a storm in there, even, comically, in response to our midwife’s feeling around my tummy to see how (s)he is positioned; full blown, visible-from-the-outside, moves. We’ve got a wild one on our hands.

At 25 weeks, baby is close to two pounds and over a foot long (according to the Ovia App which I’ve been following throughout pregnancy). Wow! Baby is growing hair, practicing breathing… a remarkably different update from the early weeks of rapid cell division and the creation of essential organs.

Time… slow down, please. I feel like I always say this, pregnant or not. But now… The idea that 12 weeks from now I’ll be considered ‘full term’ and baby could come any time is just an unbelievable thought. A baby… our baby.

On my mind names, postpartum supplies, postpartum meals, date nights needing to be squeezed in, so.much.stuff., songs and such for labor, amazement over weight gain, breastfeeding classes, how to keep baby warm…

Books to read I started Murakami’s Killing Commendatore.  It’s excellent, but I need to return it for a while while I read the birth books that are taking up so much of my mind. Speaking of which, I’m liking Birthing from Within. It’s a little hippie, even for me, with its birth art and belly casts, but the message is clear and important.



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