Thankful Thursday- Books & Music

A link up to share the wonderful things going on in life

Hello again friends! I hope you're all having a lovely post-holiday week. We had a nice, sort of lazy weekend. We did a lot of fun stuff since we were all home, like visiting the fairy houses at the botanical garden and hitting up a store for Record Store Day. Easter was pretty low key and relaxing which was a very welcome change of pace.

I'm thankful for good books and book hangovers. I don't often find as much time to read as I'd like, but Sunday night I stayed up late and finished a book in one of my favorite mystery series. It was well worth the book hangover Monday morning, especially since I had Monday off!

I'm thankful for extra days off and getting to spend them doing fun things. Doug and I dropped Phee at school and sat in a coffee shop for a bit, then had breakfast and went to see The Grand Budapest Hotel. We love Wes Anderson and it was a fun movie.

I'm thankful for friends. We got to see several over the weekend that we don't see as often as I'd like. While I'd love to see them more often, it's also nice to have comfortable friendships where you can drop in and out as time and kids allow and still always pick up right where you left off and have a good time together.

I'm thankful for the support of people who are very important to me. It's a lot easier to believe that I am capable of something with this unwavering support.

I'm thankful for music. The month of music is coming to a close with Vampire Weekend tomorrow night. Confession- I skipped out on The National this past Monday night. I know, I know, I should have gone. Turns out, four concerts in a month is kind of insane for me. I was exhausted Monday night and decided to skip out. Oh well. I'm totally looking forward to Vampire Weekend, though, because I know it'll be a great show.

And, of course, there are lots of little things- our garden, coffee, laughs with Phee, cleaning off my desk.

How is your week? I hope it has been wonderful. Shelley, Traci, and I would love to have you link up with us, or even just share your joys in the comments.


Fairy Houses

Linked up at The Jenny Evolution, Dominique's Desk, A Star in My Own Universe, Mary Denman, A Mama's Corner of the World.


Old photos and worn cookbooks

I've been working on a project about my grandmother. So far, I've amassed a great deal of stories and pictures. It's been hard to get started on the actual writing and compiling because reading and re-reading is so much fun.

I grew up next door to my Grandma Helen. I was named after her. When I went away to college, she sent me notes and her family famous Valentine cookies. Every return home saw me running across the driveway to see her before I'd even think of unpacking the car.

Grand Helen died at the end of my senior year of college. She didn't see me graduate from college. She met my husband, but didn't see our wedding. She never met Phee or shared stories of her six pregnancies.

I learned a lot and shared so many experiences growing up next to Grandma. I was the only kid I knew with family next door and, even then, I knew how special that was and how lucky I was. There's so much more I wish I'd been able to find out, though. As I grew up, got married, got pregnant, I know she would have had so many more stories of her younger years to share. With all I did have, it's hard to say that I missed out. But I did. And I do every day.

She is on my mind so often. When I'm in the kitchen especially. The kitchen is the center of so many homes, and none more so than Grandma Helen's. When you walked into her house, you walked right in to the heart of her home and our family. The side door led into the long kitchen, scene of weekly family dinners, all day baking marathons, and too many childhoods to count.

Phee isn't growing up in that kitchen. She hears stories, but even then, I can only remember so much at one time. Some things are just better for having been experienced. And so I'm working on this project. It's a considerable undertaking, compiling memories and stories from relatives. Already I have learned so much, seen many old photos for the first time, and cried over Grandma's handwriting in well-worn cookbooks.

A grand project full of so many facets of my Grandmother and her life. A trip down memory lane; memories old and new. More than anything this labor of love is a way to find my place in a family full of strong women, led for so long by our beloved Grandma Helen. 

family heirloom cookbooks and family history


Honey butter carrots

Years ago, when we lived in NH, there was a wonderful little Hungarian restaurant that we visited from time to time. For us, it was a trip down memory lane. In the fall of 1999, Doug and I did a study abroad semester in Budapest. It's a gorgeous city. We would go back in a heartbeat.

Anyway, this restaurant in Manchester had the most delicious carrots. They were soft, but not mushy, and drenched in butter. I think I got them every time I ate there. I had to have something to balance out the pastries and cake that filled the two cases at the front of the restaurant!

I've made carrots a couple of times, but have never been pleased with the results. So, I stopped cooking them and kept eating them raw. But, winging a simple dinner of baked chicken the other night, I decided to give carrots a try again because we didn't have enough salad left for everyone.

I am so glad I tried again. These carrots were so tasty. They are buttery with a light, sweet flavor. This is also an easy side dish to throw together. Preparation is minimal and you don't need any special ingredients!

honey butter carrots- side dish recipe

Honey Butter Carrots (Weight Watchers = 4 PP per serving)
makes 4 servings

  • 1 lb baby carrots
  • 3 T unsalted butter
  • 1 T brown sugar
  • 1 T honey
  • 1/8 t ginger

  1. Cook carrots in water for 15-20 minutes just until soft, but not mushy.
  2. Drain almost all of the water, leaving about 1 tsp.
  3. Add butter, brown sugar, honey, and ginger and stir.
  4. Simmer on the stove for another 5-10 minutes until carrots are glazed in the mix.
honey butter carrots- side dish recipe

What's your favorite veggie side for dinner? We do corn and green beans a lot, and tons of salad. These carrots are in the rotation now and I'd love to hear your favorites so I can add some more to our repertoire!

Linked up at Yesterfood, Mandy's Recipe Box, A Dish of Daily Life.


Happy Easter!