All posts by BobStanza

Preparing for thanksgiving

The last weekend before the first family Thanksgiving at Oak Moon. Kathy and I celebrated here last year but since it was just the two of us, getting ready for it didn’t take much effort. This year there will be 9 of us so preparations are a bigger deal. Interestingly we will again have a quiet Thanksgiving for 2 because Jen, Ron, Niki, Dustin and the kiddos won’t be here until Friday. That way they can have one evening with their city families and then come to the country for the weekend.

First task was to bottle the riesling and pinot grigio. Six gallons of each. All went as planned and the 57 bottles were moved to the cellar awaiting labeling when I get here next week. After cleaning, all the other wine making accoutrements were stored downstairs freeing up some more space for when people are here.

Next was the start of the Christmas decorating. Only outdoor lights and decorating the staircase so we don’t steal Thanksgiving’s thunder. But that required doing a good bit of cleanup in the gardens so things took longer than I expected but came out well.

The last Thanksgiving to-do was to make the cranberry sauce. I find it tastes better if it sits for a few days and blends. I made fig and pinot cranberry sauce and some extra “base” cranberry sauce for those that want something a bit less complex. Now it’s time to relax!

Veteran’s day weekend

Happy Veteran’s Day to all former and active service men and women. Especially our son Phil and his wife Jane. Thank you all for your most valuable service!

Veteran’s Day fell on a Thursday this year. That along with a day of vacation on Friday gave me a 4 day weekend. We only got to spend the first 3 here, heading home this afternoon to attend the St. Louis Symphony’s performance of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. It’s great to get to see the performances in person again.

Had to de-Halloween this week both at Rosewood and Oak Moon. Not my favorite thing to do but it’s got to be done or we couldn’t get the Christmas stuff out. OK, not this weekend but will start next weekend. We will be doing a country Thanksgiving here the weekend after next and want to have the house looking great for that.

I did a polishing rack on batches of riesling and pinot grigio today and cleaned 60 bottles for next weekend’s bottling so it’s been a busy morning but will be well prepared for what needs to be done next weekend.

Making the Christmas cake

Halloween is past so am looking forward to the end of year holidays. And what says holidays more than… a fruit cake!

This year I decided to try making a traditional British Christmas cake. Over 2 pounds of dried fruit in an almond forward batter laced with a healthy portion of brandy. Interesting that the before and after cooking images don’t look that much different. Just browned up a bit.

Now I just need to feed it more brandy each fortnight until the week before Christmas when it goes on a diet until it gets covered in marzipan.

It feels like halloween

It’s been a very warm October. About 12 degrees above normal for the entire month. And that’s caused fall color to be significantly delayed. The hickories began changing mid-month but until shortly before Halloween it’s felt more like September than October. That’s finally come to an end (I hope) and evenings are dropping into the 30s and 40s bringing out a rapid change in scenery.

And it wouldn’t be Halloween without some spooky decorations, right?