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Seems like the six weeks around Thanksgiving to New Year’s are always super busy around here. Today is no exception. I have laundry going, dishwasher finishing up the last of the dishes from our Thanksgiving Saturday night and all the follow on cooking Sunday and I am slow cooking root veggies to get us back on track eating healthy meals.

Add to that the Christmas card writing, baking for this Saturday’s craft fair, and getting out the Christmas decorations.

In my fall cleanup I found lots of cards in the desk and I’m trying to use up old ones. No need to buy any in the next few years. I found more than enough plus another box in the guest room Christmas storage boxes. I also found the centerpiece flower holder I won at last year’s craft fair at the Conservancy. I decided to make my own centerpiece this year, using it. It was made by gluing cinnamon sticks on fabric around an oval flower holder.

I foraged in the yard, and found enough greenery including lavender, rosemary and savory from my herbs to make my own arrangement. A little sugar in the water will keep it fresh for a while, and I can replenish as it needs it. Added a cardinal for color. Instant centerpiece.

As for slow roasting the veggies, I have way too many root veggies in the crisper drawer, so time to make roasted root veggies with polenta. Tonight I will cook the polenta but now the veggies are getting nice and tender. Eating by Color, as usual, and getting flavor from spices and herbs.

Peeled, sliced in half or quartered, tossed in light olive oil, the sweet potato, apple and romanescu got some garam masala, a touch of cinnamon and a little butter. The rutabaga, golden beets, and both types of turnips got a no salt mix and some cayenne. Everything then got a light dusting of salt for flavor. Into the oven to roast for three hours on slow cook setting.

When they are done, I will cube most of them and heat and pour over the polenta. I make my polenta with the corn meal I get at Baugher’s.

It makes a dark rich polenta, perfect for big flavors. I made a Dark Days dinner last year with this polenta and short ribs. Tonight it will just be root veggies and I will finish it with a few bacon crumbles from the bacon I cooked up last weekend. Minimal meat. Mostly veggies. Taking a break from all those holiday foods.

Now back to the other task I have going. Making Christmas “gifts” to hand out at my brother’s big party. I am making my own dry rub mix. An easy fun holiday favor, or small gift to give friends and family along with my homemade cookies. As I have said before, we stopped buying “things” none of us needed.

As for the rest of my shopping, I will be doing most of it Saturday the 1st of December at the Natural Craft Sale. 9-3 at the Howard County Conservancy. I know that Breezy Willow will be there with lots of homemade items, including their soaps.

I hear GreenBridge Pottery will also be there. Critter crafts for the little ones. Master Gardener demos. Don’t miss it.


About AnnieRie

Retired, I am following my dream of living in quiet west Howard County, a rural oasis, not far from the urban chaos, but just far enough. I love to cook, bake, garden, and travel. I volunteer at Howard County Conservancy. I lead nature hikes, manage programs and show children all the wonders of nature, and the agricultural connection to their food.

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