New traditions and new toys

…but no pictures. I’m such a lazy bum; going and getting the camera and uploading the (kinda lame) picture I have of French toast in progress has been getting in the way of this post for a couple days, so bah! Here it is, photoless.

Saturday morning, we had a breakfast that may become an annual tradition. (Aren’t all the best holidays born of food?) A couple years ago, we had French toast made with stollen at Zingerman’s Roadhouse. It was faaaaaabulous, and when we were at the co-op last weekend and saw that Avalon Bakery was now making stollen, we decided to get a loaf and make some ourselves. Then we saw the price, and decided the only way to justify it was to invite a bunch of people over to share it. 🙂

The bread dough is a little sweet, flavored with cinnamon, cardamom, and other yummy spices, and studded with dried fruits and nuts. We made a rich batter of whole Calder milk and pastured eggs (and a little salt and sugar) to soak the bread in, then cooked it up in a cast iron skillet. For balance, we also made some whole grain waffles and sizzled up a ham steak from the pig we bought.

It was fabulous. Swoon-worthy, in fact. I think all anyone said for several minutes was, “Oh my god. This is so good!” It was so good, in fact, that I would love for it to become a tradition for (pick one) Scott’s birthday, Solstice, or GWHYC*.

After the guests left, Scott and I opened our presents.  We are pretty random about the exact day we open them. We always travel around Christmas, and there is a considerable amount of antsyness in this house surrounding unopened presents. We’d planned to open them Sunday morning, but Saturday afternoon just seemed right.

And ohboyohboyohboy…guess what I found, neatly wrapped in a pillow case under the tree? An electronic thermometer with three remote sensors! So now I can check the temperature outside, the temperature inside the greenhouse, and – get this – the *soil* temperature, all from the gizmo now sitting on my dresser! As an added bonus, the main station also has a clock that automatically synchs to the atomic clock in – Colorado? – so we will never again go through guesswork and time warps after a power failure.

You will probably be seeing a lot of notes on my posts like this from now on:

Outside: 3 degrees
Greenhouse: 34 degrees
Soil in greenhouse: 35 degrees

Outside: -3 degrees
Greenhouse: 11 degrees
Soil: 34 degrees


* Generic Winter Holiday of Your Choice



  1. Heather said,

    December 22, 2008 at 11:41 am

    I’ve never heard tell of such a thermometer thingy. That is pretty groovy.

    I love the idea of a holiday food tradition. We do a cookie bake most years and Will loves sausage balls on Christmas morning. I want to start making a stew on the Solstice every year based on this post from the Huffington Post:

    So, yeah, food + the holidays = awesome.

  2. ilex said,

    December 22, 2008 at 12:06 pm

    A remote thermometer with three sensors? WANT.

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