Small-Bite Sundays: Pancakes and Cozy Winter Reads (12/8/19)

Small-Bite Sundays -- winter

IT’S BAAACK! My Small-Bite Sundays series, in which I indulge in some old-timey blogging and share whatever I feel like sharing. I’m not sure why I abandoned this practice back in 2018, but I realized that it dovetails perfectly with my approach to VeganMoFo this year (low-pressure rambling, basically). So! I intend to get back into the small-bite spirit in the months ahead. I probably won’t post every weekend, but hopefully it’ll help me retain some of the happy blogging momentum I gathered during MoFo.

Right now I’m looking at the photo I chose for that graphic above, and I’m wishing we’d get some snow here in Maryland. It’s been cold lately, but we’ve yet to see the flakes fly. (Well, apparently that’s not entirely true: I was in Puerto Rico at the end of October/beginning of November for work, and on the day I flew home, Steven texted me in the morning to say it was snowing (no accumulation, just flakes). Leaving the gorgeous hot and sunny weather of Puerto Rico for the chill of Maryland was… rough.) Now we’re in full-on holiday mode, and I wouldn’t mind a nice snowstorm. Ah well.

Small bites to read, winter edition

I’m dedicating the month of December to lighthearted reads only! As I do every year, I set myself a reading goal for 2019: This year, 85 books. I’m one away from finishing! I’ve read quite a lot of nonfiction this year, and to be honest, some of those reads are still weighing on me.

In particular, I can’t stop thinking about Darcy Lockman’s All the RageI haven’t even been able to write up my Goodreads review for it yet, because there’s so much I want to say. Lockman writes about the way even the most egalitarian (hetero) partnerships tend to fall back into gendered roles when children enter the picture, and the stats are bleak. She explores the (many!) reasons why this happens, but it’s a tough, painful read. Steven and I have worked hard to cultivate a partnership based on equality, and I’ve always just assumed that equality would continue if/when we have children. Lockman’s research shows that we’ll have to work really damn hard to make that happen, though. I absolutely recommend this book if you’re at all interested in this topic, but be warned that it’s a tough read. I had to take frequent breaks — I even returned it to the library and then checked it out again later! — because it was really bumming me out.

…which brings me to my December reading goals. :) I’m focusing on lighthearted, cozy reads for this month, because I deserve it! Right now I’m reading Graham Norton’s Holding. Yes, that Graham Norton! While browsing the stacks at my beloved local library a few weeks ago, I noticed his name on the spine and was immediately curious — I didn’t know Norton was a fiction writer! When I realized Holding is a mystery set in a small Irish town, I added the book to my quickly growing stack. Turns out Norton is quite a good writer, wry and charming and focused on the minutiae of small-town life in a way that reminds me of J.K. Rowling’s non-Harry Potter fiction. This is a more than respectable debut novel! It’s a quick read, but enjoyable if you like light mysteries (and/or small Irish towns).

(Also, quick note — if you use Goodreads, add me as a friend!)

Small bites to eat, winter edition

A slightly skewed top-down view of a kitchen table loaded with food and plates.Thanksgiving dinner! My brother and sister-in-law visited from Seattle for the holiday, and we had quite a nice, low-key Thanksgiving. We had a Gardein roast, stuffing, roasted Brussels sprouts, mashed potatoes, gravy, and a gingery sweet potato mash. Our friend Sara brought over a delicious cranberry sauce she’d made, which featured chunks of apples and oranges and was topped with pecans. For dessert, we had apple pie, cranberry-orange bread, and pumpkin pie (the classics). This year I tried Bryanna Clark Grogan’s pumpkin pie filling, and it got rave reviews. I used canned coconut milk and upped the spices, and I also used my pecan-date crust because my sister-in-law is avoiding wheat at the moment.

As an appetizer, I picked up a bunch of fancy olives from Wegmans’ deli bar. They have a seriously impressive selection, with literally dozens of varieties of stuffed olives, oil-packed peppers, and more. Perfect for an antipasto platter.

A small blue plate with a stack of pancakes, topped with a deep red fruit compote.In non-Thanksgiving eats, I made Isa’s Puffy Pillow Pancakes for breakfast this morning. <3 They are always a win! I added cinnamon (because, duh) and topped them with a fruit compote. That was another win. We had a team holiday party at work this week, and about half the fruit tray was left uneaten. It sat in abandoned the fridge for a few days, and I decided to bring it home on Friday because it would otherwise get tossed by the cleaners. Soft, squishy, slightly overripe fruit is not the best for eating raw, but cooked down into a compote with a bit of sugar, water, vanilla, and lime juice, it made for a perfect pancake topping. Food waste win!


What have you been reading and eating this week?

(FYI, this post contains affiliate links!)


4 thoughts on “Small-Bite Sundays: Pancakes and Cozy Winter Reads (12/8/19)

  1. Your Thanksgiving sounds delightful! I kept mine low key and solo this year (I had options, but I just decided I preferred to be alone) and stuffed an acorn squash with quinoa, veggies, and fruit. It was nice; I’d happily have that meal again. Right now I’m eating down a seemingly endless vat of wild rice soup, but looking forward to making my beloved tofu a la king soon. It’s been a hard year, but for some reason I’m feeling pretty good these days.

    Liked by 1 person

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