365: Body, Mind, Spirit | Week 49








Last week was supposed to be vacation? Mikey did a book report the entire week, and as much as I hate to dampen his creativity and expansive ideas, next time the kid’s drawing a picture and calling it a day. For five of those days, we had my father in-law staying with us. No problem, except I don’t think a person flies across the country to watch someone do homework. And when my sister in-law arrived at the end of the week: major, major migraine. I missed most of her time here…and my birthday.

Despite this, Thanksgiving was great. I had a breakfast with my mom and brother. I made a quiche and cinnamon rolls, both of which were delicious. (Maybe not the cinnamon rolls, but I’m not a fan of cinnamon rolls. They were for the Mister, a Super Fan.) There was absolutely no drama. It was calm and relaxing and fun. The boys played football with their uncle. My mom cleaned the kitchen. The Mister and I put up Christmas decorations. Thanksgiving brunch may become a new tradition around here.

Jules Kendall writes about books, family, and easygoing simplicity.


  1. Julia B. says

    Christmas decoration? It wasn’t even Advent yet… or is it just a different culture here in Central Europe?

    • says

      The stores start putting up Christmas decorations in October. :/

      But here, most people put them up Thanksgiving weekend. I usually don’t put them up until the 1st Sunday in Advent and I don’t take them down until the Epiphany, but it was nice to get started by building the tree. We didn’t put up the ornaments until the weekend.

  2. says

    Don’t you just love a drama free holiday? Sigh. We had much the same here–even better, I had absolutely nothing I had to do on Friday. I may have been a tad more stressed than I realized because I could have broke down and cried all day . . . not because I was sad or depressed, but simply because it was so very lovely.

    But wretched business with the migraine . . . on your birthday no less! Here’s hoping it only goes up from here . . .

  3. says

    Glad to hear you and your family had a great time this Thanksgiving!

    I know what you mean about the “vacation” from school. I was stuck grading papers and getting ready for final exams during most of mine. Add to that getting the worst cold I’ve ever had the weekend before Thanksgiving…and it was a rough week. But we get through it and move on to better things…like leftover turkey sandwiches. :-)

    Happy December!

  4. Jeanne says

    Jules, I follow Ree’s blog and was planning to try the cinnamon rolls. I reviewed the recipe over the weekend, but your expereince with it is helpful. Is it all done in the big pot you heat the milk in and it’s just stirred wiht a big spoon? I want to get into yeast baking, but it’s not clear to me when dough hooks are helpful or not. Her recipe seemed to be pretty easy. Tips? As good as it sounds (if you like cinn. rolls)? I like her recipes for the most part, but not always 100% and pretty heavy on the butter/fat. I made her chicken/turkey pot pie and it was great, but noted that the cookbook recipe that I made called for 1 cup of cream and the one online I had printed called for 1/4 cup. Probably that or 1/2 would have been enough. I digress. . . .any input welcome on the rolls. They’ve been on my list for a while. . . Thank you!

    • says

      It is done in a pot, but I scaled the recipe down to 12 rolls. I don’t need 50! The problem I found doing it in a pot is that the pot retains the heat and you have to wait a long time for the milk to come down to temperature. With yeast, temperature is important. She says “lukewarm,” but really it should be 108°-110° if you want your yeast to flourish. Too cold and it won’t grow; too hot and you’ll kill it. I think transferring the milk mixture to a cold mixing bowl (if it’s too hot to begin with) would speed things along and you’ll be able to add the yeast faster. I had to move the pot to my cold counter top and wrap it in icepacks from the freezer. (And no, I never let the milk come to boil!)

      I thought there was too much sugar–and all that butter!–but my husband LOVED them. The dough was very, very tender, which was fabulous. The one thing I hate about cinnamon rolls is that they are always so tough and dry!

      I’m going to research more recipes. I think I will keep the dough as is and fiddle with the filling some more. I’m also going to try a cream cheese icing. The coffee was nice, but it still tasted like sugar on top of sugar. The sour tang of cream cheese would balance all the sugar nicely, I think.

      • Jeanne says

        Thanks Jules–that is VERY helpful, esp since I am a rookie with yeast. It will be a challenge to avoid boiling. I always try to cut back on sugar even if it’s only by a small amount. I thought the maple icing sounded good. I love cinn rolls but agree that they are usually dry and I refuse to eat Cinnabon’s since they are probably loaded with transfat or the like. Tender dough would be a huge plus. Let me know if find another good recipe.

  5. says

    At 4am on the 30th, my little guy came in to our bedroom and said he had a terrible headache. Two hours later he threw-up, and said that he felt a 100%…it would appear, to my chagrin, that the child has inherited the migraine gene. I cried. Not the birthday gift anyone ever wants. However, he made a quick recovery, and I hope that he is lucky enough to outgrow them. Turning 40 on the 30th itself was a success, amazingly enough, it is nice to have reached this new decade.
    Bonne fete, mon ami! Que tous tes voeux se realisent auhourd’hui. Que ton coeur soit joyeux. Joyeux Anniversaire!
    Just thought throwing in the ubiquitous birthday greeting en francais would make it seems just that wee bit more specialer. 😉

  6. says

    I love drama-free holidays. Glad you got to have one, and a birthday to boot. And I am SO with you on homework over “break.” We all need breaks–which means kids, too. I’m about to start a crusade on this topic. By the end of my time in the classroom, I made it a policy to not assign work over any of our breaks, and I avoided it on the weekends, too. I am a big supporter of learning, but time with family is equally important.

    OK, stepping down from the soapbox. You just got me going there!

  7. Phaedra says

    I’m SO SORRY to hear that you had a migraine over your holiday/birthday weekend. Bummer. Hope you’re feeling better now. A belated Happy Birthday to you (now that you can enjoy it I hope!)
    Thanksgiving Brunch sounds like an idea I could get fully behind. I don’t see anyone else agreeing to it though.
    I have to laugh about the cinnamon rolls. I’m not a fan either. Everyone else in the family goes crazy for them though, so I usually make one small batch this time of year. I look at it as a perfect way for me to avoid sweets that day. HA!
    As for large school projects over vacations? I’m with Rita in the comments. I could go on and on about the fine balance between enough work from school to challenge and enough activities to keep kids engaged without making it so stressful for EVERYONE in the family.
    Happy December!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>