One of the reasons I haven’t been around much this month is I’ve been working with members on both sides of my family, adjusting portfolios now that we are in a new tax year, reviewing plans to make sure everyone is on track for retirement, and dealing with some paperwork that includes a nightmare of an annuity transfer that has gone so wrong, I had to have the annuitant involve the regulators of two different states.
We’re at home wrapping presents, baking cookies, and getting ready for the family dinners that are coming up in the next couple of days. Since Aaron and I are gifting stock this year – almost all of the transactions were completed yesterday with a settlement date of the 26th – there isn’t a lot left for us to do. However, to give the kids something tangible they can open under the tree from us, we went and got industrial size boxes of their favorite candy along with an explanation of how their stock in The Hershey Company is going to work.
We’re making Christmas candies, chocolates, and cookies as part of our gift strategy this year. I’m probably most excited about trying my hand at the Jacques Torres Nougat Montilimar, which is going to require a deft hand.
Ten or eleven years ago, I went to a steakhouse in Omaha, Nebraska during a trip home from college. The chef that day had decided to make either a brandy or cognac reduction sauce using the drippings from the beef. Feeling adventurous, I decided to order off menu and see what it was like. The word incredible doesn’t even do it justice.
I mentioned yesterday that I baked a caramel pecan apple pie. We had some surplus homemade pastry dough and granny smith apples from the two granny smith apple pies I made on Thanksgiving, using my favorite apple pie recipe. I wanted to try something different, and needed to find another apple pie recipe that didn’t require a top crust as I had just enough to cover the bottom of a pie pan to use the leftovers. I began the search, ultimately settling upon a perfectly rated derivation from a publisher called Taste of Home.
Aaron asked me if I would make a couple of my apple pies for Thanksgiving with my family tomorrow. It’s been awhile since I baked this particular pie recipe. He brought it up three or four times, each entreaty accompanied by ever-escalating puppy dog eyes, so I knew he wanted me to do it even though I was planning on making some sort of specialty cake in the spirit of the honey lemon bee hive dessert I baked a few years ago; maybe a giant pumpkin or spice cake, in the (appropriately enough) shape of a pumpkin, with a cream cheese glaze drizzled over it; even better, perhaps a chocolate peanut butter bundt cake! (Normally, I like vanilla cake with buttercream frosting but who doesn’t like chocolate and peanut butter?!)
We met up with friends at a new wood-fired Italian Neapolitan pizza restaurant that opened 45 minutes north of Kansas City called Il Lazzarone. This is the same group with which we regularly try new restaurants, though I’ve been terrible about posting them all over the years. We sat inside for hours talking about everything from economics, rental…
I’ve been busy with family stuff lately, and, as part of that, taken several trips to the grocery store over the past few days. I was standing in the produce section looking at the fruits and vegetables when I experienced a sense of awe. It’s a human tendency to take for granted the things into which one is born but it really is incredible when you take time to reflect upon, and appreciate, the inheritance we all enjoy because of the men and women who came before us.
A Personal Message of Thanks (and a Throwback Thursday Gift to Those of You Who Were Unaware We Are Married)
I’ve tried to keep some semblance of privacy around my life since the blog audience has grown but, for a brief moment in time, I’m going to suspend that rule and write to you like I would have circa 2009 when it was mostly just Aunt Donna and a few other readers. Being so exposed makes me…
My earliest memories in life are in the early 1980’s. At that time, the older generation who cooked the food at family gatherings, church dinners, and social events in small town America that made up the fabric of my childhood was born between the late 1800’s and the mid 1920’s. There was a certain common thread that…