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Scattered Sundays

I stumbled on a really cool resource this week that helps connect online shoppers to online small businesses. It’s called Shop 1 in 5, as in, for every five commercial presents you buy this season, buy one from a small business.

And this site helps you find those small businesses that sell online. I’m not affiliated with the site in any way, but I think it’s pretty rad.

Not everyone has a cute downtown region close to them or a lot of mom-and-pop stores. We can talk about why that is, but it doesn’t change the fact that buying locally is a challenge for some. Online options are necessary for many of us.

Speaking of online options, I recently used this Etsy shop to buy a wooden sign for a friend’s new job and the experience was phenomenal. I just went to snag the shop’s link to share with you all, only to find that he closed up two weeks ago (to be clear, it was after I received my product). Blah! 

So, let’s use the comment space below to promote your favorite small businesses either online or brick-and-mortar. I’ll round them all up and will share them in the body of next Sunday’s post. Honor system note: individually owned businesses only, please. I will not be sharing MLMs.

2 stuffed cats in a kitchen drawer

For American readers, how was your Thanksgiving? I hope it was packed full of delicious food! Thanksgiving and Christmas are so good when it comes to food because it gives you the opportunity to have leftover pie for breakfast, which is the best thing ever.

Our plans were messed up because of the first mistake: we actually made plans. Has 2020 and most of 2021 taught our family nothing? Late morning on Monday, we got a call from Bennett’s school saying he wasn’t feeling well. I went to pick him up and was told that he didn’t have a temp, but he did have a snotty nose and was saying his stomach hurt.

We came home, he had a few crackers, and then promptly barfed. Twice. Oh, and within an hour, he was spiking a temperature. Because of course, he was. His temp over the next few days never got above 101.5, which is really low for this kid. Bennett has never met a high fever that he didn’t love. His normal fevers run 103-105F.

Bennett used to get a snotty nose and run a high fever so often that we actually used to refer to it as “his period”. I mean, like clockwork, this kid would get sick every 4-6 weeks. So annoying! We had hoped he had grown out of it, and masks meant he has hardly gotten sick lately. But, tis the season, right?

I knew with Thanksgiving break coming up I’d just keep him out of school until Monday. Since his temp went over 100.4, he’d need a negative PCR to return to school on the 29th. And yes, they had no idea his temp ever got that high and I could have snuck him back in just fine. But that’s not how I roll.

I took him to get tested and was surprised that the urgent care also tested him for the flu. Both were negative (as I expected), but he spent a full 48 hours feeling like poo. Once he stopped puking, my inlaws were ok with continuing on with our Thanksgiving plans.

Troy often has to work holidays and has literally never had a normal job/schedule since we first started dating. Given that, we’re used to celebrating holidays on different days. Unless it is a religious holiday, being together is what “makes” the holiday; not the actual day on the calendar.

None of us had anywhere to be all weekend, and Troy was actually off, so I suggested we postpone Thanksgiving to Friday. That gave us an extra 24 hours to keep Bennett’s germs to himself and make sure his fever didn’t come back. That kid is tricky with his fevers.

On “actual” Thanksgiving, I started the morning with a run because traffic on the road was light and I had nowhere to be. I never look happy while running, and in hindsight, I’m sure someone saw me and thought I was out “earning” my calories. Ugh, go to hell, diet culture. 

I always look miserable when I run because newsflash, running sucks. But I really enjoy it when it’s over. That’s the best part. 🙂 I also like that it makes me feel strong (and thus allows me to get stronger) and is essentially free to do. Plus, you know I’m all about being outside as much as possible.

It was great being outside that morning…until I walked by some person burning their brush and grass pile. Because everyone needs to burn brush on Thanksgiving!? My head instantly swelled to twice its normal size. I headed home sneezing my face off and spent the rest of the day in that sneezy state.

Thank-freaking-goodness that it wasn’t our actual Thanksgiving day dinner, because I would have been sneezing through the entire thing. Even the prep cooking and cleaning I did took 3x as long for sneeze breaks. Oy!

2 boys in a living room

Maybe one day one of these kids will have a single trait that identifies them as Troy’s kid. Ha!

Everything ended up being just fine on Friday. The food was good, the company was good, and since it was such a small gathering of people who are always at my house anyway, there was zero deep-cleaning.

I had been a bit paranoid that the turkey wouldn’t be good because um, it was the one I bought from Butcher Box LAST YEAR. It’s been in my deep freezer since our plans last year were canceled and did have a nice little layer of freezer burn on it. I wasn’t really that worried if it didn’t turn out, because literally, no one cares about turkey; it’s all about the sides.

But, once again, the dry brine turkey recipe from Bon Appetit (it’s my go-to!) came through and the turkey turned out just fine! It’s such a simple recipe that produces a tasty result every time. I have adapted it for making roast chicken and you can find that recipe here.

My mother-in-law and I kept things simple and basically split the menu down the middle. I made a pecan pie but also bought an apple pie from Jack’s school’s pie fundraiser. I made rolls adapted from this bread recipe, orange cranberry sauce, fluffy mashed potatoes, and dressing that is adapted from my sister’s recipe, and holy crap on a cracker, it’s good stuff.

trees covered in moss

Well, freeloader season is officially upon us. It’s that time of year when the daylight dips below 10 hours a day, and the chickens stop or slow down laying. These feathered slackers are causing me to ration and watch every egg we’re consuming. 

Last year we had added 4-8 new young birds to the flock, and those girls were cranking out eggs all through the fall and winter. Now, they’re a year old and a year slackier (<—–that’s a word). If this keeps up, I’m going to have to (gasp) buy eggs. Pfft!

Many people don’t know that eggs are indeed a seasonal food. When daylight drops below 8-10 hours a day, egg production slows way down or stops. Egg houses (a nice term for barns that are inhumanely PACKED with chickens) use artificial light to mimic sunlight so that the chickens keep cranking out the eggs.

Yes, backyard flock owners can totally add lights to their coops to do the same thing. But like people, many chickens need a breather in fall/winter to rest and reset. Not laying is their version curling up under a cozy blanket on the couch and watching Christmas movies on Hallmark. Which you know is absolutely not my idea of relaxation but to each their own.

The chickens also start molting this time of year (losing their feathers to regrow some for winter), so not only are they slacking, but they’re walking around ugly AF. Basically, fall and winter is a rough time to be a chicken owner.

a kid in a dino hoodie

Not sure why I need to clarify, but he dresses himself.

If you’re the parent of a tween or teen and can’t even recognize their math homework, I have the app for you! Jack has been struggling with some aspects of math lately, and the only algebra that I can remember doesn’t even look like the way they are teaching things anymore.

We were going through a worksheet together and I was googling every.single.problem and getting a billion different answers/processes. I stumbled onto the Mathway site and quickly downloaded and paid for the premium version of the app.

I’m not affiliated with it (buy it or don’t, I earn nothing), but this app is a game-changer for our frustration level. It allows you to take a photo of the problem and then it gives you a bunch of different options for how to solve it (ex: write it in slope-intercept form…aka the hellfire we were dealing with on Tuesday). And then it gives you all the various steps you need to be able to solve it along with the answers.

Our new plan for math homework is that Jack will do it solo, and then we’ll go through each problem one by one using the Mathway app to check to make sure he is doing it correctly. And if not, we’ll use the step-by-step instructions to figure out where he went astray. Who knows…I might actually understand Algebra in a few months! 🙂

baby yoda eating an elf on the shelf

This isn’t my photo and I don’t know the original source but it makes me laugh so hard.


**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Butcher Box‘s Black Friday sale involves free steak! All new members will get two 10 oz, 100% grass-fed New York strips for free in every box for a year.

Butcher Box partners with ranchers who share their high standards and truly care about how animals are raised. Plus, they’re B Corp™ certified, which makes me feel even better about my decision to be a part of the ButcherBox community.

Our family chooses the delivery every other month because we’re trying to be much more deliberate about the meat that we do consume. Butcher Box also partners with Rakuten and is currently offering $12 cashback for new members AND a $40 bonus for signing up.

What I’m Listening To This Week

Up and Vanished Season 3 is about the disappearance of Ashley Loring Heavyrunner. Hers is one of the thousands of unsolved missing and murdered cases involving indigenous victims. Only 1 out of 4 of these cases appears in the media. (source).

Reader Spotlight of the Week

Ary left this five-star review in our Instant Pot Garlic Rice {Pin this recipe}. These kinds of reviews are why food bloggers do all the work that we do for free. Regardless of how or why someone makes our recipes, it’s deeply personal. We’re in your homes and your kitchens because it’s always more than “just food”.

I did it on the stovetop. I browned crumbled Italian sausage, use the dripping in lieu of butter, pressed garlic instead of minced, and Italian seasoning in lieu of parsley. After 15 min on low I add some frozen peas and carrots and let it sit for a bit to steam. I only dirtied my garlic press, a spatula, and a saucepan for this. Ok ok also a bowl and a spoon, but this is so good and easy I can just eat it straight from the pot. I am currently having SAD (yay winter!) with no desire to do anything. This easy rice dish ensure that I eat something instead of going to sleep hungry. Thank you.

a side view of rice in a blue bowl topped with parsley

On Sustainable Cooks This Week

Turkey Shepherd’s PieA revamped and healthier version of classic comfort food this Turkey Shepherd’s Pie is a delicious and hearty recipe. Perfect for Thanksgiving leftovers, this shepherd’s pie is Whole30 compliant, gluten-free, and dairy-free. {Pin this recipe}

a plate of simple shepherd's pie on a green cloth with a fork and rosemary

Turkey Bone BrothHomemade Turkey Bone Broth is an amazing way to use up every last bit of your roasted turkey. Learning how to make turkey stock is a very simple, sustainable, and affordable process! This recipe includes tips for freezing your delicious stock. {Pin this recipe}

3 jars of turkey bone broth with veggies and herbs

Gift Guide for Home CooksThese Gifts for the Busy Home Cook will help you find the perfect present for the frantic foodie fanatic in your life. These 18 amazing kitchen tools will save them time and make cooking a breeze! {Pin this list}

Nordy BarsYou’ll love this homemade version of the famous Nordy Bars recipe from Nordstrom. This easy magic bar combines chocolate chips, butterscotch, and marshmallows into a delicious cookie bar that is perfect for a crowd. {Pin this recipe}

a plate of Nordy bars on a cloth with marshmallows and chocolate chips

The Five Most Popular Posts This Week

  1. Air Fryer Egg Rolls – vegan and vegetarian as written but super customizable! {Pin this recipe}
  2. Old-Fashioned Fudge– welcome back to the top 5, to this fudgey gorgeous recipe! {Pin this recipe}
  3. Canning Apple Butter – this post has both canning and freezing instructions. And it will make your house smell AMAZING. {Pin this tutorial}
  4. Gluten-Free French Fried Onions – I’m glad to see that some people were attempting to rescue the dumpster fire that is green bean casserole. {Pin this recipe}
  5. How to Make Rice Heating Pads – I love seeing all these homemade holiday preppers get a jump of handmade gifts! {Pin this tutorial}

Meal Plan

Monday:: Troy’s making grilled chicken and veggies with stovetop garlic bread on the side.

Tuesday:: The second test of a one-pot recipe that I’m SO excited about!

Wednesday:: Turkey Chili (this post badly needs new photos!) and an air fryer recipe that I’m photographing. And yes, my family is used to eating reheated food for dinner. Occupational hazard; the poor babies.

Thursday:: Takeout to support a local small business.

Friday:: Popcorn, leftovers, and movie night.

Saturday:: Another new recipe that I’m testing. And guess what? It’s totally a one-pan kinda thang!

Sunday:: Troy is making sandwich sliders, tots, and salad.

What are you having this week?

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5 comments on “Scattered Sundays”

  1. My son and his wife have an Etsy store, tinymangojr. They sell Star Wars art. They could use the patronage, as my son lost his job during 2020, his employer had to close his business. 🙁

  2. A good friend has some non-Covid health issues, and does beading to supplement her income. Her Etsy shop is, and she has been prepping and posting items for Christmas. She’ll make sure that bracelets are the right size for small (girls) and large wrists, and can accommodate color/style requests also.

    Meanwhile, I love the picture of the cats in the kitchen drawer 🙂

  3. First, apologies for no pictures of the scrumptious air fryer carrots we had with Thanksgiving turkey (smoked breast with spiced peach sauce).  We added parsnips to your recipe .  

    I live in a small town, Madison, Georgia and we are lucky to have many small businesses. Oconee Coffee Roasters, is a favorite.  Jin is a coffee and tea connoisseur who generously shares his knowledge for the asking.  Their coffee is, by far, the best in town.  My favorite little food market, Community Roots Market, offers organic fish, meat and produce sourced as locally and sustainably as owner, Cindy Fetch, can find.  Two other go tos for me are that carries locally made furniture as well as vintage items for home, bed and bath and MAGallery where local and regional artists display and sell their work.

  4. A friend of a friend has this jewelry business. Her prices are so reasonable and the designs are beautiful!  Plus she names the designs after women who have made important contributions to society.

  5. Google has a free app ” Lens” that you can take photo of math problem and it will take you step by step through the problem to get the answer. It also identifies plants, etc, and translates.